Queen Elizabeth II: 16 interesting facts about the late Queen which you may not know including fun nicknames
There is some interesting information about the late Queen, who was our longest reigning monarch, which you might not know
The nation is currently experiencing an outpouring of grief, and people who were lucky enough to meet her have been sharing their fond memories of her.
Even those who did not ever have chance to meet her have been sharing their tributes to Her Majesty on social media, following her sudden death on Thursday 8 September.
The late Queen was a constant figure for seven decades and so, in tribute to her, we have rounded up some interesting facts about Her Majesty.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. The Queen has been served by 15 UK Prime Ministers
Including Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher and more recently, Boris Johnson. She had only welcomed current Prime Minister Liz Truss to form a new government on Tuesday 6 September, two days before her death.
2. Princess Elizabeth, as she was then, made her first radio broadcast in October 1940, during the Second World War
The then 14 year old Princess sent a message during the BBC’s children programme, particularly to the children who were being evacuated because of the World War II.
3. The Queen first sent an email in 1976, sent her first ever tweet in 2014, and published her first Instagram post in 2019
Both the first tweet and first Instagram post were sent during the late Queen’s visits to the Science Museum in London.
4. She was the only person in the UK allowed to drive without a licence, and she also didn’t have a licence plate, or a passport
Since all British passports were issued in the Queen’s name, she didn’t need or have one of her own. She also didn’t need a driver’s licence to drive, or a licence plate on her car. She continued to drive right up until her death.
Old passports will still be valid following the Queen’s passing but new ones will feature different wording referring to the King.
5. Queen Elizabeth II became a homeowner at just six years old
The people of Wales gifted her a house in the grounds of Windsor’s Royal Lodge named Y Bwthyn Bach which means “little cottage”.
6. She owns an elephant, two giant turtles, a jaguar and a pair of sloths
The late Queen was often gifted exotic animals as presents from other countries. She received everything including horses, cows, elephants, kangaroos, swans, crocodiles, sloths and jaguars, which she often donated to the London Zoo.
7. The Queen had two birthdays
Her Majesty’s actual birthday was on 21 April and she also had her official birthday which was held on a Saturday in June when the weather’s better for celebrations. The Queen’s official birthday was marked with the Trooping the Colour parade. The tradition was started in 1748 with King George II.
8. Her nicknames included "Lilibet" and "Cabbage”
She got the nickname "Lilibet" when she was young and couldn’t pronounce her name. Her father, King George VI used to talk about the Queen and her sister Margaret, saying "Lilibet is my pride. Margaret is my joy. It has also been reported that her late husband Prince Philip lovingly referred to his wife as "Cabbage".
9. She studied constitutional history, law and religion
The late Queen was tutored at home by Britain’s best tutors. She studied constitutional history and law as preparation for her future role, and took lessons in religion from the Archbishop of Canterbury.
10. She was the first female member of the Royal Family to join the Armed Services as a full-time active member
Her Majesty joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service in 1945, where she trained to be a mechanic. This is also where she learned to drive.
11. She owned over 30 corgis in her lifetime
It’s commonly known that the late Queen’s favourite dog breed is Welsh Corgis - and she owned over 30 of the dogs in her lifetime and even bred them herself.
12.She spoke fluent French
Queen Elizabeth II learned to speak French at a young age from French and Belgian governesses. According to the official royal website, "It is a skill which stood the Queen in good stead, as she often [had] cause to use it when speaking to ambassadors and heads of state from French-speaking countries, and when visiting French-speaking areas of Canada."
13. She received around 70,000 letters every year
The late Queen received about 200 to 300 letters a day. She chose a few to read herself, and then had members of her staff respond. The official Royal website says that "The Queen [was] shown almost all of her correspondence on a daily basis by one of her Private Secretaries, and she [took] a keen interest in the letters."
14. She owned all of the swans, whales and dolphins in the UK waters.
All of the swans and dolphins in the UK waters technically belonged to the Queen, as did all the whales and dolphins. It is expected that all of these animals will now belong to King Charles III.
15. She hosted Buckingham Palace’s first ever women-only event
In 2004, The late Queen hosted a Women of Achievement luncheon at Buckingham Palace. The event was the first ever women-only function to take place at the palace. Women from business, politics, fashion and the arts were invited over to lunch with Her Majesty. Guests included J.K. Rowling, Charlotte Church, Twiggy, Marjorie Wallace, Kate Moss, and more.
16. She sat for over 120 portraits during her reign as Queen
Due to her long reign, Her Majesty sat for many official portraits - over 120 since becoming queen in 1952.