Queen Elizabeth II is famous for being the most seated monarch in British history, but many details of her life have been kept away from people, and the Associated Press has identified ten things that “must know about the Queen’s life.”
Britain’s longest-reigning monarch
Elizabeth, who celebrated 70 years on the throne this year, is the oldest and longest-reigning monarch in British history. In September 2015, her great-grandmother surpassed Queen Victoria, who reigned for 63 years and seven months.
In 2016, Elizabeth also became the world’s longest-reigning monarch with the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand. In 2022, she became the second-reigning monarch in world history, after 17th century French King Louis XIV, who took the throne at the age of 4.
Only four other monarchs in British history have ruled for 50 years or more: George III (59), Henry III (56), Edward III (50) and James VI of Scotland (58).
Like many members of the royal family of her era and before, Elizabeth never went to public school, nor did she mix with other students. Instead, she was educated at home with Margaret, her younger sister.
Among her teachers were her father, along with a senior teacher at Eton College, several French and Belgian nannies who taught her French, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, who taught her religion.
Elizabeth’s education also included learning to ride horses, swimming, dancing, and studying fine art and music.
In February 1945, during World War II, she joined the Army in the Women’s Territorial Service Unit and was registered under 230873 as Elizabeth Windsor, assisting with everything from launching anti-aircraft artillery to driving vehicles to mechanics.
Elizabeth often gave the impression of serious demeanor, her “poker face” was noted by many, but those who knew her described her as having a sense of humor and a talent for mimicry in private.
Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury, said the Queen could be “very funny in private”.
Bishop Michael Mann, the king’s local chaplain, once said that “the Queen’s imitation of a Concorde landing is one of the funniest things you’ll ever see.” Ian Paisley, a Northern Irish clergyman and politician, also noted that Elizabeth was a “great imitator” of him.
Most recently, she showed off her humorous side during the platinum jubilee celebrations, when she starred in a comic video alongside an animatronic Paddington bear and talked about hiding marmalade sandwiches in her purse.
She may have been the Queen, but she has also paid taxes — at least since 1992.
And when fires destroyed Windsor Castle, the Queen’s weekend residence, in 1992, people rebelled against millions of pounds paid for repairs.
But she voluntarily agreed to pay tax on her personal income. She said she would meet 70 percent of the cost of the restoration work, and she also decided to open her Buckingham Palace home to the public for the first time to generate additional money from admission fees.
Queen Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor of York was baptized, in honor of her mother, paternal great-grandmother and great-grandmother. But when she was a child, her family knew her fondly as Young Lillbit, and this is said to be because she could not pronounce “Elizabeth” correctly.
In a letter to her grandmother, Queen Mary, the young princess wrote: “Dear granny. Thank you so much for the lovely little shirt. We loved staying at Sandringham with you. I lost an upper front tooth yesterday morning,” the signature, “Love from Lillipet.”
The nickname became widely known after Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, named their daughter, Lillibit Diana, in 2021.
Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Philip, have enjoyed a stable relationship for more than 70 years, a union that far exceeded the marriages of three of her four children: Charles, Anne and Andrew.
“He has simply been my strength all these years,” the Queen said of Philip on their 50th wedding anniversary.
Their story began in 1939, when Prince Philip of Greece, a handsome 18-year-old naval cadet, was chosen to entertain 13-year-old Elizabeth for a day. Several years later, Philip was invited to join the royal family at Windsor Castle at Christmas, and soon made secret inquiries as to whether he would be considered a qualified suitor.
The couple married at Westminster Abbey in 1947. When Philip died in 2021 at the age of 99, Elizabeth described his death as leaving a “huge void” in her life, according to their son Andrew.
Elizabeth was born on April 21, 1926, but it was sometimes confusing to know when to celebrate.
There was no universally defined day for her “official birthday” – it was either the first, second or third Saturday of June, and it was decided by the government.
In Australia, her birthday was celebrated on the second Monday of June, while in Canada, Queen Victoria’s birthday was celebrated either on or before 24 May, which is Queen Victoria’s birthday.
And only the Queen and those close to her celebrated her actual birthday in private gatherings.
How many corgis are there?
It is widely known that Elizabeth loved corgis, and Princess Diana is said to have described the dogs as the Queen’s “carpet moving” because they accompanied her everywhere.
She has owned more than 30 corgis over the years. She also had two “Durgis” – hybrid breeds of dachshund and corgi, called the Candy and the Vulcan.
Elizabeth has been photographed cuddling a dog since 1936 at the age of 10, and was given a corgi named Susan on her 18th birthday. The breed was introduced to the royal family by her father, King George VI, in 1933, when he bought a male corgi from a shop Domestic dogs.
As queen, she also owned thousands of swans in British open waters, and had the right to claim all sturgeon, porpoises, whales and dolphins, according to a law from 1324.
“a very nice girl”
The Queen inevitably became the subject of pop songs, and the Beatles immortalized her as “Her Majesty”, calling her “a very nice girl” even though she “has not much to say”. The short song, sung by Paul McCartney and recorded in 1969, appeared at the end of the album “Abbey Road”.
The anti-royal song “God Save the Queen”, released just before the Silver Jubilee in 1977, was banned from British television.
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