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17 Things You Didn’t Know About the Queen

Posted by - 08 Dec 15

17 Things You Didn’t Know About the Queen

8th April 2016

On April 21st Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will be Britain’s first reigning monarch to reach the grand old age of 90. And doesn’t she look rather fabulous for it?

HB maam

Also known as Elizabeth Alexandra Mary; Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, she’s wife to Philip and mother to Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward. She’s quite possibly one of the most elegant, widely recognised and best-loved women on the planet. A true icon of our time.

But how much do you actually know about Queen Elizabeth II? Are you aware that she has a particular penchant for Earl Grey tea and speaks fluent French? That she adores horse racing but has never placed a bet?

Ahead of her 90th birthday celebrations and because we’re feeling unashamedly patriotic here at Joules, we’ve compiled a few of the lesser-known facts about Britain’s indomitable monarch.

So reach for your Union Jack flag, maintain your stiff upper lip and brush up on some splendidly majestic trivia.

Queen1_Post-image-724 (2)
  • The Queen is the 40th monarch since William the Conqueror became King of England in 1066.
  • She was born on 21st April 1926, but her official birthday is celebrated in June.
  • She very nearly wasn’t Queen at all. The eldest child of the Duke and Duchess of York, Elizabeth was only third in line to the throne, after her uncle Edward Prince Of Wales and her father. But when Edward VIII famously abdicated in 1936 to marry Wallis Simpson, her father became King and suddenly the young princess was next in line.
  • The Duke of Edinburgh formally requested to be her suitor when she was 17 but they didn’t marry until she was 21. They have been married for 69 years.
  • Her nickname is ‘Lilibet’, although her husband the Duke is also known to affectionately call her “Cabbage”.
  • She has owned more than 30 pet corgis. The first one was called Susan and was an 18th birthday gift.
  • She is rather partial to a gin and Dubonnet with lemon and ice before lunch.
  • When the Prince of Wales married Lady Diana Spencer in 1981, witnesses say Her Majesty was so happy she did a little jig as she left the reception.
  • As all British passports are issued in her name, she doesn’t need one to travel.
  • She learnt to drive in 1945 but isn’t obliged to have a licence (she’s the Queen, after all).
  • She sent her first email in 1976 from an army base.
  • She’s currently the patron of over 600 charities, over 400 of which she’s supported since 1952.
  • She’s patiently sat for at least 130 portraits, the first painted in 1933 when she was just seven years old.
  • On 9 September 2015, she became the longest reigning monarch in British history, overtaking Queen Victoria’s record.
  • She’s sent over 45,000 Christmas cards and given around 90,000 Christmas puddings to staff during the course of her reign.
  • Before a state banquet, she likes to inspect the grand horseshoe-shaped table to make sure it’s been prepared perfectly.
  • According to Prince William, Ali G Impressions make her giggle.