Monday, July 05, 2010

Tynwald Day, Isle of Man Today they will be partying off the coast of Ireland … or is it off the coast of England … or of Scotland? In the Irish Sea between Britain and Ireland lies the Isle of Man, where men are Manx and proud of it (and so are the women). Man (or Mann) is famous for Manx cats and Grand Prix motor sports, and it is a small island with a big history.

The Isle of Man is not part of the United Kingdom, but a Crown Dependency. Queen Elizabeth II is acknowledged as Lord of Mann, and in 1979 she presided over the millennial celebrations of the Tynwald, the Manx parliament, which is commemorated each year on July 5.

The High Court of Tynwald, as the parliament is known, is of Norse (Viking) origin and at over 1,000 years old is thus the oldest parliament in the world to enjoy an unbroken existence. (Iceland's Althing was founded earlier but its existence was interrupted.) Tynwald has two branches, the Legislative Council and the House of Keys ...

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