Almost everybody knows something about Queen Elizabeth II. We’re familiar with her pastel suits, great hats, and her mastery of the very distinct “royal wave”. We know from a great deal of news coverage that she has reigned over the Commonwealth Realms for more than 60 years, which is the second-longest reign in British history. We also know that despite the Queen's long reign and a lengthy marriage to Prince Philip, her hubby is still and always will be just a prince (and the Duke of Edinburgh). Another thing we're certain of is that Her Majesty loves her corgis.
Besides these rather superficial facts, many of us don't know much more about the Queen. She rarely gives interviews and has not written any books, unlike her son Prince Charles. Because of this, little information is available about her personal life. What are available, if you delve a little deeper, are some strange and interesting facts about this elusive character which give some slight indication as to what it's like to be a reigning monarch.
With her 88th birthday coming up just in a few weeks, here are some of the odder facts available about Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
10 She gets two birthdays
9 She has owned more than 30 corgis during her reign
8 A footman was once demoted for getting her corgis tipsy
7 She was once a Girl Guide
6 She doesn't have a passport or a licence, nor does she require a licence plate for her vehicle
5 She has Facebook
4 She was the first head of state to send an email
3 She has survived a shooting and a stalker
On June 13, 1981, the Queen was celebrating her official birthday when shots were fired during the parade as she rode on her horse. Fortunately, the shots were blanks and her horse didn’t spook too much, and so she settled her horse and continued riding. The shots were fired by a teenager who was enthralled by the assassinations of John Lennon and JFK. The teenager spent several years in a psychiatric prison following the incident.
2 She has raced pigeons
1 She was a driver and mechanic in the army during WWII
This might explain the Queen's joyriding around the castle grounds from time to time. After begging her father to participate in the army during the Second World War, he finally conceded, allowing her to train as a mechanic and military truck driver. At the age of 18 she was in the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service and was known as Second Subaltern Elizabeth Windsor. Apparently Her Majesty performed quite well and is still the only female royal to have entered the army. She is also the only remaining head of state who served in WWII.
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