Until now, I didn’t know much about Queen Elizabeth II aside from her being adored worldwide.
Oh, and I always enjoyed people’s understanding of her greeting (Hellooooooo…).
Time to fix that.
Here are fun and interesting facts about Queen Elizabeth II:
1. Queen Elizabeth II’s Got Many Achievements
Among Her Majesty’s CV of accomplishments:
- Longest-lived British monarch,
- World’s longest-serving female head of state,
- Longest-reigning British monarch,
- Current oldest living monarch,
- Current longest-reigning monarch.
Well, those she didn’t so much “achieve” but rather “exist,” but other impressive feats include her giving “royal assent” to more than 3,500 acts of parliament, enabling those bills to become acts of law.
2. She’s Not Just Queen of England
Aside from being the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Queen Elizabeth II is also the monarch of 15 other countries.
These countries, known as the Commonwealth of Nations, include:
- Antigua and Barbuda,
- New Zealand,
- Papua New Guinea,
- St. Kitts and Nevis,
- St. Lucia,
- St. Vincent and the Grenadines,
- Solomon Islands, and
3. Queen Lizzie’s Got Just as Many Titles
Aside from referring to her as Her Royal Majesty or The Queen, some of her titles include:
- Missis Queen or The Queen Lady in Jamaican Patois,
- 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 at home in the UK,
- Sa Majesté Elizabeth Deux, par la grâce de Dieu Reine du Royaume-Uni, du Canada et de ses autres royaumes et territoires, Chef du Commonwealth, Défenseur de la Foi in Canadian French,
- Queen of Solomon Islands and of Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth.
Daenerys Targaryen’s got nothing on her!
And, in the triply-landlocked US state of Nebraska, they bestowed upon her the honorific of Admiral in the Great Navy of the State of Nebraska!
4. She’s Got No Driver’s License or Passport
One of the perks Elizabeth has as Queen of England is that she can drive without a license. She’s the only person in all of the United Kingdom given that privilege. Also, she doesn’t need a number plate (license plate).
Oh, and no passport is needed, either, as all British passports are issued in her name. All other members of the Royal Family have a passport, however.
5. 1992 Was Her Annus Horribilis
Annus horribilis is a Latin phrase meaning “horrible year.”
On November 24, 1992, the Queen’s Ruby Jubilee (40th anniversary of her accession to the throne), she stated:
The Queen went through a lot in 1992, including the death of her nephew, the breakdown of three of her children’s marriages, a fire in Windsor Castle, and several public scandals. Annus horribilis, indeed!
6. Her Name Was Chosen to Honor Her Predecessors
Queen Elizabeth II was born as Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor at 17 Bruton Street in Mayfair, London (an address that is now a Michelin-Starred Chinese restaurant!).
Elizabeth was to honor her mother, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother (a title the elder one used later in life to not confuse her with her daughter).
Alexandra for Alexandra of Denmark, Queen Consort of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Empress Consort of India, wife of King Edward VII, and her great grandmother.
Mary for Mary of Teck, Queen Consort of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Empress Consort of India, wife of King George V, and her grandmother.
Windsor is the surname given to all members of the reigning Royal House of Windsor.
Fun Fact: Members of the British Royal Family didn’t have surnames until 1917, instead using the house or dynasty name they belonged to. In 1917, George V adopted the name Windsor as his House name as well as the surname of his family. On July 17 of that same year, King George V made a declaration that “all descendants in the male line of Queen Victoria, who are subjects of these realms, other than female descendants who marry or who have married, shall bear the name of Windsor.”
7. She’s Got Some Cute Nicknames
Queen Elizabeth’s most famous nickname is Lilibet, most likely from the way she cutely pronounced her own name when she was a child.
Her Royal Highness’s husband, Prince Philip, calls his wife Cabbage. According to Marie Claire, “the vegetable-inspired moniker is thought to have come from the French term, mon petit chou, translated to ‘my little cabbage.'”
If you ever get a chance to meet the Queen, your first acknowledgement should be “Your Majesty,” followed by a simple “ma’am” anytime you address her afterwards in the same conversation.
8. Queen Elizabeth II Celebrates Her Birthday TWICE
Most official celebrations to mark the birthday of the reigning leader take place on a day other than their actual birthday, mostly to have the most chance of good weather on their special day.
So, though Lilibet was born on April 21, 1926, her official birthday is usually held on the second Saturday in June to give the public a higher likelihood of no rain as they stand on the streets for her parade.
9. Her Maj Absolutely Adores Corgis
Since ascending to the throne, the Queen has owned more than 30 corgis, many of the Pembroke Welsh corgi variety. All these have passed on now (“went to a farm upstate,” as people in NYC used to say), but she still has Vulcan and Candy, which they’ve dubbed “dorgis,” as they are a mix between dachshunds and a corgis.
But, those 30+ corgis were officially called the “Royal Corgis,” and they even have their own Wikipedia page!
10. Little Lizzie Wasn’t Expected to Become Queen
Queen Elizabeth II was an unlikely queen, as she was third in the line of succession to the British throne. Ahead of her were her uncle, Edward VIII, and her father George VI.
On top of overcoming those two more likely men for the throne, Edward VIII was still young and nothing was stopping him from having children of his own, all who’d be in line for the throne before our Elizabeth.
However, Edward abdicated to marry the woman he loved, Wallis Simpson (she had already divorced twice, and it would cause a constitutional crisis in Britain if he married her while in line for the throne). Her father became king, and Lizzie became heir presumptive.
11. Her Love Story’s Kinda Adorable
When Elizabeth met the now Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh back in 1934, he was then titled Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark. They knew each other from childhood, as Elizabeth was but 8 years old when they met, and they started a written correspondence when she was 13 years old.
Philip Mountbatten (his “regular” name) and Elizabeth got engaged in 1946, during a time of food rationing in the United Kingdom during and following World War II. To make the wedding work, Elizabeth used her own ration coupons to obtain the materials to craft her wedding dress.
The pair were married at Westminster Abbey on November 20, 1947. Oh, and she had eight bridesmaids: Princess Margaret, Princess Alexandra of Kent, Lady Mary Cambridge, Margaret Elphinstone, Pamela Mountbatten, Lady Caroline Montagu-Douglas-Scott, and Diana Bowes-Lyon.
12. Philip & Elizabeth Were Related Before Marriage
Outside of marriage, Philip and Elizabeth were previously related – actually, in two ways: first, through King Christian IX of Denmark, they are second cousins once removed, and secondly, through Queen Victoria, they are third cousins.
13. She’s Been Gifted Some Unique Presents
Over the decades, Elizabeth has been presented with gifts from various countries, heads of state, and other people and institutions.
Some of the strangest items she’s received include Jumbo, a bull elephant; a pair of tortoises; a bag of salt from the British Virgin Islands; and cowboy boots.
14. Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation
Elizabeth was crowned as Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey at age 27 on June 2, 1953.
To pay tribute to all the Commonwealth countries, her coronation gown was embroidered with the floral emblems of Commonwealth countries, including English Tudor rose, Welsh leek, Irish shamrock, Scots thistle, Australian wattle, New Zealand silver fern, Canadian maple leaf, South African protea, India and Ceylon lotus flowers, and wheat, cotton, and jute for Pakistan.
15. She Served in WWII
Elizabeth trained as a mechanic after joining the Auxiliary Territorial Service in 1945, “becoming the first female member of the Royal Family to join the Armed Services as a full-time active member.”
16. All Whales in UK Waters Are Hers
A statute from 700 years ago (1324), during the King Edward II’s reign and still valid to this day, says, “Also the King shall have … whales and sturgeons taken in the sea or elsewhere within the realm.”
17. She Uses Her Handbag as a Rescue Flare
If her staff witness QEII placing her bag on the floor, she is saying that she finds the current situation or conversation dull or tiring, and she wants to leave. And, if she places the bag on the table during a meal, she wants this meal to end in the next 5 minutes.
18. She Pays Taxes She Doesn’t Have To Pay
Any king or queen in England is exempt from paying taxes, but since 1993, she’s been doing so anyway.
19. She’s Got Her Own Flag Guy
There’s a royal position called the “Queen’s Flag Sergeant,” and this guy’s duties are essentially to raise and lower the flag depending on the Queen’s whereabouts or any royal deaths.
20. And an Official Meat Carving Guy
Held currently by the Earl of Denbigh and Desmond, the Grand Carver of England is an official title passed down by heredity who carves meat during special occasions.
21. She’s Traveled A LOT
According to the Royal Family’s official website, Queen Elizabeth II has traveled “more widely than any other monarch, undertaking many historic overseas visits.”
She’s visited well over 100 countries, most as Queen of the United Kingdom. However, because she’s also Queen of Commonwealth countries, she’s also traveled on behalf of Canada on two occasions, both to the United States.
All that without a passport!
And, because Her Royal Highness has traveled so much…
22. Her Majesty has a Royal Shoe Wearer
A “Royal shoe wearer” tries on her shoes and breaks them in before the Queen gets to wear them to ensure she is always comfortable!
How’s that for fascinating Queen Elizabeth facts?
23. She’s Had 14 Prime Ministers
Since becoming Queen, Elizabeth the Second has seen 14 prime ministers elected. Boris Johnson is the latest prime minister, elected in the 2019 general election.
24. There Are Strict Rules to Dine With the Queen
A personal menu is created just for the Queen, as you might imagine. Multiple plates are prepared for each of Her Majesty’s meals, and a page chooses one at random to serve to her, reducing the chances someone could poison her.
If you were fortunate enough to get to dine with her, you are not allowed to sit down at the table until the Queen does so. Same goes for taking your first bite. And, custom dictates that you’d finish your plate when the Queen is finished, meaning you have much less time than she does to take it all in. Also, nothing is served with garlic or more than a touch of onions, and she doesn’t do starches, such as pasta or potatoes.
Although there are a lot of rules for dining with the Queen,…
25. She’s Not Much of a Foodie (But She LOVES Chocolate)
Her former personal chef, Darren McCrady, revealed to Hello some aspects of the Queen’s dietary choices. “The Queen never was a foodie. She always ate to live rather than live to eat… For the most part she stuck to the same dishes week in week out.”
Her go-to meals were usually either British or French, such as a Gaelic steak or Gleneagles pâté. But her favorite items were of a chocolate constitution. Says Darren: “She is absolutely a chocoholic. Anything we put on the menu that had chocolate on, she would choose, especially chocolate perfection pie.”
26. A Royal Bagpiper Wakes Her Up Every Morning
No regular alarm will do for Her Maj.
Since 1843, during Queen Victoria’s rule, a “Piper to the Sovereign” has been assigned to play the bagpipe under the sovereign’s window for 15 minutes each weekday morning at 9 am. This is the rule when she’s sleeping at Windsor Castle, Balmoral Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, or Buckingham Palace.
27. She Travels Ready to Mourn
When Her Majesty traveled to Kenya in 1952, she received the unfortunate news while there that King George VI had died.
However, she then discovered that she had nothing dark or black to wear which was appropriate enough to mark the mournful occasion. As high class custom dictated, she should not leave her plane without putting on proper mourning attire, so she waited for someone to go fetch some for her.
Because of that, the Royal Family now must always remember mourning clothes when packing for a trip abroad!
Well, that’s all our facts about Queen Elizabeth II! What did you think? Got any feedback, questions or other Queen Elizabeth facts we should add? Let us know in the comments below, and thanks for reading!