QUEEN ELIZABETH II - The Longest-Reigning British Monarch

  • 17 Sep - 23 Sep, 2022
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Obituary

Queen Elizabeth II, the UK's longest-serving monarch, has died at Balmoral aged 96, after reigning for 70 years.

Through tragedy and tumult, Queen Elizabeth II was a model of constancy. Her death will have important repercussions for the monarchy and the future of the United Kingdom.

Queen Elizabeth II did not grow up expecting to become queen of the United Kingdom and its many colonies. At the time, it was anticipated that Elizabeth’s uncle King Edward VIII would reign for a full term and have children of his own to succeed him. A shocking turn of events – Edward’s abdication and the assumption of the throne by Elizabeth’s father, King George VI – determined Elizabeth’s destiny.

Perhaps that seminal twist of fate prepared her well for the many other dramatic changes to come – changes wrought by war, political and social upheaval, personal tragedy, and family turmoil during a reign that lasted longer than any other.

Elizabeth, who died on Sept. 8 at age 96, may be best remembered as a leader who provided a model of constancy in a rapidly shifting world. She was admired by monarchists and republicans alike for her unswerving devotion to duty and her refusal to bend to the faddish expectations of critics.

Her rejection of intimacy or public emotion – she was the epitome of the stiff upper lip once seen as the supreme British quality – may not have seemed suited to an age prone to letting it all hang out. But as she went about her ceremonial duties unveiling monuments, awarding medals, and entertaining foreign dignitaries whom her government wished to flatter or placate, she built a bond with the British people.

There was a special cheer from the crowds when her beloved horses won races, especially at Royal Ascot.

Some interesting facts about Queen Elizabeth II

There is some interesting information about the late Queen, who was our longest reigning monarch, which you might not know

The late Queen was a constant figure for seven decades and so, in tribute to her, we have rounded up some interesting facts about Her Majesty.

Here’s what you need to know.

· The Queen has been served by 15 UK Prime Ministers

Including Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher and more recently, Boris Johnson. She had only welcomed current Prime Minister Liz Truss to form a new government on Tuesday 6 September, two days before her death

· Princess Elizabeth made her first radio broadcast during the Second World War

The then 14-year-old Princess sent a message during the BBC’s children programme, particularly to the children who were being evacuated because of the World War II.

· The Queen first sent an email in 1976, sent her first ever tweet in 2014, and published her first Instagram post in 2019

Both the first tweet and first Instagram post were sent during the late Queen’s visits to the Science Museum in London.

· The Queen was the only person in the UK allowed to drive without a licence, and she also didn’t have a licence plate, or a passport

Since all British passports were issued in the Queen’s name, she didn’t need or have one of her own. She also didn’t need a driver’s license to drive, or a license plate on her car. She continued to drive right up until her death.

· She owns an elephant, two giant turtles, a jaguar and a pair of sloths

The late Queen was often gifted exotic animals as presents from other countries. She received everything including horses, cows, elephants, kangaroos, swans, crocodiles, sloths and jaguars, which she often donated to the London Zoo.

· Her nicknames included "Lilibet" and "Cabbage”

She got the nickname "Lilibet" when she was young and couldn’t pronounce her name. It has also been reported that her late husband Prince Philip lovingly referred to his wife as "Cabbage".

· The first female member of the Royal Family to join the Armed Services as a full-time active member

Her Majesty joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service in 1945, where she trained to be a mechanic. This is also where she learned to drive.

· A fluent French Speaker

Queen Elizabeth II learned to speak French at a young age from French and Belgian governesses.

· She received around 70,000 letters every year

The late Queen received about 200 to 300 letters a day. She chose a few to read herself, and then had members of her staff respond.

· A sole owner of the swans, whales and dolphins in the UK waters.

All of the swans and dolphins in the UK waters technically belonged to the Queen, as did all the whales and dolphins. It is expected that all of these animals will now belong to King Charles III.

· She hosted Buckingham Palace’s first ever women-only event

In 2004, The late Queen hosted a Women of Achievement luncheon at Buckingham Palace. The event was the first ever women-only function to take place at the palace.

· She sat for over 120 portraits during her reign as Queen

Due to her long reign, Her Majesty sat for many official portraits - over 120 since becoming queen in 1952.

King Charles III, the new monarch

At the moment the Queen died, the throne passed immediately and without ceremony to the heir, Charles, the former Prince of Wales.

But there are a number of practical - and traditional - steps which he must go through to be crowned King.

What will he be called?

He will be known as King Charles III.

That was the first decision of the new king's reign. He could have chosen from any of his four names - Charles Philip Arthur George.

He is not the only one who faces a change of title. Prince William and his wife Catherine are now titled Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge, and the king has conferred on them the title of Prince and Princess of Wales.

There is also a new title for Charles' wife, Camilla, who becomes the Queen Consort - consort is the term used for the spouse of the monarch.

Formal ceremonies

Charles will be officially proclaimed King on Saturday. This will happen at St James's Palace in London, in front of a ceremonial body known as the Accession Council.