FINDING THE SPIRIT OF BRITANNIA
A few weeks ago the amazing filming team at Jones Millbank and I went on a mission. We hiked eight miles up Helvellyn, carting cameras, drones and tripods in the search of one of the best views in Britain – the iconic mountain ridge of Striding Edge.
The lower valley was warm, clear and drenched in sunshine, but up on the top of the mountain all we could see was swirling mist so thick the path ahead was swallowed up. So much for summer in England. But suddenly, magically, the mist cleared away as fast as it had descended and there in front of us was the ridge, perfectly clear and flanked by the deep blue waters of Red Tarn. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more beautiful view in all of Britain.
We were up in the mountains to create a new film celebrating The Royal Mint’s brand new Britannia proof collection of limited edition coins. Wholly owned and operated by the National Treasury, The Royal Mint has been making our coins for 1,000 years (and for none less than 50 kings and queens), but The Mint doesn’t just produce the coins we use every day – it also works to champion British heritage and national symbols like Britannia herself. You may recognise her from Roman legends, or just from the side of our new £2 coins, but she is nothing less than our islands personified in the form of a strong female warrior. She’s a symbol or strength and political unity, which is definitely something we can all use in these turbulent, fast-changing times for Britain and the wider world.
THE CHANGING FACE OF BRITAIN
She may represent changing times and changing horizons, but for me Britannia is also bound up in the spirit amazing wild spaces we are so lucky to have all over Britain. We live on an island home to 15 national parks and 46 areas of outstanding national beauty, and we’re so lucky that those places are protected, cared for and open to everyone to enjoy. The fact that more and more people are enjoying them responsibly is, for me, one of the more positive sides of the changing face of Britain.
The Royal Mint’s new Britannia film really sums that up for me, focusing on the different ways we can enjoy spectacular corners of our island, from the Lake District to the Gower, on foot, bike and beyond.
FIND OUT MORE: Visit The Royal Mint to find out more, and to see the new collection of limited edition Britannia coins, designed by artist David Lawrence, and share your favourite wild places on Instagram and Twitter using #Britannia and tagging @RoyalMintUK.