Queen Elizabeth II is a living legend. Rising to public attention during the Second World War, she has stood as a heroic symbol of the people of Great Britain - and all members of the Commonwealth. She has been a voice of measured wisdom, a rock of stability and the very model of British royalty from the moment she glided elegantly onto the global stage. She has weathered storms of Republicanism questioning the worth of royalty, seen the fall of Evil Empires and visited places a world apart from the humble island from which she sprang.
There are few Britons alive that can remember a world without her, and she has never for an instant shirked her duty in providing a role model to rally around, a picture of what it is to be British in a tumultuous, ever-changing world. And even as so much does change, she remains, a living link between the old world and the new, a living and breathing portrait of an Empire that is so, so different now from what it was in her youth, and yet is still so very familiar.
How much do you know about the queen? Do you know the duties she has undertaken for the crown she wears, the details of her day to day life, her relationships with the tumultuous royal family? Now is the time: Prove your knowledge with our own royal quiz!
The 2ueen was crowned on June 2, 1953, upon the sad death of her father. She chose to retain the surname Windsor and selected her own name as her royal name with a curt "...of course." Of course indeed, your Majesty.
King George and his wife Elizabeth were the proud of parents of the woman who would be Elizabeth II. She was originally third in line to the throne, and no one thought that she would inherit the crown. Fate would have other plans!
On April 21, 1926, the future monarch of Great Britain came into the world. Like all British monarchs, however, she has two official birthdays! The other one changes every year, but is generally held on a Saturday in June.
The Queen had a single sibling, Princess Margaret. Although Margaret loved her sister, she bemoaned the way the press portrayed them, feeling that she was treated as the "wicked sister" due to, among other things, her decision to divorce. She passed in 2002.
The queen has had four children, Charles, Edward, Andrew and Anne. Charles is, of course, the most well known and the heir to the throne, something he has been waiting for for a long time. His mother her majesty shows no signs of slowing down!
The Queen was born in Mayfair, at the home of her grandparents, the Earl and Countess of Strathmore. Although she was firstborn, she nonetheless was not believed likely to inherit the throne, due to Edward VIII being before her and her father in succession.
The queen was trained as a mechanic and ambulance driver and, rather than simply sit at a desk or engage in public appearances, she did all of the work herself. She loved the work and regarded the time as some of the most fulfilling of her life.
Phillip Mountbatten, the royal consort, first started communicating with the young Elizabeth when he was 18 and she 13. He was actually of mixed Greek and Danish royalty, but had to abandon those titles on his marriage to Elizabeth.
The Queen owns many horses, and horses in her possession have won over 1,600 races! She has always enjoyed riding, even as a child, and supposedly reads the "Racing Post" every morning!
The Queen's style on her ascension was ".....by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas, Queen, Defender of the Faith." The Faith mentioned is of course the Church of England, what we in the colonies refer to as the Anglican faith.
When ABBA's "Dancing Queen" comes on, her majesty always endeavors to get up and get her groove on! When asked why she does this, she answered quite accurately that she was the queen, of course, so it makes sense.
The Chocolate Biscuit Cake has always been the Queen's favorite. The secret to its taste is the crunchy filling of Rich Tea Biscuits that lurks within, counterbalancing the smoothness and sweetness of the cake itself. It also has lots of dark chocolate frosting!
The queen loves football and is by all accounts an Arsenal fan. She needs to be careful, however - for the same reason the Royals stay out of politics, she needs to take care with supporting teams. The royals must be seen as above all of that!
Although she of course did none of the performing, the album "Party at the Palace" was released with the live performance of the bands that performed at Queen Elizabeth's Golden Jubilee.
As of 2018, the queen has reigned an astonishing 66 years since her ascension to the throne in 1952. In 2017, she celebrated a Sapphire Jubilee, and was the first British monarch ever to do so. Long may she reign!
Essie's Ballet Slippers - a gentle pink hue - is the queen's nail polish of choice, and she has inspired other royals to wear it as well. The secret to its success is the color's way of looking elegant and classy while simultaneously not calling attention to itself, which is how her majesty likes it!
The queen has always loved corgis, and she has had a succession of over 30 of them over the course of her long reign. She sadly does not have any more of them at present, as she does not want to leave any of them behind in the event of her death.
The queen was the first ruling British monarch to visit China, which she did in 1986. She met with Deng Xiaoping and personally examined the recently excavated Terracotta Warriors.
Marion Crawford was the young princess's governess, and was supposedly betrayed by the queen mother! She became famous through writing about her experiences in a book called "The Little Princesses."
The rank of "Honorary second subaltern in the Auxiliary Territorial Service" was distressingly low, of course, but ultimately she was not meant to exercise command capacity in her role in the war, but rather act as a symbol of English determination.
The young Queen visited South Africa, having been taken there in style by a royal Battle Cruiser. She also got to observe the performance of a traditional Zulu impi procession.
Not only are they second cousins once removed, but they are also third cousins through Queen Victoria. This is no surprise, as much of the European nobility is connected through marriage in one way or another.
Phillip's sisters in particular were married to German nobles with links to the Nazi party, something that the British royal family could not afford to encourage. Hence the derisive German nickname of "the Hun." The sisters weren't even invited to the wedding!
The queen was married on November 20, 1947. Their wedding cake was an astonishing nine feet tall, and the ceremony took place at Westminster Abbey.
While her father was gravely ill, Elizabeth visited Harry S. Truman in 1951 in his stead. She gifted the president with an "over mantle," and the president was by all accounts quite charmed by her.
Margaret's desire to marry a divorced man was considered scandalous in its day, as the Church of England did not recognize the divorce. Elizabeth tactfully asked her sister to wait for a year, and the affair eventually petered out.
The Queen did not initially get on well with Pierre Trudeau, who seemed to fail to take the monarchy, or her role in it, very seriously. He even slid down a banister in Buckingham Palace!
After the Coalition victory over Iraq in the first Gulf War, the queen took the opportunity to address a joint session of the U.S. Congress, the first time this had ever happened. Her speech was very well received!
The "Sun" revealed the contents of the Queen's Christmas address to the nation two days before she was to give it. This sort of chicanery was unheard of for a British news organization, and she sued the Sun for copyright infringement, winning both legal fees and a compelled donation to charity.
She referred to it as her Annus Horriblus, or "horrible year." Her son and daughter had separated and divorced, respectively, Charles's infidelity was revealed in print, and various other licentious scandals rocked the monarchy.
The Queen and Philip's diamond wedding anniversary was celebrated in 2007, marking 60 years of an extraordinary marriage. After making a big affair out of their 60th, they chose to keep their 70th in 2017 comparatively low-key!
The surgeons removed some torn cartilage from her knee using what is termed keyhole surgery. While they were at it, they removed some benign lesions as well.
The queen performed a small role across from the modern-day James Bond himself as part of the opening to the Olympics in 2012. It has been argued that this makes her an official Bond girl!
The queen has not shown favor to any particular political party. This is deliberate on her part and is a sort of blanket rule for royalty: they are to seem above it all and not align themselves with the temporal politics of the day.
The queen's coat of arms actually varies depending on the British territory in question - such are the complexities of heraldry. However, in every case you will find a lion standing on one side of the shield and a unicorn in opposition.