Annus horribilis

"Annus horribilis" is a Latin phrase meaning "horrible year". It alludes to "annus mirabilis" meaning "year of wonders".

Queen Elizabeth II

Although cited by the "Oxford English Dictionary" as being in use as early as 1985, Queen Elizabeth II brought the phrase to prominence, in a speech to the Guildhall on 24 November 1992, marking the 40th anniversary of her Accession, in which she [ described] the closing year as an "annus horribilis".

The phrase may allude to John Dryden's poem "Annus Mirabilis" about the events of 1666. The Queen's "sympathetic correspondent" was later revealed to be her former Assistant Private Secretary, Sir Edward Ford.

* In March 1992, it was announced that the Queen's second son, the Duke of York, would separate from his wife Sarah. Later in the year, scandalous pictures of a topless Sarah being kissed by her friend, John Bryan, were published in the tabloids.
* In April, the Queen's daughter, the Princess Royal, divorced her husband Captain Mark Phillips.
* In November, just four days before the Guildhall speech, one of the Queen's homes, Windsor Castle, caught fire. The Castle was seriously damaged, and several priceless artifacts were lost. Originally, it was planned that the Government would pay the £40 million bill for repairs, but there was much public outcry against having the Government pay. Later, the Queen agreed to open up several royal residences to tourists, and used the funds raised thereby to pay for the repairs.
* In December, the Royal Family faced further difficulties when the separation of the Prince of Wales and his wife Diana was announced.

Kofi Annan

Kofi Annan, then United Nations Secretary-General, used the phrase in his year-end press conference on 21 December 2004, saying "There's no doubt that this has been a particularly difficult year, and I am relieved that this annus horribilis is coming to an end". [ [ New York, 21 December 2004 - Secretary-General's year-end press conference (unofficial transcript)] ] His remarks were widely interpreted [see for instance [ this article from the Associated Press] ] as alluding to persistent allegations of corruption in the UN's Iraq Oil-for-Food Programme. His remarks came before the deadliest event of the year, the Indian Ocean tsunami on December 26.

King Juan Carlos of Spain

In 2007, Spain's royal family, and in particular, King Juan Carlos, faced a difficult year, with family tragedy and a series of controversies, leading Spanish newspapers to refer to the year as the king's annus horribilis" [ El “annus horribilis” del Rey Juan Carlos] ", La Nación, 15 November 2007.] .
* In February, Érika Ortiz Rocasolano, the youngest sister of the Princess of Asturias, died of a drug overdose in her apartment.
* In July, a humour magazine, "El Jueves" published a drawing that ran on the cover depicting Crown Prince Felipe having sex with his wife, with a caption reading "Just imagine if you end up pregnant. This will be the closest thing to work I’ve ever done in my life."
* In September, Catalan separatists were tried for burning photographs of the king and queen at an anti-monarchy and Catalan separatist rally in Girona while the royal couple toured the city.
* In early November, at the XVII Ibero-American Summit, the king somewhat redeemed his image when, after an altercation between the President of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, and Spain's President of the government, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, the king asked Chávez, "¿Por qué no te callas?" ("Why don't you shut up?").
* Shortly after the summit, the royal house announced the separation of the king's daughter, the Infanta Elena and her husband, Jaime de Marichalar. The couple have two children, Felipe and Victoria.

ee also

*List of Latin phrases


External links

* [ - Transcript of The Queen's speech at Guildhall 24 November 1992]
* [ "Annus Horribilis"] : book by Sam Jordison

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  • Annus Horribilis — « Annus horribilis » (« année horrible », en latin) est l expression par laquelle fut qualifiée l année 1992 par la reine Elizabeth II d Angleterre, à l occasion du 40e anniversaire de son accession au trône à Guildhall, le 24 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Annus horribilis — « Annus horribilis » (« année horrible », en latin) est l expression par laquelle fut qualifiée l année 1992 par la reine Élisabeth II du Royaume Uni, à l occasion du 40e anniversaire de son accession au trône à Guildhall, le… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • annus horribilis — /anˈəs or anˈŭs ho riˈbi lis/ (Latin) noun Literally, a year of horrors, esp applied by Queen Elizabeth II to 1992, a year of ill fortune for the British royal family ORIGIN: By analogy with ↑annus mirabilis …   Useful english dictionary

  • Annus horribilis — Windsor Castle Annus horribilis (lateinisch für schreckliches Jahr), bekannt als persönliche Bewertung des Jahres 1992 durch Königin Elisabeth II., ist eine ironische Anspielung auf den Ausdruck annus mirabilis. Königin El …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • annus horribilis — {{#}}{{LM A02496}}{{〓}} {{[}}annus horribilis{{]}} {{■}}(lat.){{□}} {{《}}▍ s.m.{{》}} Año horrible: • Aquel destacado personaje de la vida pública declaró que había sido un annus horribilis para él.{{○}} {{★}}{{\}}PRONUNCIACIÓN:{{/}} [ánus… …   Diccionario de uso del español actual con sinónimos y antónimos

  • annus horribilis — noun A horrible year See Also: annus mirabilis …   Wiktionary

  • annus horribilis — Meaning A horrible year. Origin Derived from the Latin phrase annus mirabilis an auspicious year. Recorded since the mid 1980 s but brought into popular use after Queen Elizabeth II used it to describe 1992 the year that the marriages of her two… …   Meaning and origin of phrases

  • annus horribilis — [ˌanəs hɒ ri:bɪlɪs] noun a year of disaster or misfortune. Origin mod. L., suggested by annus mirabilis …   English new terms dictionary

  • annus horribilis — Etymology: New Latin Date: 1983 a disastrous or unfortunate year …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • annus horribilis — n [sing] the Latin for ‘horrible year’. Queen Elizabeth II used this expression in a speech in 1992 to describe that year, when there was a serious fire at Windsor Castle, the Princess Royal got divorced, the Duke of York(1) separated from his… …   Universalium

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