It was just a few days ago that Queen Elizabeth II became the longest reigning UK monarch in history, officially breaking the record held by her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria. According to the BBC, while addressing the public, Her Majesty stated that “the title was not one to which I have ever aspired.” The Queen was said to give a humbling service as she addressed gathered crowds. To celebrate the occasion, Her Majesty and Prince Philip opened the new Scottish Borders railway, while accompanied by Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon. Meanwhile, in London, a procession along the Thames took place, featuring a long row of historic vessels, cruisers and passenger boats.
The BBC reported that acting Labour leader Harriet Harman stated that it would be “no exaggeration to say that the Queen was admired by billions of people all around the world.” That may be true, but perhaps the Queen’s admirers do not know her as well as they think they do. The following is a list of 10 fascinating facts you probably did not know about Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth the second.
10. She Has Quite a Temper
According to the Independent, the Queen was caught on tape “hurling shoes, threats and sporting equipment, and venting the sort of regal fury that, in another age, would have cost someone their head.” The incident occurred during a state visit to Australia, back in 1954. When asked about the commotion, she responded “I’m sorry for that little interlude, but, as you know, it happens in every marriage.” She also reportedly snapped at Silvio Berlusconi who was shouting “Mr. Obama!” at the G2o summit of 2009. Irritated, the Queen answered, “what is it? Why does he have to shout?”
9. She Eats the Same Breakfast Every Morning
Do you know anyone that can and does eat the same thing every day? Does it drive you crazy? Well, according to the Independent, the Queen is one of those people. She eats the same breakfast every morning: cornflakes and porridge oats in Tupperware containers, along with yogurt, and two kinds of marmalade (light and dark). Apparently, despite her large income, the Queen would rather not splurge on fancy breakfast.
8. She was Once Given Two Sloths as Gifts
The Queen has received many strange gifts during her long reign. However, none may be as strange as the two sloths she received on a state visit to Brazil in 1968. According to the official website of the British monarchy, the sloths were housed in the London Zoo along with other animal gifts the Queen had received: “jaguars from Brazil, two black beavers from Canada, two giant turtles from the Seychelles and an elephant from the Cameroon.” Luckily for the Queen, she has also received more normal, easier to house, material gifts.
7. She is Patron of More Than 600 Charities and Organizations
According to the official website of the British monarchy, one of the Queen’s important jobs is to encourage and help with public and voluntary service. She is thus the patron of more than 600 charities, which involve every area of volunteer sectors, “from opportunities for young people, to preservation of wildlife.” The Queen also helps organizations by recognizing their achievements and contributions. Indeed it would appear that a part of being a good leader is setting the right example and giving credit where credit is due.
6. She has Owned More Than 30 Corgis
The Queen was first introduced to the corgi breed by her father, George VI, who, in 1933, brought home a corgi named Dookie. Her majesty received her first corgi, Susan, on her birthday in 1944. Susan became the ancestor of the many of the Queen’s corgis. Her Majesty cares deeply about her pets, and does not like people messing with them. When a royal footman decided to have a laugh by pouring whisky into the corgis’ water, the Queen had him demoted and cut his salary.
5. She is up to Date with Technology
For many people, the idea of their grandparents using email, let alone having their own YouTube channel is almost unimaginable. However, despite the Queen’s age, she is very up to date with modern technology: she sent her first email in 1976 during a visit to an army base; she launched her official website in 1997; she launched the first Royal Channel on YouTube in 2007; and she sent her first tweet in 2014.
4. She’s the Richest Monarch in the World
The totality of the Queen’s costs adds up to £36.2 million (approximately $56 million USD) every year. That high income makes the British monarchy the most expensive in Europe. Although, the Netherlands is a close 2nd. In comparison, Spain’s royal family earns a measly £7m per year. The Independent states that Queen Elizabeth is worth about £300m, placing her at number 257 of the top richest people in the UK.
3. She was the First Monarch to Open the Doors of Buckingham Palace to the Public
In 1993, Queen Elizabeth became the first monarch to open the doors of Buckingham Palace to the public. According to the Independent, her reason for doing so being that she needed money to fix the Windsor Castle after it caught fire. However, for whatever the reason, every summer, tourists now get to visit Her Majesty’s elegant home. Last summer, for the first time ever, tourists were allowed to enter the palace through “the Grand Entrance,” an honour only usually granted to the heads of state and prime ministers invited by the Queen.
2. She Owns a TON of Fish
To the surprise of no one, the Queen owns a lot material goods; however, a lot of what she owns is in fact alive and kicking. By law, all sturgeon, whales, porpoises and dolphins in the water surrounding the UK belong to her majesty. The Queen also officially owns all 5 300 of Britain breeding pairs of mute swans. Apparently, if there is one person that loves wildlife, it is Her Majesty.
1. She Loves to Drink
According to the Independent, Margaret Rhodes, the Queen’s cousin, has admitted that Her Majesty performs the same excessive daily drinking ritual everyday. Before lunch she enjoys a gin and Dubonnet on the rocks with a slice of lemon. She also likes to have wine with lunch, and finally, a glass of champagne to finish off the day. If following the UK government’s drinking standards, the Queen could be considered “a binge drinker.”