The Queen

Queen Elizabeth II: 15 Things You Need To Know

How much do you know about Britain's longest-reigning monarch?

Traditional gun salutes to mark the Queen's 95th birthday today have been cancelled for the second consecutive year.

Her Majesty has decided it would be inappropriate for the traditional military show of firepower, with royal mourning continuing following the death of Prince Philip.

Queen Elizabeth II was 27 years old and 16 months into her role as sovereign when the coronation took place on 2 June 1953 in the historic surrounds of Westminster Abbey and was celebrated with street parties across the country.

The Queen is also known as 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.

She is one of the most famous figureheads worldwide.

But how many of these facts about Her Majesty are you familiar with?

During the Second World War, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth walk in a field with Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret (right) 300942 CREDIT PA
King George VI and The Queen Mother walk in a field with Princess Elizabeth (centre) and Princess Margaret (right) in 1942 (Picture: PA).

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

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

Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh at Buckingham Palace after her coronation on 2 June 1953 (Picture: PA images).

 3. On VE Day, 8 May 1945, she and her sister, Princess Margaret, headed into the crowd to celebrate.

 4. 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.

Princess Elizabeth (top, centre) in a group photograph with Senior and Junior Non Commissioned Officers on her course at No 1 MTTC at Camberley, Surrey 1945 CREDIT PA
Princess Elizabeth (top, centre) in a group photograph with Senior and Junior Non Commissioned Officers on her course at No 1 MTTC at Camberley, Surrey, in 1945 (Picture: PA).

 5. She is believed to be the only British monarch in history properly trained to change a spark plug.

 6. She collected ration coupons for her wedding dress.

 7. A 68-year-old slice of the Queen’s wedding cake sold for £500 at auction, 68 years after Her Majesty's marriage to Prince Philip. The wedding fruit cake was wrapped in its original baking parchment and still edible thanks to its high alcohol content.

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh as they leave their wedding ceremony on 20 November 1947 (Picture: PA).

 8. Her Majesty is the 40th monarch since William the Conqueror.

 9. She sent her first e-mail in 1976, from a British Army base.

10. She is the daughter, wife and mother of sailors. HM The Queen has always had a strong link with the Senior Service.

Queen Elizabeth II meets Coldsteam Guards at Victoria Barracks after colours presentation
Queen Elizabeth II meets Coldstream Guards at Victoria Barracks in 2012 (Picture: Crown Copyright).

11. She is a patron of the Royal Pigeon Racing Association, and named one of her birds 'Sandringham Lightning'.

12. As a British passport is issued in the name of Her Majesty, it is not necessary for The Queen to have her own passport.

13. Her Majesty The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary in 2007, the first time a reigning Monarch had done so. They then celebrated their platinum wedding anniversary in 2017.

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh leaving the service of celebration to mark their diamond wedding anniversary on 19 November 2007 (Picture: PA).

14. On 9 September 2015, she became Britain's longest-reigning monarch, surpassing the record set by Queen Victoria, her great, great grandmother. That reign lasted 23,226 days, 16 hours and 23 minutes.

15. On 6 February 2017, she became the first British monarch to celebrate a Sapphire Jubilee, marking 65 years of her reign.

Cover image: Queen Elizabeth II smiles during a visit to Chester on 14 June 2018 (Picture: PA).