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1. Queen Elizabeth II was only the sixth British monarch to sit on the throne for over half a century
The others include Queen Victoria (63 years), King George III (59 years), Henry III (56 years), Edward III (50 years) and James VI Scotland or James I England (58 years).
2. Her Majesty in 23 different wax figures?
Many of us have paid a visit to Madame Tussauds, but did you know that the wax museum has displayed 23 different figures of Her Majesty?
Madame Tussauds is home to many wax figures of the royal family – including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall.
Buckingham Palace was involved during the creative process of the newest, current figure, with images of the clay head sent over for approval.
3. Her Majesty’s nicknames included ‘Cabbage’
Many will know that The Queen was known as “Lilibet”, after not being able to pronounce her own name when she was a young child. This is now the name of her grandchild Prince Harry’s daughter. “Cabbage” is what her late husband Prince Philip reportedly called her.
4. The Queen studied constitutional history and law
Tutored at home, she studied these subjects to prepare for her future role as Head of State. She also took lessons in religion from the Archbishop of Canterbury.
5. Elizabeth II served in the Second World War
Her Majesty trained to become a mechanic and was the first female member of the Royal Family to join the Armed Services as an active, full-time member. She joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service in 1945.
6. The Queen’s first horse was a Shetland Pony called Peggy
The horse was a present from her father for her fourth birthday.
The Queen’s love for horses extends beyond caring for them – she is a keen rider and breeder too.
In March 2022, a photo of the Queen standing with her two white Fell ponies, Bybeck Nightingale and Bybeck Katie was, was released. She was given her first pony aged 4, a gift from her grandfather, King George V.
7. The Queen sent her first email in 1976
Her Majesty sent this from an army base on the occasion of her visit to Malvern. Nowadays the Royal Family is well-versed in social media, with there being multiple Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.
8. The Queen is a Guinness Book of World Records holder
She holds the record for a face appearing on coinage. As Head of the Commonwealth, Her Majesty’s face appears on the currency of at least 33 different countries – which is the most featuring the same individual.
9. Her Majesty has opened more Summer Olympic Games than any other
The Queen officially opened the Summer Olympic Games more than once – the 1976 Montreal Games and the 2012 London Olympics.
She has also presented over 100 knighthoods and damehoods to key individuals in the sport during her reign.
10. She married Prince Philip in 1947 – but the pair actually first met when she was 8 years old
The future couple met officially in 1934 at the wedding of Princess Marina of Greece and Prince George, Duke of Kent.
11. The Queen has owned over 30 corgis
A well-known symbol of association with Her Majesty, she has famously loved Welsh Corgis since she was young and has bred her own, in addition to owning so many.
She has also bred her own dorgi (a cross between a corgi and a dachshund). Her remaining dogs include Candy, a dorgi, and Muick a corgi, as well as another corgi gifted to her in 2021 by her family.
12. Her Majesty spoke fluent French
The Queen had French and Belgian governesses as a child so learned to speak French from a young age. She shocked many when she delivered an address at the State Banquet in 2014 in the country’s native tongue.
13. The Queen didn’t need a driving licence, a number plate or a passport
All British passports were issued in the Queen’s name so she didn’t need to have one herself.
14. Gifts the Queen received include animals and shellfish
A black beaver, a sloth and a jaguar were all gifted to the Queen but housed at London Zoo. She also received pineapples, eggs, a box of snail shells and 7kg of prawns as presents.
15. Technically, the Queen owned all dolphins, whales and sturgeon within three miles of UK shores
The Crown retains the right to ownership of all unmarked mute swans in open water, too.
16. Elizabeth II had regular Tuesday evening audiences with all 14 Prime Ministers during her reign
These audiences took place with every prime minister – from Winston Churchill to Margaret Thatcher, to Tony Blair to Boris Johnson. During the pandemic, these were done over the phone – which Her Majesty kept up with even when she contracted Covid-19 herself.
17. There were 14 different US Presidents during Her Majesty’s reign
The Queen has also made five official visits to the United States during her time on the throne – in 1957, 1976, 1983, 1991 and 2007.
18. If you ever think that wedding cakes are overpriced, remember the Queen’s was made by McVitie and Price Ltd.
The cake was baked using ingredients gifted to Her Majesty by the Australian Girl Guides Association. In 2013, a piece of the Queen’s 63-year-old wedding cake sold for an impressive £1,750.
19. Her Majesty’s crown snapped on her wedding day
The tiara that Queen Elizabeth wore on her wedding day broke when a hairdresser was securing the veil. It was originally made in 1919 for her grandmother, Queen Mary.
20. Queen Elizabeth’s place of birth is no longer what it was in 1926.
Born at 17 Bruton Street in Westminster, the royal birthplace was demolished in 1937, as part of the redevelopment of Berkeley House to form Berkeley Square.
21. Post-war Britain even affected the Queen on her wedding day
Her Majesty paid for her wedding dress in rationing coupons from the war – receiving a gift of 200 from the British government to buy the material needed to make her wedding dress.
22. Norman Hartnell designed her wedding and coronation gowns
It featured a 13-foot train and over 10,000 seed pearls which were imported from the United States.
The British designer was officially appointed dressmaker to the royal family in 1938 and also designed Princess Margaret’s wedding dress, as well as much of the Queen Mother’s wardrobe.
23. The Queen sat for over 130 official portraits
Her first was in 1933 when she was just seven years old.
A previously unseen portrait of the Queen was released in May 2022, ahead of her Platinum Jubilee celebrations. Titled Platinum Queen: Felicity, the newly-released image shows Her Majesty smiling after an amusing comment was made by Angela Kelly, her close friend and dressmaker. Taken by photographer Rob Munday, it made up the first official 3D portrait ‘Equanimity’ of the Queen as part of a photographic session in 2004.
24. The Queen wore nail polish and it’s a brand we love too
Her Majesty reportedly wears Essie nail polish, in the popular pink shade ‘Ballet Slippers. In 1989, her hairdresser wrote a letter requesting a bottle of the polish be sent to Buckingham Palace and it is thought that she still wears it.
25. It’s not only castles and palaces for the Queen…
Her Majesty might own an apartment in New York City, and has reportedly purchased an $8 million, 3,000 square-foot penthouses in United Nations Plaza in 2015.
The building was designed by architect Norman Foster who was knighted by the Queen in 1990.
26. The Queen hosted Buckingham Palace’s first-ever women-only event in 2004
The “Women of Achievement” luncheon brought together females from the business, politics, fashion and arts industries and guests included Kate Moss, Twiggy, Charlotte Church and J.K. Rowling