Queen Elizabeth II is a legendary monarch who has made a significant impact on the history of the United Kingdom. Her reign has been marked by a number of interesting events that have captured the attention of people around the world. From acquiring her wedding dress in an unusual way to being awarded a BAFTA, Queen Elizabeth II has had her fair share of fascinating experiences.
In this article, readers will discover 18 intriguing Queen Elizabeth II facts that shed light on her life and reign. From her birthplace on a London street to the name of a swanky restaurant that occupies the site now, these facts provide a glimpse into the life of one of the greatest monarchs in British history.
- 1 Facts About Queen Elizabeth II
- 1.1 The Queen Owned 30 Corgis over her Lifetime
- 1.2 Corgis Weren’t the Only Animals She Loved
- 1.3 The Queen Was the Only Person in the UK Who Didn’t Need a Driver’s Licence
- 1.4 The Queen had Two Birthdays
- 1.5 She Could Speak Fluent French…
- 1.6 …And She Was Homeschooled
- 1.7 She was the Most Well-Travelled Monarch
- 1.8 Her Wedding Dress Was Paid For with WW2 Ration Coupons
- 1.9 Her First State Visit was to South Africa
- 1.10 She Sat for Nearly 1000 Official Portraits
- 1.11 The Queen was Present for over 21,000 Official Engagements
- 1.12 She was the First Monarch to Visit The Republic of Ireland
- 1.13 She was the Longest Serving Monarch
- 1.14 The Queen was Born in Mayfair
- 1.15 She Once Shrugged off Royalty and Went Incognito
- 1.16 The Queen had a BA
- Queen Elizabeth II is considered one of the greatest monarchs in the history of the United Kingdom.
- Her reign has been marked by a number of interesting events and experiences.
- Readers will discover 18 fascinating facts about Queen Elizabeth II in this article.
Facts About Queen Elizabeth II
The Queen Owned 30 Corgis over her Lifetime
Queen Elizabeth II had a great love for the Pembroke Welsh Corgi breed of dog. She owned a total of 30 Corgis throughout her life, each with a unique name, except for two that were both named Dipper.
Corgis Weren’t the Only Animals She Loved
In addition to her love for Corgis, Queen Elizabeth II was also fond of Shetland Ponies. Her love for horses began when she was given one as a birthday present by her father, King George V, and lasted throughout her life. She even owned a winner of the Royal Ascot and was gifted another named Burmese by the Canadian Mounted Police in the 1960s.
The Queen Was the Only Person in the UK Who Didn’t Need a Driver’s Licence
As the head of state, driver’s licences are issued in the queen’s name, which meant that she was never required to obtain one. This made her the only person in the UK who didn’t need a driver’s license.
The Queen had Two Birthdays
Queen Elizabeth II celebrated two birthdays, a common practice among British royals. Her actual birthday was on April 21st, but it was celebrated on the second Saturday of June. This was done to increase the likelihood of good weather for the Trooping of the Colour ceremony held on the sovereign’s birthday.
She Could Speak Fluent French…
The Queen was a learned individual who could speak French fluently. She allegedly learned the language from her childhood tutor and governess, Marion Crawford, though this cannot be confirmed. She often spoke French when on holiday or official business in France.
…And She Was Homeschooled
The Queen received her education from several French and Belgian governesses, including Marion Crawford. As she grew older, she studied constitutional law and history in preparation for her future role as queen. She also received a religious education from the Archbishop of Canterbury.
She was the Most Well-Travelled Monarch
Queen Elizabeth II has visited more countries than any other British monarch, with over 150 countries visited, 106 of which were on official state business. She never needed a passport because, by law, the monarch doesn’t require one.
Her Wedding Dress Was Paid For with WW2 Ration Coupons
When the queen married Prince Philip in 1947, rationing was still in place due to the aftermath of World War II. To obtain her wedding dress, which had 10,000 pearls stitched into it, she had to use ration tickets. The government granted her an extra 200 coupons to help her get enough for the dress, and women across the country sent her their clothing coupons, which she had to return as it was illegal to use anyone’s rations but her own.
Her First State Visit was to South Africa
Queen Elizabeth II’s first royal visit as queen was to South Africa and Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) when she turned 21.
She Sat for Nearly 1000 Official Portraits
The Queen is known for sitting for the most portraits, with estimates suggesting around 960 of them. Hungarian painter Philip de László is credited with painting the first portrait when the Queen was just seven years old. Her last portrait was done by Polish painter Barbara Kaczmarowska Hamilton for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
The Queen was Present for over 21,000 Official Engagements
Throughout her long career, Queen Elizabeth II carried out duties at more than 21,000 engagements, ranging from cutting the red ribbon at local leisure centers to opening the Sydney Opera House in 1973.
She was the First Monarch to Visit The Republic of Ireland
After Ireland’s separation from the United Kingdom, no monarch had visited the country until Queen Elizabeth II went over in 2011. She began her opening remarks by saying “President and friends” in Irish.
She was the Longest Serving Monarch
Queen Elizabeth II was on the throne for 70 years and 214 days, which is more than any other monarch in British history. She beat Queen Victoria’s record of 63 years and 216 days, taking her spot at the top of the leaderboard.
The Queen was Born in Mayfair
Queen Elizabeth II was born at 17 Bruton Street in Mayfair, a fitting location for such a regal figure.
She Once Shrugged off Royalty and Went Incognito
On the day peace was declared in Europe, VE Day, Queen Elizabeth II and her sister, aged 14, dressed down and went out into the streets to join the celebrations. She pulled her hat down over her face to keep herself hidden and said she remembers lines of unknown people linking arms and walking down Whitehall, all of them swept along on a tide of happiness and relief.