30 Fun And Interesting Facts About Queen Elizabeth II
The Queen of England has become an iconic figure across the globe and has been in the media spotlight since she was just a child. Here are 30 fun and interesting facts about Queen Elizabeth II!
Her Royal Highness has died aged 96 at Balmoral Castle.
Queen Elizabeth II had the longest reign of any monarch in British history and was known for her sense of duty and devotion to service.
Picture Credit: Queen Elizabeth II (link: punchng.com)
But despite this unfortunate moment, we would like to present to you 30 fun and interesting facts about Queen Elizabeth II's incredible life.
30 Fun And Interesting Facts About Queen Elizabeth
1. Queen Elizabeth II was not born in a palace
Her Majesty was not born in a palace, but rather in a townhouse in London that belonged to her Scottish maternal grandparents, the Earl and Countess of Strathmore, on April 21, 1926, according to Punch magazine.
She was the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York, the future King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother), and the eldest granddaughter of King George V.
2. Queen Elizabeth II sent a message to the Moon
Numerous world leaders were asked to write "messages of kindness" that were then placed onto a little silicon disc prior to the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969.
Queen Elizabeth II at NASA, in 2007 (en.wikipedia.org)
According to Insider, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set that disc down on the moon's surface just below the flag they had erected at the landing site. That disc is still there.
In her message to the moon, Queen Elizabeth II said, "On behalf of the British people, I salute the skill and courage which have brought man to the moon."
3. Her Majesty never went to school
Still, that doesn't imply that she lacks education.
Queen Elizabeth II (nicknamed "Lilibet" as a kid) received private instruction at home.
Princess Margaret, her younger sister, experienced the same things.
4. The Queen didn't need a license to drive
The only person in the UK who is permitted to drive on public roads without a license was Queen Elizabeth II.
5. Truck driver volunteer during World War II
Princess Elizabeth, before becoming a queen, served in the military as a volunteer during World War II, being the first female member of the royal family to do so.
6. Queen Elizabeth II bought her wedding dress with WWII ration coupons
At her wedding with Prince Philip on Nov. 20, 1947, the future Queen of England wore a stunning fit-and-flare gown by Norman Hartnell, which she purchased with post-World War II rationing coupons.
In order to ensure that every person had access to "fair shares" of food, goods, and materials — including the silks, tulle, and chiffon required to make her majesty's big day finery — the British government imposed rationing coupons over the years following the war.
7. The Queen’s purse and the secret signals
Queen Elizabeth II reportedly used her dependable handbag to discretely leave difficult or uninteresting meetings.
According to a 2020 Telegraph report, the Queen's staff would know she wanted the function to finish in the next five minutes if she attended dinner and put her purse on the table.
Additionally, putting her luggage on the ground indicated that Queen Elizabeth II wanted to leave her current conversation and be rescued.
8. The same nail polish since 1989
It seems that Queen Elizabeth II was particularly impressed by Ballet Slipper, a $7 classic pale pink Essie nail paint.
According to Essie, the hairdresser for the Queen requested a bottle of the traditional color in a letter to nail polish tycoon Essie Weingarten in 1989.
Her Majesty refused to wear any other color.
9. Queen Elizabeth II’s first horse
The Queen’s grandfather King George V gave the Queen her first horse, a Shetland pony named Peggy, and she has been riding ever since.
10. Queen Elizabeth II was actually related to the man she married
The Queen and her husband, Philip, were technically third cousins.
On her father's side, Elizabeth is linked to Queen Victoria, and on his mother's side, Philip was related to Queen Victoria.
Philip was born into the royal dynasties of Greece and Denmark, but after marrying Elizabeth, he gave up his former thrones. He passed away on April 9, 2021, after 73 years of marriage.
11. She celebrated her birthday twice a year
Queen Elizabeth II was born on April 21 but always celebrated her birthday on a nice weather Saturday in June.
Monarchs with birthdays in colder months usually schedule an extra official birthday when the weather is better for such a celebration.
12. Queen Elizabeth II owned all the swans and dolphins in UK waters
According to the official royal family website, the British monarchs claimed ownership of "all mute swans" in the nation as early as the 12th century. The birds were prized as a delicacy back then.
During her lifetime, Queen Elizabeth II legally owned those swans even though she no longer consumed them.
Also, the 1324 statute grants the Queen possession of all "fishes royal," which includes any sturgeon, dolphins, whales, and porpoises living in the waters near the UK.
13. Queen Elizabeth II’s first radio broadcast was at age 14
The Queen may be well-known for her radio and television speeches, but she made her radio debut at the age of just 14.
"I can honestly say to you all that we children at home are full of cheer and courage. We are trying to do all we can to help our gallant sailors, soldiers, and airmen, and we are trying, too, to bear our own share of the danger and sadness of war", Queen Elizabeth II said on BBC's Children's Hour in reference to the evacuation of children.
14. The Queen didn't use her last name
It was not necessary to include her last name when referring to the Queen by her official title, "Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and of her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith."
The other royal family members have a variety of suitable last names to pick from.
15. Queen Elizabeth and her own Barbie doll
In honor of the monarch's birthday and her seventy years in power, Barbie unveiled a royal doll modeled like Queen Elizabeth II.
According to USA Today, Lisa McKnight, Mattel's EVP and global head of Barbie and dolls, said in a statement:
"The Queen is the perfect addition to the Barbie Tribute Collection, intended to honor women whose contributions have had a great impact. We're proud to celebrate her historic milestone and encourage kids to learn more about her legacy."
16. The Queen’s tiara snapped on her wedding day
The diamond tiara had to be repaired right away, but Town & Country reports that it was successfully stitched up in time for the ceremony.
17. Once, Queen Elizabeth II and her sister partied incognito in the streets of London
Elizabeth and Margaret obtained their parents' approval before joining the massive crowds celebrating the end of World War II on May 8, 1945.
Queen Elizabeth II described the occasion as one of her most treasured memories.
According to a royal family Instagram post from 1985, Queen Elizabeth II stated, "I remember lines of unknown individuals locking arms and going down Whitehall, all of us just swept along on a flood of happiness and relief."
18. Her Majesty owned more than 30 corgis throughout her lifetime
We all know Queen Elizabeth II adored corgis, but not many of us knew that over her life, she has owned more than 30.
Roger Mugford, the Queen's former Corgi trainer, previously told Country Living that "Her Majesty the Queen is an excellent dog trainer."
19. The Queen paid taxes, even though she didn’t have to
The royal family's website states that although the sovereign is exempt from paying income or capital gains taxes, Queen Elizabeth II has been doing so voluntarily since 1993.
20. Queen Elizabeth II traveled to more than 100 countries
The Queen has visited more than 100 nations during her reign, which is impressive.
Queen Elizabeth II has been to France 13 times, more than any other country in Europe, and to Canada 22 times.
21. The Queen can't be prosecuted
However, Queen Elizabeth II never seemed to abuse this authority.
According to a statement on the website of the royal family, "although civil and criminal proceedings cannot be brought against the Sovereign [...] the Queen is careful to ensure that all her activities in her personal capacity are carried out in strict compliance with the law."
Also, Queen Elizabeth II couldn’t be compelled to give evidence in court.
22. She became Queen at 25
On February 6, 1952, Elizabeth’s father, King George VI, passed away at the age of 56.
Princess Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Philip, were visiting Kenya at that time.
Queen Elizabeth II was crowned at Westminster Abbey in central London on June 2, 1953.
23. The Queen sat for over 200 official portraits
Over the course of her life, Queen Elizabeth II has sat for a remarkable 200 official photographs.
She was just seven years old when the first one was ever taken in 1933 by Anglo-Hungarian artist Philip Alexius de Laszlo.
24. Her Majesty was the head of 54 Commonwealth nations
Before her death, Queen Elizabeth II presided over the 54 countries that make up the Commonwealth.
The first monarch to be publicly styled as Head of the Commonwealth was her father.
25. The Queen wasn’t the richest person in the UK
In addition to receiving money from the royal family's own real estate holdings, Queen Elizabeth II also received some funding from taxpayers.
She was valued at about $500 million, according to a 2019 Forbes assessment.
Queen Elizabeth II was not the richest person in the UK, despite the fact that that amount may seem substantial.
26. The longest-reigning monarch
Queen Elizabeth II’s reign of 70 years and seven months is the longest of any British monarch.
According to data released by the UK Office of National Statistics in 2017, 81% of UK citizens weren't alive when Queen Elizabeth II assumed the throne, meaning that the majority of people in the country have only ever known her as a monarch.
27. Queen Elizabeth II and the 2012 Olympics vignette with James Bond
The silver-haired royal appeared in the opening sequences of the 2012 London Olympics alongside James Bond actor Daniel Craig.
According to New York Post, royal dresser Angela Kelly revealed in her 2019 memoir that when the director of the 007-focused skit asked the queen's permission to use her likeness, Her Majesty responded with an offer to not only appear in the clip but to also take on a speaking role.
Before she and the dapper spy boarded a chopper Queen Elizabeth II expertly delivered her line, "Good evening, Mr. Bond."
28. Imitating the sound of a Concorde jet landing
Queen Elizabeth II must have had a wonderful sense of humor and a gift for impersonation.
According to the Associated Press, bishop Michael Mann, the Queen's chaplain, is quoted as saying that "the queen emulating the Concorde landing is one of the funniest things you could see".
29. A glass of champagne every night before bed
The Queen's cousin, Margaret Rhodes, reportedly stated that Queen Elizabeth II followed a rigid alcohol consumption schedule.
She reportedly drank wine with lunch, a dry martini and a glass of champagne in the evening, and a "gin and Dubonnet before lunch, with a slice of lemon and a lot of ice."
However, Vanity Fair claimed in October 2021 that the then-95-year-old had received medical advice to stop drinking alcohol on a daily basis and switch to water and juice.
30. Queen Elizabeth II started her day with bagpipes playing
The royal bagpiper would play for 15 minutes each morning at 9 a.m. to signal the beginning of the day outside Queen Elizabeth II's window.
The custom apparently took place at the queen's residences in Buckingham Palace, Windsor, Holyroodhouse, and her cherished vacation property in Balmoral, Scotland.
It was purportedly begun by Elizabeth's great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, in the middle of the 1800s.
Surely, the list of 30 fun and interesting facts about Queen Elizabeth can go on and on because her life was dynamic, full of events, mystery, as well as happy and sad moments.
Queen Elizabeth II will remain in people's hearts and memories not only as the UK's longest-serving monarch but also as an emblematic figure, and, as Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said, "the very heart and soul of the United Kingdom".