20 Things You Need To Know About Queen Elizabeth

Here's a list of 20 facts about Her Most Excellent and Britannic Majesty, Elizabeth II, 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 (to give the Queen her full title).

1) Her Majesty The Queen was born at 17 Bruton Street on 21 April 1926 and christened on 29 May 1926 at Buckingham Palace.

2) Elizabeth learned to drive in 1945, when she joined the women's branch of the British Army. Both she and Winston Churchill's daughter were members of the group, which was called the Auxiliary Territorial Service.

HRH Princess Elizabeth (centre) with officers of the ATS Training Centre
HRH Princess Elizabeth (centre) with officers of the ATS Training Centre

3) As a British passport is issued in the name of Her Majesty, it isn't necessary for The Queen to have her own passport.

4) She sent her first email in 1976, from a British Army base.

5) The Queen has received more than 3.75 million items of correspondence during her reign.

6) A slice of the Queen’s wedding cake sold for £500 at auction, 68 years after the couple got married. The fruit cake is wrapped in its original baking parchment and is still edible thanks to its high alcohol content.

7) Around 1.45 million people have attended a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace or Palace of Holyroodhouse during the Queen's reign.

8) She has visited Australia 15 times, Canada 23 times, Jamaica six times and New Zealand 10 times.

The King, Queen and Princesses onboard HMS Implacable
The King, Queen and Princesses onboard HMS Implacable

9) The Queen has sent more than 230,000 messages to people celebrating their 100th birthday in the United Kingdom, overseas Realms and UK Overseas Territories.

10) She first flew in an airplane in July 1945.

11) During her reign, The Queen has hosted 108 incoming State Visits to the UK.

12) On Victory in Europe Day she and her sister Princess Margaret slipped into the crowd to celebrate.

13) Her Majesty The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh celebrated their Diamond Wedding in 2007, the first time a reigning Monarch had done so.

14) She is the only British Monarch in history properly trained to change a spark plug.

15) She collected ration coupons for her wedding dress.

Clothing Ration Book Second World War
Clothing coupon books were issued during the Second World War

16) Since 1952, the Queen has personally held more than 660 investitures.

17) She is a Patron of the Royal Pigeon Racing Association. In 1990 one of the Queen's birds, Sandringham Lightning, won a race.

18) Her Majesty is the 40th Monarch since William The Conqueror.

19) She is the daughter, wife and mother of sailors. Her Majesty The Queen has always had a strong link with the Royal Navy.

20) The Queen's first ever radio broadcast in 1940 was a message of support to children affected by the Second World War.

Pictures: Imperial War Museum

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