Queen Elizabeth II has been Queen of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand since 1952. She is also Head of the Commonwealth and the queen of 12 countries that have become independent since her accession. Let’s see some amazing facts and trivia about her!
1.Her full name is Elizabeth Alexandra Mary.
2. She was born 21 April 1926.
3. She was also Queen of Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Kitts and Nevis before their emancipation.
4. Elizabeth was born at 02:40 (GMT) on 21 April 1926, during the reign of her paternal grandfather, King George V. Her father, Prince Albert, Duke of York (later King George VI), was the second son of the King.
5. Her mother, Elizabeth, Duchess of York (later Queen Elizabeth), was the youngest daughter of Scottish aristocrat Claude Bowes-Lyon, 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne. She was delivered by Caesarean section at her maternal grandfather’s London house: 17 Bruton Street, Mayfair.
6. She was baptised by the Anglican Archbishop of York, Cosmo Gordon Lang, in the private chapel of Buckingham Palace on 29 May,[ and named Elizabeth after her mother, Alexandra after George V’s mother, who had died six months earlier, and Mary after her paternal grandmother.
7. Called “Lilibet” by her close family, based on what she called herself at first, she was cherished by her grandfather George V, and during his serious illness in 1929 her regular visits were credited in the popular press and by later biographers with raising his spirits and aiding his recovery
8. Elizabeth’s only sibling, Princess Margaret, was born in 1930. The two princesses were educated at home under the supervision of their mother and their governess, Marion Crawford, who was casually known as “Crawfie”.Lessons concentrated on history, language, literature and music.
9. Crawford published a biography of Elizabeth and Margaret’s childhood years entitled The Little Princesses in 1950, much to the dismay of the royal family. The book describes Elizabeth’s love of horses and dogs, her orderliness, and her attitude of responsibility.
10. Others echoed such observations: Winston Churchill described Elizabeth when she was two as “a character. She has an air of authority and reflectiveness astonishing in an infant.” Her cousin Margaret Rhodes described her as “a jolly little girl, but fundamentally sensible and well-behaved”
11. During her grandfather’s reign, Elizabeth was third in the line of succession to the throne, behind her uncle Edward, Prince of Wales, and her father, the Duke of York. Although her birth generated public interest, she was not expected to become queen, as the Prince of Wales was still young. Many people believed that he would marry and have children of his own.[
12. When her grandfather died in 1936 and her uncle succeeded as Edward VIII, she became second-in-line to the throne, after her father. Later that year Edward abdicated, after his proposed marriage to divorced socialite Wallis Simpson provoked a constitutional crisis.
13. Consequently, Elizabeth’s father became king, and she became heir presumptive. If her parents had had a later son, she would have lost her position as first-in-line, as her brother would have been heir apparent and above her in the line of succession.
14. Elizabeth received private tuition in constitutional history from Henry Marten, Vice-Provost of Eton College, and learned French from a succession of native-speaking governesses A Girl Guides company, the 1st Buckingham Palace Company, was formed specifically so that she could socialise with girls her own age.Later, she was enrolled as a Sea Ranger.
15. In September 1939, Britain entered the Second World War, which lasted until 1945. During the war, many of London’s children were evacuated to avoid the frequent aerial bombing. The suggestion by senior politician Lord Hailsham that the two princesses should be evacuated to Canada was rejected by Elizabeth’s mother. Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret stayed at Balmoral Castle, Scotland, until Christmas 1939, when they moved to Sandringham House, Norfolk.
16. From February to May 1940, they lived at Royal Lodge, Windsor, until moving to Windsor Castle, where they lived for most of the next five years. At Windsor, the princesses staged pantomimes at Christmas in aid of the Queen’s Wool Fund, which bought yarn to knit into military garments. In 1940, the 14-year-old Elizabeth made her first radio broadcast during the BBC’s Children’s Hour, addressing other children who had been evacuated from the cities.
17. In 1943, at the age of 16, Elizabeth undertook her first solo public appearance on a visit to the Grenadier Guards, of which she had been appointed colonel the previous year.
18. As she approached her 18th birthday, parliament changed the law so that she could act as one of five Counsellors of State in the event of her father’s incapacity or absence abroad, such as his visit to Italy in July 1944.
19. In February 1945, she joined the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service as an honorary second subaltern with the service number of 230873. She trained as a driver and mechanic and was promoted to honorary junior commander five months later.
20. At the end of the war in Europe, on Victory in Europe Day, Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret mingled anonymously with the celebratory crowds in the streets of London.
21. During the war, plans were drawn up to quell Welsh nationalism by affiliating Elizabeth more closely with Wales. Proposals, such as appointing her Constable of Caernarfon Castle or a patron of Urdd Gobaith Cymru (the Welsh League of Youth), were abandoned for various reasons, which included a fear of associating Elizabeth with conscientious objectors in the Urdd, at a time when Britain was at war.
22. Elizabeth met her future husband, Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, in 1934 and 1937. They are second cousins once removed through King Christian IX of Denmark and third cousins through Queen Victoria.
23. After another meeting at the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth in July 1939, Elizabeth – though only 13 years old – said she fell in love with Philip and they began to exchange letters.
24. She was 21 when their engagement was officially announced on 9 July 1947.
25. The engagement was not without controversy: Philip had no financial standing, was foreign-born (though a British subject who had served in the Royal Navy throughout the Second World War), and had sisters who had married German noblemen with Nazi links.
26. Before the marriage, Philip renounced his Greek and Danish titles, converted from Greek Orthodoxy to Anglicanism, and adopted the style Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, taking the surname of his mother’s British family.
27. Just before the wedding, he was created Duke of Edinburgh and granted the style His Royal Highness.
28. Elizabeth and Philip were married on 20 November 1947 at Westminster Abbey. They received 2500 wedding gifts from around the world.
29. Because Britain had not yet completely recovered from the devastation of the war, Elizabeth required ration coupons to buy the material for her gown, which was designed by Norman Hartnell.
30. In post-war Britain, it was not acceptable for the Duke of Edinburgh’s German relations, including his three surviving sisters, to be invited to the wedding. The Duke of Windsor, formerly King Edward VIII, was not invited either.
31. Elizabeth gave birth to her first child, Prince Charles, on 14 November 1948. One month earlier, the King had issued letters patent allowing her children to use the style and title of a royal prince or princess, to which they otherwise would not have been entitled as their father was no longer a royal prince.
32. A second child, Princess Anne, was born in 1950.
33. Following their wedding, the couple leased Windlesham Moor, near Windsor Castle, until July 1949, when they took up residence at Clarence House in London. At various times between 1949 and 1951, the Duke of Edinburgh was stationed in the British Crown Colony of Malta as a serving Royal Navy officer. He and Elizabeth lived intermittently, for several months at a time, in the hamlet of Gwardamanġa, at Villa Guardamangia, the rented home of Philip’s uncle, Lord Mountbatten. The children remained in Britain.
34. During 1951, George VI’s health declined and Elizabeth frequently stood in for him at public events. When she toured Canada and visited President Harry S. Truman in Washington, D.C., in October 1951, her private secretary, Martin Charteris, carried a draft accession declaration in case the King died while she was on tour.
35. Despite the death of Queen Mary on 24 March, the coronation on 2 June 1953 went ahead as planned, as Mary had asked before she died. The ceremony in Westminster Abbey, with the exception of the anointing and communion, was televised for the first time.
36. Elizabeth’s coronation gown was embroidered on her instructions with the floral emblems of Commonwealth countries English Tudor rose; Scots thistle; Welsh leek; Irish shamrock; Australian wattle; Canadian maple leaf; New Zealand silver fern; South African protea; lotus flowers for India and Ceylon; and Pakistan’s wheat, cotton, and jute
37. From Elizabeth’s birth onwards, the British Empire continued its transformation into the Commonwealth of Nations.[ By the time of her accession in 1952, her role as head of multiple independent states was already established.
38. In 1953, the Queen and her husband embarked on a seven-month round-the-world tour, visiting 13 countries and covering more than 40,000 miles by land, sea and air.
39. She became the first reigning monarch of Australia and New Zealand to visit those nations. During the tour, crowds were immense; three-quarters of the population of Australia were estimated to have seen her.
40. Throughout her reign, the Queen has made hundreds of state visits to other countries and tours of the Commonwealth; she is the most widely travelled head of state.
41. Elizabeth’s pregnancies with Princes Andrew and Edward, in 1959 and 1963, mark the only times she has not performed the State Opening of the British parliament during her reign.
42. In addition to performing traditional ceremonies, she also instituted new practices. Her first royal walkabout, meeting ordinary members of the public, took place during a tour of Australia and New Zealand in 1970.
43. The 1960s and 1970s saw an acceleration in the decolonisation of Africa and the Caribbean. Over 20 countries gained independence from Britain as part of a planned transition to self-government. In 1965, however, the Rhodesian Prime Minister, Ian Smith, in opposition to moves towards majority rule, declared unilateral independence from Britain while still expressing “loyalty and devotion” to Elizabeth. Although the Queen dismissed him in a formal declaration, and the international community applied sanctions against Rhodesia, his regime survived for over a decade.
44. To a speech on 24 November 1992, to mark the 40th anniversary of her accession, Elizabeth called 1992 her annus horribilis, meaning horrible year. In March, her second son, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and his wife, Sarah, separated; in April, her daughter, Princess Anne, divorced Captain Mark Phillips;[1during a state visit to Germany in October, angry demonstrators in Dresden threw eggs at her; and, in November, a large fire broke out at Windsor Castle, one of her official residences. The monarchy came under increased criticism and public scrutiny.
45. In an unusually personal speech, the Queen said that any institution must expect criticism, but suggested it be done with “a touch of humour, gentleness and understanding”. Two days later, the Prime Minister, John Major, announced reforms to the royal finances planned since the previous year, including the Queen paying income tax from 1993 onwards, and a reduction in the civil list.
46. In December, Prince Charles and his wife, Diana, formally separated.[ The year ended with a lawsuit as the Queen sued The Sun newspaper for breach of copyright when it published the text of her annual Christmas message two days before it was broadcast. The newspaper was forced to pay her legal fees and donated £200,000 to charity.
47. Even though support for republicanism in Britain seemed higher than at any time in living memory, republicanism was still a minority viewpoint, and the Queen herself had high approval ratings. Criticism was focused on the institution of the monarchy itself and the Queen’s wider family rather than her own behaviour and actions.
48. In consultation with her husband and the Prime Minister, John Major, as well as the Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, and her private secretary, Robert Fellowes, she wrote to Charles and Diana at the end of December 1995, saying that a divorce was desirable.
49. In 1997, a year after the divorce, Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris. The Queen was on holiday with her extended family at Balmoral. Diana’s two sons by Charles – Princes William and Harry – wanted to attend church and so the Queen and Prince Philip took them that morning.
50. After that single public appearance, for five days the Queen and the Duke shielded their grandsons from the intense press interest by keeping them at Balmoral where they could grieve in private, but the royal family’s seclusion and the failure to fly a flag at half-mast over Buckingham Palace caused public dismay. Pressured by the hostile reaction, the Queen agreed to return to London and do a live television broadcast on 5 September, the day before Diana’s funeral. In the broadcast, she expressed admiration for Diana and her feelings “as a grandmother” for the two princes. As a result, much of the public hostility evaporated.
51. Her Diamond Jubilee in 2012 marked 60 years on the throne, and celebrations were held throughout her realms, the wider Commonwealth, and beyond.
52. The Queen, who opened the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, also opened the 2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympics in London, making her the first head of state to open two Olympic Games in two different countries.
53. For the London Olympics, she played herself in a short film as part of the opening ceremony, alongside Daniel Craig as James Bond.
54. On 4 April 2013, she received an honorary BAFTA for her patronage of the film industry and was called “the most memorable Bond girl yet” at the award ceremony.[
55. Since Elizabeth rarely gives interviews, little is known of her personal feelings. As a constitutional monarch, she has not expressed her own political opinions in a public forum. She does have a deep sense of religious and civic duty, and takes her coronation oath seriously.
57. Aside from her official religious role as Supreme Governor of the established Church of England, she is personally a member of that church and the national Church of Scotland. She has demonstrated support for inter-faith relations and has met with leaders of other churches and religions, including five popes: Pius XII, John XXIII, John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis. A personal note about her faith often features in her annual Christmas message broadcast to the Commonwealth
58. She is patron of over 600 organisations and charities.[
59. Her main leisure interests include equestrianism and dogs, especially her Pembroke Welsh Corgis.
60. Her lifelong love of corgis began in 1933 with Dookie, the first corgi owned by her family.
61. Elizabeth’s personal fortune has been the subject of speculation for many years. Jock Colville, who was her former private secretary and a director of her bank, Coutts, estimated her wealth in 1971 at £2 million (equivalent to about £25 million today). In 1993, Buckingham Palace called estimates of £100 million “grossly overstated”.She inherited an estimated £70 million estate from her mother in 2002. The Sunday Times Rich List 2015 estimated her private wealth at £340 million, making her the 302nd richest person in the UK.
62. The Royal Collection, which includes thousands of historic works of art and the Crown Jewels, is not owned by the Queen personally but is held in trust, as are her official residences, such as Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, and the Duchy of Lancaster, a property portfolio valued in 2014 at £442 million.
63. Sandringham House and Balmoral Castle are privately owned by the Queen.
64. The British Crown Estate – with holdings of £9.4 billion in 2014– is held in trust by the sovereign and cannot be sold or owned by Elizabeth in a private capacity.
65.She is also Head of the Commonwealth and the queen of 12 countries that have become independent since her accession