I woke up this morning and completely changed my plan for this week’s post. Today is the first of Queen Elizabeth’s four-day Platinum Jubilee celebration. As an amateur historian, how could I not mark this day? At 70 years, she is the longest-reigning monarch in Britain and the first to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee. So, here are some random fun facts about the monarch.
- Turned 96 on 21 April
- Became a homeowner at age 6, receiving a gift from the people of Wales, Y Bwthyn Bach or the little cottage
- Since 1933, when she was 7, she has sat for 200 official portraits
- Met Prince Phillip, her 3rd cousin, when she was eight years old
- Her father was crowned King George VI when she was 11
- Her first horse was named Peggy, a gift from her grandfather, King George V
- She gave her first radio broadcast at 14 (1940), her first Christmas broadcast in 1952, sent her first email in 1976, and her first Instagram in 2019. To date, she has sent over 50,000 Christmas cards and receives an average of 70,000 letters per year.
- She studied constitutional law
- Served as a truck driver and mechanic during WWII, the first female royal to serve in the military
- She married Prince Phillip in 1947 and bought her wedding dress with WWII ration coupons given to her as a gift
- She was crowned on 2 June 1953, after ascending to the throne in February 1952
- She is the only person allowed to drive without a license
- Speaks fluent French
- Has served with 14 Prime Ministers and worked with 13 U.S. Presidents
- Hobbies include horseback riding, pigeon racing, and football, and is an ardent Arsenal supporter.
- She has owned 30 Corgis (I love her for that) and created the Dorgi breed, mating one of her Corgies with her sister’s Dachshund. I like that as a Borgie (Border Collie/Corgi) owner.
- As Queen, she owns all the swans and dolphins in British waters.
- She had been gifted animals such as an elephant, two giant turtles, a jaguar, a pair of sloths, kangaroos, and crocodiles. To name a few… what do you do with a sloth?
- She loves retreating to her home in Scotland and sometimes goes incognito. Once, on a walk, she met an American couple who asked if she lived in the area, she mentioned she had a house there (Balmoral!). They asked if she knew the Queen, and she pointed to her guard and said, “no, but he does.”
She hosted the first women-only event at Buckingham Palace
- The Queen has traveled more than any previous monarch, visiting over 100 countries
- She has carried out over 21,00 engagements
- She has made five official visits to the United States
- It is rumored that she communicates with her staff using her handbag. She is prepared to leave if she puts it on the table. If she puts it on the floor, she is not enjoying the conversation and wishes to be rescued. If that is on google, I doubt it is a secret any longer.
- She wakes each day to bagpipes and enjoys a glass of champagne in the evening—my kind of woman.
I hope you’ve enjoyed some of these little tidbits. I’ve never met the Queen, so I decided to include shots from our visits to London. Wishing the Queen many more happy years.