In June this year, Queen Elizabeth II is celebrating her Sapphire Jubilee year. It means that she has been the reigning queen for 65 years. It is the one of the longest reigns ever recorded in the UK’s history. There will be gun salutes during the celebration. There are also massive preparations going on even if the actual celebration is still a few months away. She is making history with her reign, so a grand celebration is just about right.
Let us get to know more about the Queen, her hobbies and preferences and her reign.
1. She technically owns certain types of animals in the UK
According to the statute from 1324, the Queen still owns all the whales, dolphins and sturgeons in the UK waters. If the animals were washed ashore or were captured within 3 miles, they can be claimed but on behalf of the Crown. This is also true for all muted swans in the UK. The reason behind this is that there was a time in history when swans were highly valued as delicacies for banquets. To avoid fighting among the people, all unclaimed muted swans were deemed to be the possession of the Queen. She is even still designated the title, “Seigneur of the Swans”.
2. The queen is tech savvy
Queen Elizabeth II is the first member of the royal family to have sent an email in 1976. She sent it during a demonstration located at an army research center. As modern communication tools were created, the Queen has also adopted to the changes. In fact, she has a Facebook page that was launched in 2010. It features news, photos, and speeches relayed to the Royal family. You are not allowed to poke at them though. She has also started Twitter in July 2009. There is a communication team providing daily updates from the Buckingham Palace. The Queen herself also sent a tweet in October 2014.
3. She’s the head of state for 16 countries
You might know that the Queen is considered as the head of state in the UK. You might not know however that she is also considered as the head of state in 16 of the 53 independent states comprising the Commonwealth of Nations. Some of them used to be British colonies. These countries include the UK, Canada, Australia, Barbados, Belize, The Bahamas, Grenada, New Zealand, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, The Solomon Islands, Antigua and Barbuda, Tuvalu, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
4. She’s into pop culture
In 2002, during her Golden Jubilee, she hosted a star-studded concert in the Buckingham Palace. It was dubbed as The Party at the Palace. There were 12,000 attendees at the concert and it featured some of the biggest stars in the UK. This included Sir Paul McCartney, Elton John, Phil Collins, Bryan Adams and many more. She has also performed alongside Daniel Craig during the 2012 London Olympics.
5. Her first state visit as a queen was in Kenya
The Queen rose to power at a very young age. She visited South Africa as her first state visit as a princess in 1947. She has also visited other African countries. She celebrated her 21st birthday in Cape Town. As a Queen, her first state visit was in Kenya. She rose to power at a young age because her father King George VI died.
6. She has sent a Christmas broadcast in every year of her reign.
The Queen has broadcasted a Christmas message to the Commonwealth in every year of her reign except in 1969. During that year, she wrote a message instead. In 1953, she made her first overseas broadcast, which was in New Zealand. The first televised broadcast took place in 1957. She also started doing the prerecorded broadcasts in 1960.
7. She loves horses and horseracing
The Queen is particularly interested with horses and horse racing. Her first pony named Peggy, was given to her by her grandfather King George V. She was only 4 years old then. Throughout her adult life, she continued riding a horse. She is also interested in horse breeding. The ones that were bred at the royal studs have won almost every major race in Britain for the last 200 years. She has around 25 horses in training every season.
8. She was married in 1947
The Queen married the Duke of Edinburg on November 20, 1947. They were married at Westminster Abbey. The dress that she wore was designed by Sir Norman Hartnell. The material was silk that was taken from Chinese silkworms found at the Lullingstone Castle.
9. The Queen has an extensive collection of jewelry
The Queen has tons of jewelry in her collection and they are mostly crown jewels. Some of them were inherited while others were gifts. She has the largest pink diamond in the world. The ambassador of Brazil gave her a necklace and a pair of earrings as a gift for her coronation. She was also presented a brooch of diamonds that forms a spray of wattle by the Australian government in 1954.
10. The Queen is fluent in both English and French
The Queen is said to be fluent in French. She also does not need an interpreter when she speaks with French government officials. She has appeared several times alongside French officials and she was seen talking to them directly.
There are a lot more details about the Queen and her reign that we might not know of. The truth is that she has already made a big mark among the lives of people in the UK and around the world. Some people may disagree with the idea of a monarchy, but Queen Elizabeth II has proven that she deserves the title in every step of the way.