Did You Know
The Queen has made a Christmas Broadcast to the Commonwealth every year of her reign except 1969
Tony Blair was the first Prime Minister to have been born during The Queen’s reign. He was born in early May, 1953 – a month before the Coronation.
The Queen has attended every opening of Parliament except those in 1959 and 1963, when she was expecting Prince Andrew and Prince Edward respectively.
There have been six Archbishops of Canterbury during The Queen’s reign (Archbishops Geoffrey Fisher, Michael Ramsey, Donald Coggan, Robert Runcie, George Carey and Rowan Williams).
There have been six Roman Catholic Popes during The Queen’s reign (Pius XII, John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II, Benedict XVI).
The Queen is currently patron of over 600 charities and organisations, over 400 of which she has held since 1952.
Since 1952, The Queen has conferred over 404,500 honours and awards.
The Queen has answered around three and a half million items of correspondence.
The Queen has sent almost 540,000 telegrams to couples in the UK and the Commonwealth celebrating their diamond wedding (60 years) anniversary.
Many of The Queen’s official tours were undertaken on the Royal Yacht Britannia. It was launched by Her Majesty on 16th April 1953 and was commissioned for service on 7th January 1954. It was de-commissioned in December, 1997. During this time, Britannia travelled more than a million miles on Royal and official duties.
The Queen made an historic visit to the Republic of Ireland in May 2011, the first visit by a British Monarch since Irish independence (King George V’s had visited in 1911).
In 1969 the first television film about the family life of the Royal Family was made, and shown on the eve of the Investiture of Prince Charles as Prince of Wales.
In 1953, The Queen made the first Christmas Broadcast from overseas, (rather than from the UK), broadcasting live from New Zealand. The first televised broadcast was in 1957, made live. The first pre-recorded broadcast took place in 1960 to allow transmission around the world. In 2006 the Christmas Broadcast was first made available to download as a podcast.
The Queen launched the British Monarchy’s official website in 1997. In 2007 the official British Monarchy YouTube channel was unveiled, swiftly followed by a Royal Twitter site (2009), Flickr page (2010) and Facebook page (also 2010).
The Queen was born at 17 Bruton St, London W1 on the 21st April, 1926, was christened on the 29th May, 1926 in the Private Chapel at Buckingham Palace and was confirmed on the 28th March, 1942 in the Private Chapel at Windsor Castle she learnt to drive in 1945. The Queen’s real birthday is on 21st April, but it is celebrated officially in June.
The Queen has owned more than 30 corgis during her reign, starting with Susan who was a present for her 18th birthday in 1944. A good proportion of these have been direct descendants from Susan. Her Majesty currently has three corgis – Monty, Willow and Holly. The Queen also introduced a new breed of dog known as the “dorgi” when one of Her Majesty’s corgis was mated with a dachshund named Pipkin which belonged to Princess Margaret. There have been 11 dorgis – Tinker, Pickles, Chipper, Piper, Harris, Brandy, Berry, Cider, Candy and Vulcan.
The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh have been married for 64 years. They were married on 20th November, 1947 in Westminster Abbey. The Queen’s wedding dress was designed by Norman Hartnell and was woven at Winterthur Silks Limited, Dunfermline, in the Canmore factory, using silk that had come from Chinese silkworms at Lullingstone Castle
The Queen’s racing colours are a purple body with gold braid, scarlet sleeves and black velvet cap with gold fringe. They were adopted from those used by King Edward VII; one of his most successful horses was called Diamond Jubilee.
There have been only three Diamond Jubilees of Heads of State celebrated throughout the world during The Queen’s reign. King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand celebrated 60 years on the throne in 2006; the former Sultan of Johor (now a part of Malaysia) celebrated his in 1955; and the late Emperor Hirohito of Japan celebrated his in 1986.
Queen Victoria was the last and to date the only British Monarch to celebrate a Diamond Jubilee. The Queen, who was aged 85 on Accession Day in 2012, is the oldest monarch to celebrate a Diamond Jubilee. Queen Victoria was 77 when she celebrated hers in 1897.