Elizabeth II was Queen of the United Kingdom and 15 other Commonwealth realms. Elizabeth was born in Mayfair, London, as the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York.
Her father ascended the throne in 1936 upon the abdication of his brother, King Edward VIII, making Elizabeth the heir presumptive. She is a woman of great wealth but has a greater understanding of and empathy with the underprivileged people of the UK than most politicians.
Queen Elizabeth II didn’t have Freedom from the judgment of the public or the media. She didn’t enjoy anonymity. Everything she or her family does is instantly dissected with a voracious appetite by everyone and she is silenced by tradition and protocol and is unable to defend any of it.
Here are some interesting facts about Queen Elizabeth II.
- Queen Elizabeth II’s full title is as follows: Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith.
- Most British Monarchs have two Birthdays, and Queen Elizabeth II is no exception. Her actual date of birth is April 21, 1926. However, it’s too cold in April, in London, to celebrate the Queen’s Birthday properly. So, her state-recognized birthday happens on a Saturday in May or June, usually coinciding with Britain’s military pageant, Trooping the Color. Her actual, April birthday is usually spent quietly with friends and family.
- Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret never attended school; they were taught by private tutors at home.
- The Queen has four cocktails a day. One before lunch, one with lunch, one at the end of lunch with cake, and a glass of champagne before bed. It’s good to be Queen.
- Princess Elizabeth’s wedding gown was covered with 10,000 white pearls, but because austerity measures were still in effect due to postwar recovery, she had to save up ration coupons to pay for it. Not even the Royal Family was exempt.
- Her husband, His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, is her third cousin. They share the same Great Grandmother, Queen Victoria.
- She’s also the only person in Britain allowed to drive without a license or a number plate on her car.
- Queen Elizabeth II is the longest-reigning Monarch of the United Kingdom. Her reign started in 1953 and continues to this day (as of the time of writing). She surpassed her Great Grandmother, Queen Victoria, on September 9th, 2015.
- She doesn’t have a passport because all passports for citizens of the United Kingdom are issued in the Queen’s name. Why would she need one?
- Queen Elizabeth (then Princess Elizabeth) met Prince Philip at a wedding when they were only children. They were married years later in November of 1947 at Westminster Abbey, the same place she would be coordinated in 1953.
- She’s the longest reigning sovereign of either England or Scotland (she beat Queen Victoria’s record).
- She has a madness for dogs, especially breed corgis, she has more than 30 during her reign. She currently owns four – Emma, Willow, Linnet, and Holly.
Majesty’s personal bag is used as much to send secret signals to staff as it is to carry personal items.
- If the Queen places her handbag on the table at dinner, it signals that she wants the event to end in the next five minutes.
- If she puts her bag on the floor, it shows she’s not enjoying the conversation and wants to be rescued by her lady-in-waiting.
- If the Queen shifts her bag from one hand to other signals that she’s done with the conversation, and her staff should come and move you along.
Rumor has it Queen Elizabeth has owned more than 200 Launer handbags over the years. Her Majesty’s loyalty to the brand began in 1968 when designer Sam Launer sent her a bag.
She typically carries Launer’s classic black patent leather Traviata handbag, which clocks in at £1,550 (about $1,900). Her bespoke versions always come with a matching wallet, and mirror, and are made with a long handle, the easier to shake hands with, of course. However, they are never made with zippers.
The queen always has a portable hook and suction cup in her bag so she can hang it from the bottom of the table, thereby avoiding the floor and potential communication mishaps.
So, what’s inside this mysterious secret signal-sending bag? Not a whole lot, usually contains reading glasses, mint lozenges, and a fountain pen, although rarely cash, except for the “precisely folded” £5 or £10 note on Sundays.
Some important sayings by Queen Elizabeth have been shared over 70 years of reign.
- “I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.”
- “When life seems hard, the courageous do not lie down and accept defeat; instead, they are all the more determined to struggle for a better future.”
- “I know of no single formula for success. But over the years I have observed that some attributes of leadership are universal and are often about finding ways of encouraging people to combine their efforts, their talents, their insights, their enthusiasm, and their inspiration to work together.”
- “It has been women who have breathed gentleness and care into the hard progress of humankind.”
- “Like all the best families, we have our share of eccentricities, of impetuous and wayward youngsters, and of family disagreements.”