Happy 95th Birthday to The Queen! 16 facts about the longest-serving monarch

Today is The Queen’s 95th birthday and to celebrate, we’re giving you the run down on the longest serving monarch.

1. Elizabeth was born at 2:40am on 21st April 1926 to the Duke and Duchess of York, who would later became King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, later the Queen Mother.

2. Elizabeth’s favourite dogs are corgis. During her reign, she has owned more than 30 corgis. Her first was called Susan and was given to her as an 18th birthday present.

Image licensed to i-Images Picture Agency. 30/10/2014. Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. The Queen arriving to open the new Jaguar Land Rover Engine Manufacturing Centre in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. Picture by Stephen Lock / i-Images

3. She invented a new breed of dog when one of Elizabeth’s corgi mated with a dachshund belonging to her sister, Princess Margaret; it created the ‘dorgi’.

4. The Queen become the first British monarch to celebrate her diamond wedding anniversary. To mark the occasion, Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh revisited Broadlands, where they spent part of their honeymoon.

5. Throughout Her Majesty’s reign, there have been seven Roman Catholic Popes, including Pius XII, Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

6. The Queen has 30 known godchildren, including the late Princess Diana’s brother, Charles Spencer, 9th Earl Spencer.

7. Elizabeth paid for her wedding dress using clothing ration coupons. She received a gift of 200 coupons from the government in order to buy the material needed to create her beautiful wedding dress worn in November 1947. Well-wishers sent more to the Princess but they had to be returned.

The wedding day of Princess Elizabeth of York and Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh in November 1947.

8. Elizabeth never attended school, and was instead taught at home by private tutors.

9. In 2015, Queen Elizabeth II became the longest-reigning British monarch when she surpassed the reign of her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria. She has also become the first monarch to celebrate the Sapphire Jubilee, which marks 65 years on the throne.

10. According to her cousin Margaret Rhodes, Elizabeth enjoys a glass of champagne or a dry Martini in the evening, whilst taking a gin and Dubonnet before lunch, with a slice of lemon and a lot of ice.

11. The Queen doesn’t need a passport, as they are issued in her name.

The Queen – in residence at Windsor Castle – has carried out audiences via video and telephone during the pandemic.

12. The Queen has held an audience with 14 Prime Ministers throughout her reign. In 2020, The Queen began to have an audience with the British Prime Minister via telephone due to the pandemic.

13. As Head of State, she often receives exotic animals as gifts. This has previously included elephants, kangaroos, sloths and jaguars. During a a tour of the Seychelles in 1972, she was given a seven-year-old bull elephant called Jumbo, presented by the president of Cameroon in 1972 to mark The Queen’s Silver wedding anniversary. As a result of receiving exotic animals, she often donates them to London Zoo.

14. The Queen has two birthdays. Whilst she was born in April 1926, her ‘official’ birthday is celebrated in June and is known as Trooping the Colour parade. In 2020, The Queen had a scaled back version of the Trooping the Colour parade due to the pandemic.

15. The Queen learnt to drive when she joined the women’s branch of the British army during WWII, alongside Winston Churchill’s daughter. Joining the the women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service, she was a truck driver and mechanic in 1945. She is the only living Head of State who officially served in World War II.

16. She has a statue of herself in Australia. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II called the statue ‘alarming’ with the statue depicting her in bronze, wearing a hat and pearls, and carrying her iconic Launer handbag.

The new statue of The Queen at Government House, Adelaide (Buckingham Palace)

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