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BBC TwoNewsnight
Last Updated: Friday, 21 April 2006, 15:46 GMT 16:46 UK
Friday, 21 April, 2006
By Kirsty Wark
Presenter, BBC Newsnight

The Queen
How will the Queen fit 20,000 birthday cards on her mantelpiece?
Presented by Kirsty Wark

Reign in the changes

The Queen is celebrating her 80th birthday, but 1926 was special for a great number of reasons - and we've picked some of them to see how Britain has changed since then.

1926 was the year of the General Strike, the publication of Winnie the Pooh, the first public demonstration of television, the opening of the first mosque in London, and the establishment of Reading University.

In the past 80 years the change in the world has been extraordinary and the pace of life has speeded up in a way that not even Jules Verne imagined when Queen Elizabeth was in her cradle.

Tonight we revisit the upheaval that was the 20th century and work out what were the biggest surprises.


King Gyanendra today gave in to the huge pressure from anti royal protests in Nepal and gave the people what they had long wanted to hear.

Addressing the Nepalese people on television he renounced his absolute monarchy and said he was committed to multiparty democracy and constitutional monarchy.

But have the past three weeks of demonstrations, strikes and violence, including the order from Kathmandu to shoot on sight, turned the people against the monarchy completely?

Mark Urban looks at the likelihood of wholesale change and we'll have the latest from Kathmandu.

There's no Newsnight Review tonight so it is a short but sharp programme! Do join us.


Nepal king seeks to end protests
21 Apr 06 |  South Asia

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