If you think of England, it’s hard not to think of the famous Queen, who has presided over the throne for many decades. Here are some facts about England’s most famous person.
This year, Queen Elizabeth celebrates the 60th anniversary of her coronation, which took place on 2 June 1953. On that day she was driven in the beautifully appointed Gold State Coach from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey with her husband, The Duke of Edinburgh.
The iconic carriage was pulled by eight of the famous Windsor Grey horses and is known to be one of the largest and most lavishly decorated carriages in the world. It has recently been made available for viewing by the public at The Royal Mews — the office that provides all road transport for the Queen and Royal Family and that is one of the finest working stables in existence.
If you love your trivia, havebooked your London airline ticketsrecently and are getting ready to pay the city a visit, you might like to get in the Royal mood by reading up on these 17 fun facts about Queen Elizabeth.
- In 2003 Queen Elizabeth sat for her first (and only) hologram portrait. Made up of over 10,000 individual layered images of her, the portrait has a 3D effect.
- The Queen wasn’t able to say her name properly as a child, thus creating her “Lilibet” nickname!
- The monarch does not require an interpreter whenever she visits French-speaking countries as she speaks the language fluently and uses it regularly for audiences and state visits.
- Although Queen Elizabeth’s birthday is celebrated officially in June, her actual date of birth is 21 April. This tradition began after earlier British monarchs with winter birthdates decided that public celebrations were more fun in summer!
- The Queen has visited several TV soap-opera sets. She has checked out the behind-the-scenes workings of popular shows such as “EastEnders” and “Coronation Street”.
- Queen Elizabeth sent her very first email from a British army base in 1976. The contents have never been documented.
- The Queen is known for her love of the corgi dog breed, and in fact, she has owned more than 30 during her reign. Her first corgi, Susan, was an 18th birthday gift.
- She also happened to introduce a new dog breed to the world a number of years ago. The “Dorgi” was created when one of her dogs mated with a dachshund that belonged to Princess Margaret!
- The Queen, who learnt to drive in 1945, is the only person in Britain who is allowed to drive without a license or a number plate on her car.
- Believe it or not, Queen Elizabeth is also handy with machines — she is apparently the only British monarch ever trained to change a spark plug (she took a car-maintenance course during World War II). She also learnt how to fix truck engines as a member of the Auxiliary Territorial Service, the female branch of the British army.
- She works with more than 600 charities and organisations and has actually been a patron of over 400 of them since 1952.
- The Queen has received plenty of unusual gifts over the years. On foreign tours she has been given two tortoises, a bull elephant named “Jumbo”, two black beavers, a grove of maple trees and a box of snail shells!
- She was the first British monarch to celebrate a diamond wedding anniversary and actually met her husband, Prince Philip, when she was only 13 years old.
- It’s believed that at her coronation, the Queen found her official robes so heavy that at the start of the ceremony she had to ask the Archbishop of Canterbury to give her a push, saying, “Get me started!”
- While Elizabeth is one well-travelled lady, she doesn’t actually own a passport. The British monarchy’s website says: “As a British passport is issued in the name of her Majesty, it is unnecessary for The Queen to possess one”.
- Queen Elizabeth is woken every morning by the sounds of her personal bagpiper.
- Although most people address her as “Your Majesty”, to her grandsons Prince William and Prince Harry, she is just affectionately called “Granny”.