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91 facts about The Queen

As The Queen turns 91-years-old, Royal Central takes a look at some interesting, funny and sometimes bizarre facts about the monarch.

  1. As a teenager, the then Princess Elizabeth, and her sister Princess Margaret, would act out and perform a number of pantomimes during the Second World War.
  2. The wax museum Madame Tussauds have displayed 23 different life size models of Her Majesty to date.
  3. The Queen speaks fluent French, and often uses the language when she hosts audiences and attends state visits. She does not require an interpreter, as was seen when she visited France in 2014 for the D-Day 70th anniversary.
  4. The Queen’s birthplace, formerly a house in Mayfair, is now a Michelin star Cantonese restaurant called Hakkasan.
  5. She is a keen traveler, having to date visited Australia 16 times, Canada 22 times, New Zealand 10 times and Jamaica 6 times.
  6. Her Majesty is well known for her love of corgis, having received her first one as an 18th birthday present named Susan.
  7. The Queen once invented a new breed of dog called the ‘dorgi’ after she mated her pet corgi with one of Princess Margaret’s dachshunds. The dorgi was named chipper, however, he was killed after The Queen Mother’s dog attacked him.
  8. On the topic of dogs, Her Majesty once demoted a royal footman after it was discovered he had been getting the corgis drunk by mixing whisky and gin to their food and water.
  9. The Queen is the only person in the UK who is allowed to drive without a number plate on her state car.
  10. She also does not own a driving licence.
  11. Her first solo public engagement was on her 16th birthday as she inspected the Grenadier Guards.
  12. When whales wash up on the UK shore, dead or alive, they immediately become property of the monarch under royal prerogative.
  13. Her Majesty sent her first email from an army base in 1976, and her first tweet in 2014 at the London Science Museum.
  14. The Queen enjoyed Scottish country dancing and is every year hosts a dance known as the Gillies’ Balls for castle staff and locals when she stays at Balmoral Castle.
  15. In her early years, Elizabeth and Princess Margaret were educated from home.
  16. The Queen used to own two sloths after being gifted them during a state visit to Brazil in 1968.
  17. The Queen has visited 117 countries – that is two thirds of all the countries on the planet!
  18. Her Majesty’s Imperial State Crown is made up of 2,868 diamonds.
  19. She has currently won over 1,600 races making her one of the most successful racehorse owners in history. She has also won every one of the five British Classic Races, many multiple times, except the Epsom Derby.
  20. The Queen and Prince Philip have been married for nearly 69 years.
  21. Her Majesty has given Royal Assent to more than 4,000 Acts of Parliament since her reign began in 1952.
  22. During Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, thirteen Prime Ministers have been in office: Winston Churchill, Anthony Eden, Harold Macmillan, Alec Douglas-Holme, Harold Wilson, Ted Heath, James Callaghan, Margaret Thatcher, John Major, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Theresa May.
  23. During her reign, thirteen Presidents have also been in office: Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John F Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump.
  24. Her Majesty has attended 39 Royal Variety performances.
  25. She has sent over 175,000 telegrams sent to people celebrating their 100th birthday in the UK and the Commonwealth
  26. In 2000, she sent her mother, Queen Elizabeth, a telegram to mark her 100th birthday.
  27. The Queen’s ‘annus horribilis’ year was back in 1992 when a fire broke out in Windsor Castle, and the marriages of three of her children – Prince Charles, Prince Andrew and Princess Anne – broke down.
  28. There have been seven Archbishops of Canterbury during The Queen’s reign: Geoffrey Fisher, Michael Ramsey, Donald Coggan, Robert Runcie, George Carey, Rowan Williams and Justin Welby
  29. Her Majesty has sat for over 130 official portraits. Her first one was in 1933 when she was just seven-years-old.
  30. She is the oldest monarch to have celebrated a Golden Jubilee (in 2002 at the age of 76) and a Diamond Jubilee (in 2012 at the age of 86).
  31. She has broadcast a Christmas message every year since her coronation in 1952, except in 1969 when a documentary called ‘Royal Family’ aired instead.
  32. The documentary ‘Royal Family’ followed the Queen and gave the audience an insight into her private life. It was watched by around three quarters of the population at the time.
  33. The Queen is the first member of the Royal Family to be awarded with a gold disc from the recording industry. This happened after 100,000 copies of the CD of the ‘Party at the Palace’ were sold during the first week of release.
  34. She has visited the sets of many popular TV shows including Eastenders, Coronation Street and Game of Thrones.
  35. In Maori language, the Queen is known by the term ‘Kotuku’, which translates as ‘the white heron’ in English.
  36. In Papua New Guinea she is referred to in the pidgin language of Tok Pisin as ‘Missus Kwin’ which translates to ‘Mama belong big family’ in English.
  37. The Queen has taken the royal salute in every Trooping the Colour ceremony since her reign began, except in 1955 when the event was cancelled.
  38. The first football match the Queen attended was the 1953 FA Cup Final.
  39. At the 2009’s G20 summit, Her Majesty was seen to be unimpressed with Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, after he shouted for “Mr Obama!” The Queen was heard to ask: “What is it? Why does he have to shout?”
  40. According to the Queen’s cousin, Margaret Rhodes, every day she enjoys a gin and Dubonnet before lunch, with a slice of lemon and a lot of ice. With her lunch, she will drink and a dry Martini and to finish the day off, she will relax with a glass of champagne in the evening. By the UK government’s standards, this would officially make Her Majesty a binge drinker, having consumed 6 units of alcohol per day.
  41. There have been seven Popes during The Queen’s reign (Pius XII, John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis).
  42. She is Monarch of 16 of the 53 member states in the Commonwealth of Nations.
  43. In her reign, the Queen has lost more land than any other British monarch. This is because of the fall of the British Empire.
  44. The Queen had to collect clothing coupons for her wedding dress when she married Prince Philip in 1947. This was because of the clothes rationing during the war.
  45. The couple’s wedding cake was made using ingredients given to them as a wedding present by Australian Girl Guides.
  46. The Queen and Prince Philip were caught in 1954 during a tour of Australia having a huge row. Prince Philip reportedly tried to get away, but HM threw a pair of tennis shoes and a racquet after him. An enraged Queen then screamed at him to stop running and ordering him back.
  47. Her Majesty does not need a passport to travel because all British passports are issued in the Queen’s name, meaning she doesn’t need one to travel herself.
  48. The Queen is the only living head of state in the world to have served during World War II. She was also the only female member of the British royal family to do so after joining the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service when she was 18.
  49. During her time in the Territorial Service, she learned how to drive a military truck as well as training to be a mechanic.
  50. The Queen starred in a James Bond special made for the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games. In the clip she was seen working in Buckingham Palace before getting into a helicopter with Mr Bond.
  51. According to her grandsons – Prince William and Prince Harry – The Queen turned to hysterics during one Christmas Dinner after her 100 year old mother did an Ali G impression at the table, mimicking the fictional character after spotting him on the television.
  52.  The Queen has nine royal thrones, one at the House of Lords, two at Westminster Abbey and six in the throne room at Buckingham Palace.
  53. The Queen have her corgis some rubber boots to protect their paws from the Buckingham Palace gravel.
  54. In 1991, Her Majesty injured her hand trying to break up a fight between up to 10 of the dogs.
  55. In 2003, The Queen took an footman to court after it turns out he was an undercover journalist. Her Majesty won the case, and an injunction was put in place preventing ant information the journalist received to be published.
  56. The Queen purposely wears bright colours so members of the public can easily spot her in a crowd.
  57. She and Prince Philip became secretly engaged in 1946. They didn’t make the news public until the following year when she turned 21.
  58. Elizabrth first met Philip for the first time when she was just eight years old at a wedding.
  59. The Queen’s coronation was watched by 20 million people across the UK
  60. Her Majesty has only ever missed the State Opening of Parliament twice – when she was pregnant.
  61. The Queen very rarely attends funerals. Some of the few she has attended include Sir Winston Churchill and Lady Thatcher.
  62. The Queen was the first British Monarch to travel to the Middle East.
  63. She was also the first British Monarch to visit China.
  64. Windsor Castle, The Queen’s private home, caught ablaze in 1992 causing damage to 100 rooms, with renovations costing £340 million.
  65. In a recent television documentary, it was revealed that Prince George refers to his grandmother as ‘Gan Gan’.
  66. Her Majesty is listed as the 302nd richest person in the UK by the Sunday Time Rich List at £340 million.
  67. She was given the service number 230873 in the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS).
  68. The Queen reportedly cried all the way through her Christening service in 1926, although, she was only a month old.
  69. When she toured Australia in 1953, it was estimated that around three quarters of the population got to see her.
  70. The Queen has 30 godchildren.
  71. In 1992, Her Majesty sued The Sun Newspaper for breach of copyright after they published her Christmas Broadcast two days before it was scheduled to go out.
  72. The Queen is the recipient of an honorary Bafta in recognition of her patronage of the Film and Television Industries.
  73. At the 1981 Trooping the Colour, Her Majesty was shot at six times. Luckily the perpetrator only fired blanks.
  74. Marcus Sarjeant, the person who fired the blanks at The Queen, was the last person to be prosecuted under the Treason Act 1842.
  75. In November 2017, The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary.
  76. When Her Majesty ascended the throne in 1952, a pint of milk cost 2 pence. In 2016, a pint of milk now costs 50 pence.
  77. Queen Elizabeth II is the 40th monarch since William the Conqueror obtained the crown of England.
  78. The Queen’s full title in the United Kingdom is: 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.
  79. Her Majesty is five feet four inches tall.
  80. The Queen controversially chooses not to wear a riding hat. She is often seen wearing only a headscarf on her head.
  81. Her Majesty has conducted over 660 Investitures since 1952.
  82. Around 1.1 million people have attended royal garden parties.
  83. The Queen became the first reigning monarch to have a child since Queen Victoria.
  84. Her favorite cake is honey and cream sponge.
  85. Great British Bake Off winner, Nadiya Hussain, baked The Queen’s 90th birthday cake.
  86. In total, HM has posed for 139 official portraits in her lifetime.
  87. The Queen’s first ever radio broadcast was back in 1940 where she made a message of support to children affected by the Second World War.
  88. Every morning, Her Majesty is presented with breakfast which is made up of cornflakes and porridge oats in Tupperware containers, yoghurt and two varieties of marmalade.
  89. In 2004, the cast of Les Misérables were invited by The Queen to perform for the French President at Windsor Castle. This marked the first time a West End musical had performed at a royal residence.
  90. Her Majesty always attends the Epsom Derby, and it is said to be the first event she writes on her calendar each year.
  91. The Queen is said to be a fan of the BBC quiz show Pointless and regularly settles down in the evening to watch the programme hosted by Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osman.
  • Ondřej Josef Kubáček

    Enjoyable list! However I believe No. 40 refers to Queen Elizabeth Queen Mother. At least I think I read that in Margaret Rhodes memoirs The Final Curtsey and in either Wicked Wit of Queen Elizabeth II or What a Thing To Say To the Queen.

    • Leanné Erasmus

      Agreed, along with Nr.76, which regards milk and not The Queen.

    • Susan King Bryant

      Good eye. There are also numerous misspellings.

  • Royal Defender

    It’s a pity that there are historical mistakes in this list….
    34. The cost of Windsor Castle renovation is £37 mill not £340 million!
    74. The name of the assassin is Marcus Simon Sarjeant not Marcus Alexander.
    The fact about royal portraits is repeated twice: 29 & 86
    The choice of facts is a bit strange: seems to be based on the facts from 2012 list with some quirky additions…. Anyway it looks like the list was not properly checked and compiled by someone who was in a bit of a rush.

  • The non-Brit Pro-EU Finn

    “It will soon be 13 Presidents when a new one is inaugurated in January.”

    Using last year’s list again this year I see.

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