by Peter Grant , September 9 , 2022
Today , the Queen of England passed away at the age of 96.
Being Australian and growing up in a former British colony, myself and a lot of other Australains have had a strange, ongoing interest in British royalty. Despite regarding ourselves as independent and no longer attached to mother England, we could never deny our past ties with England.
The British royalty are certainly an odd bunch, but Queen Elizabeth was always highly regarded. Indonesians sing their national anthem at any given opportunity, and we did the same every Friday when I was in primary school. However, at that time we sang God Save the Queen. I can still remember the words !
Let me share some FunFacts with you from natgeokids.com
1. Queen Elizabeth II was born at 2.40am on 21 April 1926
To parents the Duke and Duchess of York, who later became King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother).
2. She was crowned Queen on 2 June 1953
Watched by a TV audience of 20 million people. Her reign ended on 8 September 2022, when she passed away peacefully at Balmoral Castle, Scotland.
3. She was the longest reigning monarch ever in Britain
Beating even Queen Victoria (her great-great-grandma!).
4. As Queen, she was served by 15 UK Prime Ministers
Including Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher and more recently, Boris Johnson.
5. Her favourite dogs were corgis
She even invented a new breed of dog when her corgi mated with a dachshund belonging to her sister, Princess Margaret, creating the “dorgi”.
6. She was the only person in the UK allowed to drive without a licence
And she kept driving even in her later years!
7. Queen Elizabeth II had two birthdays
Her actual birthday – 21 April – and her official birthday, which was held on a Saturday in June – when the weather’s better!
8. Her birthplace is now a fancy Cantonese restaurant
Called Hakkasan, at 17 Bruton Street in Mayfair – we hope she liked a takeaway!
9. Queen Elizabeth II first sent an email in 1976
… and published her first Instagram post in 2019!
10. She had many hobbies
Including horse riding, pigeon racing and football – she was an Arsenal supporter!
11. Queen Elizabeth became a homeowner at just six years old
When the people of Wales gifted her a house in the grounds of Windsor’s Royal Lodge. It was named Y Bwthyn Bach, which means “little cottage”.
12. In her lifetime, Queen Elizabeth II sent around 50,000 Christmas cards
– what a lot of post!
13. She owned an elephant, two giant turtles, a jaguar and a pair of sloths
Presents from other countries, all of which live in London Zoo.
14. Princess Elizabeth made her first radio broadcast in October 1940, during the Second World War.
15. Even the monarch went undercover sometimes…
On a recent low-key trip to Scotland, she met some American tourists while walking. When the tourists asked if she lived locally, she mentioned that she had a house nearby, and when asked if she’d ever met the Queen she simply pointed at her security guard and said, “No, but he has!”
She will be greatly missed in Australia, and obviously all around the world. It will be interesting to see how her son, Charles, is accepted as the new King of England.