Queen Elizabeth II, the only monarch most living Britons know today, died Thursday at 96. Here are 10 things to know about her remarkable and long life, according to a list compiled by the Los Angeles Times:
10 things you need to know about Queen Elizabeth II
1. Britain’s longest reign
- Elizabeth marked 70 years on the throne this year and was the longest-reigning and longest-serving monarch in British history. In September 2015, she surpassed her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria, who reigned for 63 years and 7 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-longest-reigning monarch in world history, behind the 17th-century French King Louis XIV, who took the throne at age 4.
- Apart from Elizabeth and Victoria, only four other monarchs in British history have reigned for 50 years or more: George III (59 years), Henry III (56 years), Edward III (50 years), and James VI of Scotland (58 years). ).
- Like many royals of her time and before, Elizabeth never attended a public school and was never exposed to other students. Instead, she was homeschooled by Princess Margaret, her younger sister.
- Among those who taught him were his father, a senior professor at Eton College, several French and Belgian governesses who taught him French, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, who taught him religion.
- Elizabeth’s education also included learning to ride, swim, dance, and study fine art and music.
3) No. 230873
- During World War II, the young Princess Elizabeth briefly became known as No. 230873, Second Junior Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor of No. 1 Auxiliary Transport Service.
- After months of campaigning for her parent’s permission to do something for the war effort, the heir to the throne learned to drive and service ambulances and trucks. She rose to the rank of honorary junior commander within months.
4. ‘Great impersonator’
- The queen often gave the impression of a serious demeanor, and many have noted her “poker face,” but those who knew her described her as having a mischievous sense of humor and a talent for mimicry in a private company.
- Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, said the queen could be “extremely funny in private, and not everyone appreciates how funny she can be”.
- Bishop Michael Mann, the monarch’s domestic chaplain, once said, “the queen imitating the Concorde landing is one of the funniest things to see.”
- Ian Paisley, the Northern Irish clergyman, and politician, also noted that Elizabeth was a “great imitator” of him.
- Most recently, she showed her naughty side during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations when she starred in a comedy video alongside an animated Paddington bear and talked about hiding jam sandwiches in her bag.
5. Real taxpayer
- She may have been the queen, but she also paid taxes since 1992.
- When Windsor Castle, the queen’s weekend residence, was razed to the ground by fire in 1992, the public revolted against paying millions of pounds for repairs.
- But he voluntarily agreed to pay taxes on his income. He said he would cover 70% of the cost of the castle’s restoration work and also decided to open his home at Buckingham Palace to the public for the first time to generate additional funds from admission fees.
6. Little Lilibet
- The queen was christened Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor of York, after her mother, paternal grandmother, and paternal great-grandmother. But when she was a child, her family affectionately knew her as young Lilibet, it was said that it was because she couldn’t pronounce “Elizabeth” correctly.
- In a letter to her grandmother, Queen Mary, the young princess wrote: “Dear grandmother. Thank you very much for the beautiful sweater. We loved staying at Sandringham with you. I lost an upper front tooth yesterday morning,” before signing, “Love, Lilibet.”
- The nickname became more widely known after Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, named their daughter Lilibet Diana in 2021.
7. A firm romance
- Isabel and her husband, Prince Felipe, enjoyed a stable relationship for more than 70 years, a union far exceeding the marriages of three of their four children: Carlos, Ana, and Andrés.
- “He has just been my strength and support all these years,” the queen said of Philip on their 50th wedding anniversary.
- Its story began in 1939 when Prince Philip of Greece, a handsome 18-year-old naval cadet, was appointed to entertain 13-year-old Elizabeth for a day.
- Several years later, Philip was invited to join the royal family at Windsor Castle for Christmas, soon making discreet questions about whether he would be considered an eligible suitor.
- The couple married at Westminster Abbey in 1947. When Philip died in 2021 at age 99, Elizabeth described his passing as a “huge void” in her life, according to her son Andrew.
8. Multiple birthdays
- Elizabeth was born on April 21, 1926, but it was sometimes confusing for the public to know when to celebrate.
- There was no universally fixed day for his “official birthday”; the first, second, or third Saturday in June was set and decided by the government.
- In Australia, where she is also recognized as their queen, her birthday is celebrated on the second Monday in June. In Canada, it was marked on the Monday closest to May 24, Queen Victoria’s birthday.
- Only the queen and those close to her celebrated her birthday in private gatherings.
9. How many corgis did he have?
- It’s well known that Elizabeth loved corgis: Princess Diana reportedly called the dogs the queen’s “moving carpet” because they accompanied her everywhere.
- She owned more than 30 corgis over the years. She also had two dorgis, mixes of dachshund and corgi, named Candy and Vulcan.
- Elizabeth was photographed cuddling one of the dogs as early as 1936 at age 10, and was given a corgi named Susan for her 18th birthday.
- The breed was introduced to the royal family by his father, King George VI, in 1933, when he purchased a male corgi named Dookie from a local kennel.
- As queen, she also technically owned the thousands of mute swans in British open waters and had the right to claim all sturgeons, porpoises, whales and dolphins under a 1324 statute.
10. ‘A very nice girl’
- The queen inevitably became the subject of pop songs.
- The Beatles immortalized her with their song “Her Majesty”, calling her “a very nice girl” although she “doesn’t have much to say”. The short song, sung by Paul McCartney and recorded in 1969, appeared at the end of the “Abbey Road” album.
- Other musical treatments were not so kind. The Sex Pistols’ anti-monarchy song “God Save the Queen”, released just before their Silver Jubilee in 1977, was banned from British television.