Lowdown: The Queen
We have always loved her (apart from when she didn’t break down in uncontrollable convulsive sobbing when Diana died.)
But recently, there’s been a spate of documentaries and dramas about HRH, including the five specials currently airing on Channel 4 and The Queen in 3D a few weeks ago. So we thought we better give you a few facts about ol’ Liz Windsor.
1. The Queen is the third longest reigning monarch of Great Britain there’s ever been, just behind George III and Queen “We Are Not Amused” Victoria at 57 years. Bet she gets RSI from all that waving.
2. Her governess Marion Crawford, nicknamed Crawfie was the first royal servant to sell her story to the press, publishing a book called The Little Princesses: The Story of the Queen’s Childhood by her Nanny, which caused her to be subsequently banished from the court and never spoken to again. Talk to the hand because one isn’t listening.
3. The Queen was educated in modern languages and as such she still speaks fluent French.
4. She performed her first radio broadcast at the age of 14 – speaking to other children evacuated during the war. “We are trying to do all we can to help our gallant sailors, soldiers and airmen, and we are trying, too, to bear our share of the danger and sadness of war. We know, every one of us, that in the end all will be well”
5. During the war Elizabeth trained as a driver and mechanic and drove a military truck. Can you imagine her telling you, “ohh, I don’t know if I can get the parts” while wiping down a greasy overall? She’s now the last surviving head of state who served in uniform during World War II and the only female member of the royal family to have served in the armed forces. Hard. Core.
6. She’s the most widely travelled head of state in history and the only reigning monarch to have visited Australia and New Zealand.
7. Her marriage to Prince “Walking Gaffe” Philip was not without controversy as he had no financial standing, was foreign-born and had sisters who had married German noblemen with Nazi links The Queen Mother was reported, in later biographies, to have opposed the union initially, even dubbing Philip “The Hun”. Mothers-in-law eh?
8. The Queen sent a message of congratulations to Apollo 11 astronauts, for the first moon landing on July 21 1969 which was filmed, put in a metal container and deposited on the moon. Charming.
9. Forbes Magazine estimated her personal worth to be £270million but an official Buckingham Palace statement in 1993 called estimate of £100 million “grossly overstated”. Yeah, what’s a few million here and there right?
10. Apparently she enjoys playing Nintendo Wii (The Royal Wii?) after Kate Middleton gave one to Prince William for Christmas. She also has her own email account. Just think, next time you see RoyalT4U1953 in a chat room, you could be chatting to HRH herself. I wonder if she has a Facebook account…