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10 fascinating facts you probably didn’t know about the Queen

Queen Elizabeth REUTERS/Neil Hall

The Queen is days away from taking great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria’s crown for longest reigning British monarch.

10 fascinating facts you probably didn’t know about the Queen

In two-days time, Queen Elizabeth will have ruled for 63 years and 216 days. This week she revealed she “fact checks” Downton Abbey. Here are some more lesser-known facts about a woman about to make history.

 

No alarm necessary

It might not be everyone’s idea of a welcome wake up call, but the 89-year-old has a daily alarm courtesy of her own personal bagpiper. She can tell when her usual piper isn’t playing too!

 

A Breakfast just like yours

Caviar on toast? Slow-cooked eggs with soldiers? According to a former royal chef she prefers simple meals, mostly indulging in a bowl of Corn Flakes for breakfast topped with prunes and some macadamia nuts.

 

Gin Before Lunch

Before enjoying her midday meal, Queen Elizabeth likes to swill her favourite drink – gin with a sweet, wine-based aperitif called Dubonnet mixed in. She also enjoys champagne when the occasion calls for it.

 

She’s a proud host

The Queen inspects the grand horseshoe-shaped table where formal dinners are held herself, prior to every state banquet to make sure everything is perfect for her guests.

 

Love and Marriage

She wanted to marry Prince Phillip when he first asked her as a teenager, but her parents made her wait till she was a more respectable 21. Either way, she knew what she was doing as they’ve been together for years now!

 

Family Drama

Unfortunately her children haven’t fared as well in marriage with three out of four getting a divorce.

 

Royal Nicknames

As a young girl, Elizabeth would call her grandfather King George V “Grandpa England.” The Duke of Edinburgh affectionately calls her “Cabbage” while most others in her inner circle refer to her as Lilibet.

 

She loves to dance

Although there might not be many public images of her kicking up her heels, the Queen enjoys Scottish dancing.

 

Unusual Gifts

On her many visits abroad she is always offered gifts, but sometimes they’re alive. On foreign tours she has received tortoises from the Seychelles in 1972, a seven-year-old bull elephant called Jumbo by the President of Cameroon in 1972, while Canada gave her two black beavers. I wonder where she keeps them?

 

Raising Money

Although she gets given many gifts the Queen has also made it her life’s work to give back, and is the patron of an astonishing 600 charities, favouring community and civic issues.

 

Not the world’s longest reigning monarch – yet!

Elizabeth may be inching closer to number 1 in Britain’s longest running monarch stakes, but in terms of current monarchs around the world she is second-runner up to Thailand’s Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) who has been going strong for 69 years.

Do you know any unusual facts about Queen Elizabeth?

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