Queen Elizabeth ruled for 70 years. To celebrate the longest reigning monarch in history, here are some more lesser-known facts about the great-grandmother of 12.
No alarm necessary
It might not be everyone’s idea of a welcome wake up call, but the Queen had a daily alarm courtesy of her own personal bagpiper. She could 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 preferred 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 liked to swill her favourite drink – gin with a sweet, wine-based aperitif called Dubonnet mixed in. She also enjoyed champagne when the occasion calls for it.
She’s a proud host
The Queen inspected 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 Philip 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!
Unfortunately, her children haven’t fared as well in marriage with three out of four getting a divorce.
As a young girl, Elizabeth would call her grandfather King George V “Grandpa England”. The Duke of Edinburgh affectionately called 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 enjoyed Scottish dancing.
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?
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.
Discover 7 inspirational Queen Elizabeth quotes by Claire Foy, star of The Crown.