15 Surprising Facts About Queen Elizabeth II
Queen of the United Kingdom (UK), Elizabeth II breathed last peacefully on 8th September 2022. UK's royal family made the announcement of the death of the longest serving monarch in British history, online where they did not specify the causes of her death. The announcement has left the royal fans shocked and saddened. Celebrities and other netizens are expressing their condolences on social media.
The longest-reigning monarch serving for 70 years, Elizabeth lived the 96 years of her life full of royal adventures and excitement. Her first meeting with the love of her life Prince Philip (he passed away last year at the age of 99) to learn to drive at the age of 18. Well, that's not it! There is much more to know about her driving as well as her traveling and so, on the journey of her life. So, here are the 15 surprising facts you should know about Queen Elizabeth II:
15 Surprising Facts You Should Know About Queen Elizabeth II:
1. Longest-reigning Monarch, Served by 15 Prime Ministers
Queen Elizabeth II was in Kenya when her father King George VI died on 6th February 1952. She succeeded her father and was crowned on 2nd June 1953 at Westminster Abbey. Her crown stayed intact until her death and this way, she was served by 15 Prime Ministers of the UK including Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher, and Boris Johnson.
2. Didn't Need a Driving License or a Passport
Unlike any other citizen of the UK who is required to pass a driving test in order to get a driving license, the Queen was not needed to follow the rule and was the only person in the country to be allowed to drive a car without a license. Also, she was not required to have a passport to travel abroad. The privilege was held only by her in the country as both documents were issued in her name.
3. Traveled More Than Any British Monarch
The Queen was well traveled than any British monarch, who served before her. It is apparent through her travel history which includes her visit to over 100 countries on six continents. Out of the 100 countries, she visited Canada 22 times and France 13 times, which means that Canada is the country where traveled more than any other apart from the UK.
4. Sent First Email in 1976 and First Instagram Post in 2019
Making her debut on the internet, Queen Elizabeth II sent her first email in the year 1976 and made an official entry on the popular image and video sharing social media platform, Instagram in 2019 by pushing her first post. This means, that the popular culture didn't leave the Queen untouched.
5. Loved Corgis and Owned 30 Dogs of the Breed
This is not a secret love of the Queen that she loved corgis fondly. Her love for corgis is more apparent in the fact that she owned more than 30 corgis in her lifetime and to more surprise, she had even nine corgis at a time. She also invented a breed of dog when her corgi mated with a dachshund, her sister Princess Margaret's dog. She named the new breed, 'Dorgi'.
6. Bought Weeding Gown Using Ration Coupons
Queen Elizabeth was married to her third cousin Prince Charles whom she met first at the age of eight. They both were married in 1947, while the country was facing the post-World War II financial crisis. She bought her dress material using the ration coupons that were issued by the British government to make sure that all the citizens had access to 'fair shares' of food, goods, and materials. Although, it is said that the Queen received coupons from women across the UK for her dress. However, these were all returned as it was illegal to share the coupons.
7. Volunteered in World War II as Truck Driver
Well, this is something everyone should know about. Queen Elizabeth II was the first female member of the royal family who was a full-time active member of the British Armed Forces. However, as a monarch, she was the head of the British Armed Forces, and she volunteered as a truck driver and mechanic during World War II. Reportedly, she had joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service as a second subaltern where she learned to drive and service vehicles. Later. after five months, she was promoted to become junior commander.
8. Sat for 200 Official Portraits
The Queen sat for over 200 official portraits that included both painted portraits and photographs during her reign. This might seem a little hectic in this era of selfies and advanced cameras. But, to not the fact that she handled it gracefully, her first official portrait was commissioned in 1933, at the age of seven.
9. Her Nickname was 'Cabbage'
Everyone gets a nickname for some reason and most prominent being, 'Touch Name'. The situation occurred with Queen Elizabeth II as well. She couldn't pronounce her name properly she was young and used to say 'Lilibet. This became her nickname. Later, reportedly, Prince Philip lovingly used to call her wife 'Cabbage'.
10. Studied, But Didn't Hold a Degree
Queen Elizabeth II was very well at foreign affairs, religion, constitutional history, law, and music. However, to their surprise, she never attended school or a college, meaning didn't hold a college degree. She along with her sister Princess Margaret (who died at the age of 71) were homeschooled under the supervision of her mother and their governess. The Queen was fluent in French.
11. Cameo with James Bond
Did you notice that it was actually Queen Elizabeth II with James Bond? Right! She actually made a cameo against actor Daniel Craig during London Olympics 2012. In the hilarious sequence, she could be heard saying, "Good evening, Mr. Bond,” before both of them board a helicopter. And also, her beloved couple of corgi pups were featured in the scene.
12. Head of Commonwealth of 54 Countries
King George VI was the monarch who formally became the Head of the Commonwealth. Succeeding her father, the Queen ensured that Commonwealth stays her priority by attending almost every meeting of the same. Currently, Commonwealth comprises 54 independent nations, including 14 Commonwealth Realms, such as Canada. Prince Charles will succeed the Queen as the next Head of the Commonwealth, which was decided 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting that was held in the UK.
13. Private ATM in the Palace
Who could think that the queen will require cash? Well, who knows when and will be needed? So, Queen Elizabeth II had her own private ATM in the basement of Buckingham Palace. The ATM is strictly for the use of the members of the Royal Family. The ATM reportedly belongs to Coutts Bank.
14. Animals Were Her Constant Love
The Queen's love for corgis was apparent to everyone. This is also an interesting fact to know that Queen Elizabeth II owned an elephant, two giant turtles, a jaguar, and a pair of sloths. These are the presents from other countries that right now live in London Zoo. Not just that, as per reports, she also owns all the Swans, Dolphins, and Whales, this is in an accordance with the crown's claimed ownership declared in the 12th century.
15. Born in a Townhouse
Queen Elizabeth II was born on 21st April 1926 to Duke and Duchess of York, who later on went became King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (her mother). She was the first child of her parents. However, she was not born in a palace, instead, she was born in a townhouse in London, owned by her Scottish maternal grandparents, the Earl and Countess of Strathmore. The townhouse is now a fancy Cantonese restaurant.