HRH Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II is the longest living monarch in British history.
Not only is Queen Elizabeth II the queen of the United Kingdom, as the constitutional monarchy she is Queen of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Kitts and Nevis
The Queens Early Life
Born on 21 April 1926 at 17 Bruton Street in Mayfair, London. She was the first child of The Duke and Duchess of York, who later became King George VI and Queen Elizabeth and stood third in line of succession to the throne after Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII), and her father, The Duke of York.
The Princess was christened Elizabeth Alexandra Mary in the private chapel at Buckingham Palace. She was named after her mother, while her two middle names are those of her paternal great-grandmother, Queen Alexandra, and paternal grandmother, Queen Mary.
In 1936, when her grandfather, King George V, died. His eldest son came to the throne as King Edward VIII, but, before the end of the year, King Edward VIII gave up the throne in order to marry Mrs Wallis Simpson who was a divorcee. This was seen at the time to be a great scandal and rocked British high society.
Upon his abdication, Princess Elizabeth's father acceded to the throne as King George VI.
Accession and Coronation
Princess Elizabeth received the news of her father's death and her own accession to the throne On, 6 February 1952, at the time she was staying Kenya and she flew back to England as Queen. The Prime Minister at the time was Winston Churchill who greeted her at the airport
The Queen’s Coronation took place in Westminster Abbey on 2 June 1953. Despite heavy rain, crowds of people viewed the procession all along the route.
6 February 2013 marked the 61st anniversary of The Queen's Accession to the throne
The Queens Marriage and Family
In early 1947, Princess Elizabeths' engagement to Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten was announced and the couple, were married in Westminster Abbey on 20 November 1947. At the time Britain was still recovering from the war, and Princess Elizabeth had to collect clothing coupons for her dress, like any other bride to be of that time. They spent their honeymoon at Broadlands, Romsey, Hampshire, the home of Lord Mountbatten, and at Birkhall, Balmoral.
Queen Elizabeth II is the first monarch to celebrate a diamond wedding anniversary (60 years) and has since celebrated her 66th wedding anniversary on 20 November 2013.
The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh have four children, eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Prince Charles,(The Prince of Wales), heir apparent to the throne, was born in 1948, and his sister, Princess Anne, (The Princess Royal), in 1950. Their third child, Prince Andrew, was born in 1960 and the fourth, Prince Edward, in 1964.
Their grandchildren are Peter and Zara Phillips Son and Daughter to Princess Anne. Prince William of Wales and Prince Henry of Wales sons of Prince Charles and the late Diana, Princess of Wales; Princess Beatrice of York and Princess Eugenie of York, Daughters of Prince Andrew (Duke of York and Sarah (Duchess of York) ; and The Lady Louise Windsor and Viscount Severn children of Prince Edward (The Earl of Wessex) and Sophie (The Countess of Wessex).
Their first great-grandchild, Savannah Phillips, the daughter of Peter and Autumn Phillips, was born in 2010 and their second great grandchild Isla Phillips was born in 2012. In 2013 Prince George of Cambridge (Third in line to the throne) was born to Prince William of Wales (The Duke of Cambridge and Catherine (The Duchess of Cambridge).
Mia Grace Tindall, daughter to Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall (Former England Rugby Player) is the latest grandchild who was born in 2014 and is 16th in line to the throne.
The Queens Corgis
English people have a reputation for being animal lovers and the queen is no exception.
She is particularly known for keeping Pembroke Welsh Corgis and she has owned more than 30 since becoming queen in 1952. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi (Korgi being Welsh for "dwarf dog"), is a herding dog breed, which originated in Pembrokeshire Wales. Corgis are herding dogs, and perform their duties by nipping at the heels; the dog's low height allows it to avoid being kicked in the process. This probably accounts for the occasions where the queens dogs have been accused of nipping some of the household staff and occasional visitor to the palace.
In 2007, the Queen had five corgis: Monty, Emma, Linnet, Willow and Holly; five cocker spaniels: Bisto, Oxo, Flash, Spick, and Span; and four dorgis (dachshund-corgi crossbreeds): Cider, Berry, Vulcan and Candy.
Monty, Willow and Holly appeared in the 2012 Olympic opening ceremony when James Bond (portrayed by Daniel Craig) arrived at Buckingham Palace to escort the Queen to the event. Monty had previously belonged to the Queen Mother, and died soon after in September 2012.
Each of the queens dogs has its own wicker basket, raised above the floor to avoid draughts. And meals are served for each dog in its own dish with no titbits from the royal table.
There are several uncirculated coins depicting the queen with one or more of her corgis including the crown coin minted in 2002 which commemorated the Queen's Golden Jubilee
In 1999, one of Queen Elizabeth's royal footmen was demoted from Buckingham Palace and had his salary cut for pouring whiskey into the corgis' water and watching them staggering about. Not quite what you would expect from a member of the queens household!
Surprising Facts About The Queen
- EVERY morning, she starts the day with a cup of tea. At 7.30am the “morning tray” is brought into her bedroom laden with a silver teapot, a water jug and milk.
- Her full title as Queen is "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".
- WHEN she was four she was given her first horse, a Shetland pony called Peggy, by her grandfather King George V.
- WHEN the Queen and Prince Philip were reunited in Portugal in 1957 after a four-month separation because of official duties, he wore a tie with hearts on.
- SHE carries good luck charms from her children in her bag, including miniature dogs and horses and family photos.
- HER Majesty has given out more than 80,000 Christmas puddings as festive gifts to staff over the years.
- THE only year she did not deliver a Christmas message was 1969. She felt the public had seen enough of her in a TV documentary.
- The Queen, joined by Prince Philip, took part in the first 'Royal walkabout' during a visit to Australia and New Zealand in 1970. The monarch decided to introduce this so she and her husband could meet as many people as possible, and ever since it has been a royal tradition followed by the family.
- The Queen was the first head of state to send an email, all the way back in 1976. She did it as part of a network technology demonstration at the Royal Signals and Radar Establishment. She used ARPANET (the forerunner of the modern Internet) to send the message.
- The Queen's official Facebook page "The British Monarchy" has racked up over 1.1 million likes.
- The Queen exercised her Royal prerogative, appointing Harold Macmillan as prime minister in 1957. At that time, the Conservative Party did not have any formal electoral machinery to choose a new leader, and The Queen acted on the advice of government ministers.
- New initiatives brought in by the queen include; the end of formal presentations at Court in 1958 and increasing the number of garden parties held each year at Buckingham Palace from three to four.
- HER Majesty’s jockeys wear purple silks, with scarlet sleeves, gold braiding and a black cap.
- Queen Elizabeth II is the first monarch to celebrate a diamond wedding anniversary (60 years).
Odd Facts About the English monarchy
Individual monarchs may die, but the Sovereign never does. When one monarch passes away, the next person in line succeeds immediately. As such, the Royal Standard never flies at half-mast following the monarch’s death.
King George V had a wild side too. Namely, he had large red-and-blue dragon tattoo on his right arm.
Prince Charles is the longest heir-apparent at 61 years and counting. Monarchs, when crowned, are permitted to choose their reigning name, much as King George VI did (his birth name was Albert). It is thought that Charles might opt for a different reigning name, possibly becoming King George VII, considering that Charles I and Charles II didn’t have the greatest reputations.