Major milestones

After the joyous Diamond Jubilee celebrations last year, Britons will toast the 60th anniversary of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II on 2 June. A Royal baby is expected the following month in July – and legislation will have to be in place to ensure that the baby will be third in line to the throne whether it’s a girl or a boy.

When your Tube is delayed, spare a thought that the ingenious transit system is a spry 150 years old. It dates back to 1863, the very same year Abraham Lincoln gave his famous Gettysburg Address. A century later, Martin Luther King stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and invoked Lincoln’s ideals in his famous ‘I have a dream’ speech on 28 August.

Another famous speech from that year is JFK’s ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’ address in Berlin in June 1963 – sadly one of his last as he was assassinated in November of the same year.

A number of countries celebrate significant milestones this year: Lebanon turns 70 on 22 November, while Cambodia reaches its Diamond Jubilee on 9 November. Kenya and the Organisation of African Union both celebrate their Golden Jubilees this year. The Bahamas turns 40 and St Kitts and Nevis is 30. Eritrea toasts two decades of independence as do the Czech and Slovak republics following their Velvet Divorce in 1993. And lastly, Kosovo turns five.