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Buckingham Palace announced on Thursday, September 8 that Queen Elizabeth II died at the age of 96 after being "under medical supervision". According to centuries of protocol, Charles, her eldest son, succeeds as king immediately, beginning a new chapter for the royal family after the queen's ground-breaking 70-year reign. She was surrounded by members of the royal family, including Prince William.
Here are some facts about Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, the longest reigning queen of England.
Queen Elizabeth: Early Life
- In Mayfair, London, Elizabeth was born as the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York.
- The Queen was born on 21 April 1926 at 2.40 a.m.
- During the Second World War, she began to perform public duties after she received private education at home.
- In November 1947, she married Philip Mountbatten, a former prince of Greece and Denmark, and they were married for 73 years before his death in April 2021.
- Due to the devastation of the war, Elizabeth was required to use ration coupons in order to purchase the fabric for her gown, designed by Norman Hartnell.
Queen Elizabeth: Reign and Ruling
- As a 25-year-old woman, Elizabeth became the queen regnant of seven independent Commonwealth countries when her father died in February 1952, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon (now known as Sri Lanka), as well as Head of Commonwealth.
- Through major political changes, including the Troubles in Northern Ireland, devolution in the United Kingdom, decolonization of Africa, and the United Kingdom joining the European Communities and withdrawing from the European Union, Elizabeth ruled as a constitutional monarch.
- She was the longest-reigning and longest-living British monarch, the oldest and longest-serving incumbent head of state, and the second-longest verifiable monarch, only second to Louis XIV of France.
- In addition to performing traditional ceremonies, the Queen also instituted new practices. For example, her first royal walkabout, meeting ordinary members of the public, took place during a tour of Australia and New Zealand in 1970.
- The Queen celebrated her Golden Jubilee in 2002, which marked the 50th anniversary of her accession to the throne.
- In 2012, the Queen celebrated her Diamond Jubilee, marking 60 years on the throne, and celebrations were held all over her realms and throughout the Commonwealth.
- In September 2015, the Queen became the longest-reigning monarch and the longest-reigning queen regnant and female head of state in the world, surpassing her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria.
Queen Elizabeth: Personal and Public Life
- It was in 2003 that the Queen filed a lawsuit against the Daily Mirror for breach of confidence. She obtained an injunction preventing the publication of information gathered by a reporter posing as a footman at Buckingham Palace.
- After 73 years of marriage, Prince Philip died on 9 April 2021, making Elizabeth the first British monarch to reign as a widow or widower since Queen Victoria.
- In 2022, the Queen will celebrate her Platinum Jubilee, which marks 70 years since she ascended to the throne following her father's death.
- Her political views were rarely expressed in a public forum, and little was known about her personal feelings.
- It is estimated that Elizabeth was the patron of more than 600 charitable and non-profit organizations.
- It was during the 1990s that her popularity plummeted to its lowest point. Then, in response to public pressure, she began paying income tax for the first time, and Buckingham Palace was opened to the public for the first time.
- For many years, Elizabeth's personal wealth was the subject of speculation.
- The Australian dollar bears her image.
Queen Elizabeth: Little-known Facts
- Queen Elizabeth II used her purse to send secret signals to communicate with her staff.
- She was the only person in Britain without a license plate on her car, and she does not require a passport when travelling abroad.
- The Diamond Wedding anniversary of Queen Elizabeth was the first to be celebrated by a British monarch.
- In 2010, she became a member of Facebook through a page called "The British Monarchy."
- Throughout her reign, she has owned over thirty corgis. She received her first corgi, Susan, for her 18th birthday in 1944, and her last corgi, Whisper, passed away in 2018.
- Worldwide, the Queen is one of the most frequently depicted women.
- All unmarked swans in the United Kingdom belong to the Queen, as do approximately 200 racing pigeons.
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