Interesting Facts About Queen Elizabeth II – Getting to Know the Queen:
2012 marks the 60th anniversary of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II and this Diamond Jubilee year is an opportune time to get to know The Queen.
Interesting Facts About the Queen
- Queen Elizabeth II was born on April 21, 1926. She is the older of the two daughters (Princess Margaret is her younger sister) of The Duke and Duchess of York who later became King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.
- Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary was not born in a castle, but at 17 Bruton Street in London’s Mayfair.
- When Princess Elizabeth was born, she stood third in line to the throne. Her uncle Edward, The Prince of Wales (who later became King Edward VIII) was first in line, followed by her father The Duke of York who later became King George VI.
- As Edward was first in the line of succession to the throne, neither The Duke of York or Elizabeth were expected to accede to the throne. As fate would have it, King Edward VIII abdicated to marry Mrs. Wallis Simpson and as such Princess Elizabeth’s father acceded to the throne on December 11, 1936 and became King George VI. This event propelled the young Princess Elizabeth to the next in line to the throne.
- On November 20, 1947, Princess Elizabeth married Prince Philip at Westminster Abbey. On this Diamond Jubilee year, she would have been married an amazing 65 years. They have four children, Charles, Ann, Andrew and Edward.
- On February 6, 1952, on the death of King George VI, Princess Elizabeth acceded to the throne and became Queen Elizabeth II. (She is Queen of Britain, but for practicality purpose, this post sits on our England Blog.)
- The Queen’s Coronation took place on June 2, 1953 at Westminster Abbey. She chose to retain the name of the House of Windsor rather than bearing her husband’s name.
- As the British Monarch, the Queen is also the The Supreme Governor of The Church of England.
- She is also Head of the Commonwealth and regularly visits Commonwealth countries.
- Buckingham Palace is The Queen’s official residence in London, Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh is her official residence in Scotland, Balmoral Castle is her summer retreat and Sandringham House is where the Royal Family spends their Christmas.
- Some of The Queen’s daily duties include official meetings, attending investitures, reading State papers and documents and letters sent to her by the public. As patron of some 600 charities, she is also kept very busy.
- The Queen is an animal lover and she has a keen interest in horses, being herself an owner and breeder of thoroughbreds. She attends the Derby at Epsom and her attendance at the Summer Race Meeting at Ascot continues a royal tradition that began in 1911. The Queen also loves walking in the countryside and her love of her Pembroke Welsh Corgis is also well known. Once interest that is perhaps not so well-known is her interest in Scottish country dancing. During her annual stays at Balmoral Castle the Queen holds dances known as Gillies’ Balls for Balmoral estate and Castle staff, her neighbours and the local community.
- Queen Elizabeth is also keen on gardens and regularly attends the annual Chelsea Flower Show.
- The Queen’s eye-catching outfits are mostly tailored by British designers. Her team of designers includes her Personal Assistant and Senior Dresser.
How Do you Greet the Queen
If you ever get the opportunity to meet the Queen, there is no code of behaviour that you have to abide by except to be courteous. However, if you wish to follow the traditional forms of greeting, it is customary for men to do a neck bow and for women to do a small curtsy. When presented to the Queen, the correct formal address is ‘Your Majesty’ and then ‘Ma’am’.
And if you feel inclined to write to The Queen on her Diamond Jubilee, you can write to Her Majesty at the following address:
Her Majesty The Queen
London SW1A 1AA
Other Diamond Jubilee Articles: