At the next coronation we will be able to celebrate a great feat of British engineering
I was looking at those amazing pictures of Hillary and Tenzing yesterday, and I could see how the news must have broken over London like a thunderclap. Just imagine. The beautiful young Queen is on the verge of being crowned. After years of post-war privation the country is already buzzing – and then word comes from Kathmandu, a coded message that takes two days to arrive.
For millions, if not billions, of years, Mount Everest has been the highest place on Earth, a sacred and implacable place, a white goddess of the clouds; and in all that time no human being has ever set foot on its summit – until today. Today the people hear that a team of alpinists has made it, and, by Jove, they are British! Well, one of them is a New Zealander and the other is Nepalese, but the expedition is British, all right. Hooray!