The world’s oldest reigning and Britain’s longest-lived monarch, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, born as Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, officially broke the record held by her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria this September. She mounted the throne in February 1952 and since then has remained the Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms, which has given her a slot in the Guinness Book of Records. Her Majesty is undoubtedly admired by billions of people all around the world, however, not all of her admirers know her beyond her title. Here are things you probably did not know about Queen Elizabeth the second.
12. She is the Eldest Daughter of the Duke and Duchess of York
Queen Elizabeth II was born on 21 April 1926, during the reign of her paternal grandfather, King George V. Her father, Prince Albert, Duke of York (later King George VI), was the second son of the King while her mother, Elizabeth, Duchess of York (later Queen Elizabeth), was the youngest daughter of Scottish aristocrat Claude Bowes-Lyon. Her Majesty is the first child of her parents and was delivered by Caesarean section at her maternal grandfather’s London house. She was baptized in the private chapel of Buckingham Palace and was named Elizabeth after her mother, Alexandra after George V’s mother, and Mary after her paternal grandmother.
11. She Is Married To Her Cousin
Elizabeth first met her husband, Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, in 1934 while she was only eight years old.They are second cousins once removed through King Christian IX of Denmark and third cousins through Queen Victoria. They fell in love and started exchanging letters. Although her mother initially opposed the union, their engagement was officially announced on 9 July 1947 while she was 21. They are still married till date.
10. She Has Quite a Temper
According to the Independent, the Queen was caught on tape hurling shoes, threats and sporting equipment, and venting some sort of anger. The incident occurred during a state visit to Australia, back in 1954. When asked about the commotion, she responded “I’m sorry for that little interlude, but, as you know, it happens in every marriage.” She also reportedly snapped at Silvio Berlusconi who was shouting “Mr. Obama!” at the G2o summit of 2009. Irritated, the Queen answered, “what is it? Why does he have to shout?”
9. The Queen Eats the Same Breakfast Every Morning
There is nothing more monotonous than having to eat cereal every single morning but the Queen has never been bored with her breakfast. According to the Independent, the Queen eats the same breakfast every morning: Cornflakes and porridge oats in Tupperware containers, along with yogurt, and two kinds of marmalade (light and dark). Apparently, the Queen’s large income is yet to persuade her to go for the fanciest breakfast on earth – that’s sheer simplicity.
8. She was Once Given Two Sloths as Gifts
As a Queen, it is somewhat out of place to reject gifts from friends and well-wishers no matter how weird they are. The Queen received two sloths on a state visit to Brazil in 1968 which were later housed in the London Zoo along with other animal gifts she had received. According to the official website of the British monarchy, she has also received jaguars from Brazil, two black beavers from Canada, two giant turtles from Seychelles, and an elephant from Cameroon.
7. She is Patron of More Than 600 Charities and Organizations
One of the Queen’s important jobs is to encourage and help with public and voluntary service. She is the patron of more than 600 charities, which involve every area of volunteer sectors, “from opportunities for young people, to preservation of wildlife.” The Queen also helps organizations by recognizing their achievements and contributions.
6. She has Owned More Than 30 Corgis
In 1933, Her Majesty had her first encounter with a Corgi named Dookie which was brought home by her father, George VI. She later received her first corgi, Susan, on her birthday in 1944 which gave way for other corgi breeds lounging at the Buckingham place over the years. The Queen loves and cares for her pets in like manner as she does her son, Prince Charles. She once demoted and cut the salary of a royal footman who decided to pour whisky into the corgis’ water.
5. She is up to Date with Technology
Unlike most aged people who do not use emails or own a YouTube channel, the Queen at 89 is very knowledgeable about the internet and modern technology. She sent her first email in 1976 during a visit to an army base; she launched her official website in 1997. Also, her first Royal Channel on YouTube was launched in 2007, and she sent her first tweet in 2014.
4. She’s the Richest Monarch in the World
The totality of the Queen’s costs adds up to £36.2 million (approximately $56 million USD) every year. That high income makes the British monarchy the most expensive in Europe. Although, the Netherlands is a close 2nd, In comparison, Spain’s royal family earns a measly £7m per year. The Independent states that Queen Elizabeth is worth about £300m, placing her at number 257 of the top richest people in the UK.
3. She is the First Monarch to Open Buckingham Palace to the Public
In 1993, Queen Elizabeth became the first monarch to open the doors of Buckingham Palace to the public. According to the Independent, the Queen did that because she needed money to fix the Windsor Castle after it caught fire. Every summer, tourists get the opportunity to visit Her elegant home. Last summer, for the first time ever, tourists were allowed to enter the palace through “the Grand Entrance,” an honour only usually granted to the heads of state and prime ministers invited by the Queen.
2. She Owns A Million Tons of Fishes
By law, all sturgeon, whales, tortoises, porpoises and dolphins in the water surrounding the UK belong to her majesty. The Queen also officially owns all 5300 of Britain’s breeding pairs of mute swans. Apparently, if there is one person that loves wildlife, it is Her Majesty.
1. She Loves to Drink
According to the Independent, Margaret Rhodes, the Queen’s cousin, has admitted that Her Majesty performs the same excessive daily drinking ritual everyday. Before lunch she enjoys a gin and Dubonnet on the rocks with a slice of lemon. She also likes to have wine with lunch, and finally, a glass of champagne to finish off the day. If following the UK government’s drinking standards, the Queen could be considered “a binge drinker.” Well, that title is more honorable compared to that of her grandmother who was tagged a Kleptomaniac.