Vaguely Interesting Snippets | 18 February 2014

Chinese men had to adopt a hairstyle to show submission to the emperor

After a failed uprising, China’s Qing rulers issued an edict ordering all Chinese men to shave their forehead and to braid the rest of their hair into a hairstyle known in English as a ‘queue’ (or ‘cue’). This would make the Han majority identical to those of the Manchus. The Han Chinese were given 10 days to shave their hair into a queue, or face death.

The slogan adopted by the Qing was “Keep your hair and lose your head, or keep your head and cut your hair”

King George V opposed the naming of a Royal Navy Dreadnought as HMS Oliver Cromwell

In 1911, Winston Churchill, then the First Lord of the Admiralty, suggested naming a new Royal Navy Dreadnought HMS Oliver Cromwell. King George V vetoed this suggestion not once, but twice, describing the name as an ‘offensive oxymoron’. This should not have come as a surprise – Cromwell had been one of the regicides responsible for the execution of George’s sixth great uncle.