Today is the 88th Birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and to mark the occasion, the Royal Central website has put together 88 Facts about Queen Elizabeth II that you may not have known.
The first fifteen are below for your pleasure. Follow the link for the full list…
1. Queen Elizabeth II is the fortieth monarch since William the Conqueror obtained the crown of England.
2. In 2002, at 76 years of age, The Queen was the oldest monarch to celebrate a Golden Jubilee. The youngest was James I (James VI of Scotland) at 51 years.
3. Since 1952, The Queen has conferred over 387,700 honours and awards.
4. The Queen has personally held over 540 Investitures.
5. The Queen speaks fluent French and often uses the language for Audiences and State Visits. Her Majesty does not require an interpreter.
6. The Queen has received over 3 million items of correspondence during her reign.
7. Over the course of the reign, around 1.1 million people have attended Garden Parties at Buckingham Palace or the Palace of Holyroodhouse (The Queen ended Presentation Parties in 1958).
8. Over the reign, Her Majesty has given regular Tuesday evening audiences to 12 British Prime Ministers. They are: Winston Churchill 1951-55, Sir Anthony Eden 1955-57, Harold Macmillan 1957-63, Sir Alec Douglas-Home 1963-64, Harold Wilson 1964-70 and 1974-76, Edward Heath 1970-74, James Callaghan 1976-79, Margaret Thatcher 1979-90, John Major 1990-97, Tony Blair 1997-2007, Gordon Brown 2007-2010 and David Cameron 2010-present.
9. Tony Blair was the first Prime Minister to have been born during The Queen’s reign. He was born in early May 1953 – a month before the Coronation.
10. The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh introduced small, informal luncheon parties at Buckingham Palace to meet distinguished people from all professions, trades and vocations. The first lunch was held on 11th May 1956 and the tradition continues to this day. There are usually 6-8 guests and two members of the Household attending.
11. The Queen is patron of more than 620 charities and organisations.
12. During her reign, The Queen has undertaken over 256 official overseas visits to 129 different countries.
13. Many of The Queen’s official tours were undertaken on the Royal Yacht Britannia. It was launched by Her Majesty on 16 April 1953 and was commissioned for service on 7 January 1954. It was de-commissioned in December 1997. During this time, Britannia travelled more than a million miles on Royal and official duties.
14. The Royal Yacht Britannia was first used by The Queen when she embarked with the Duke of Edinburgh on 1 May 1954 at Tobruk for the final stage of their Commonwealth Tour returning to the Pool of London. The last time The Queen was on board Britannia for an official visit was on 9 August 1997 for a visit to Arran.
15. Canada is the most visited of The Queen’s 15 other Commonwealth realms with Her Majesty having personally visited more than 24 times.