10 Things You Didn't Know About Queen Elizabeth II
By Raza Mehdi
Sep 09, 2022
Queen Elizabeth II became the longest reigning British monarch by ascending to the throne on 6 February 1952, at the age of 25. She was also the first monarch to celebrate the Sapphire Jubilee, which marks 65 years on the throne.
Britain's longest-reigning monarch
Before she became Queen, Princess Elizabeth volunteered as a truck driver and mechanic during World War II. This made her the first female royal family member to serve in the military.
Volunteered in World War II
For the 2012 London Olympics, the Queen made a special cameo in a James Bond series. She was seen with actor Daniel Craig who escorts her out of the palace and into a waiting helicopter.
Cameo with James Bond
The Queen has sat for a total of 200 official portraits over her lifetime. The first one ever made was in 1933 by Anglo-Hungarian artist Philip Alexius de Laszlo when she was just seven years old.
200 official portraits
The Queen received many gifts, and some of the craziest include animals. She has received everything: elephants, horses, swans, kangaroos, sloths, jaguars and crocodiles. She would often donate the animals to the London Zoo.
Exotic animals as gifts
Since all passports in Britain are issued in the name of the Queen, she doesn't need to have one. She also doesn't require a driver's license or a license plate on her car.
No passport or a driver's license
Queen Elizabeth II learned to speak French at a young age. When visiting, she often communicated in the country's language and even shocked many when she delivered a speech in French at the State Banquet in 2014.
Fluent in the French language
When she was young, the Queen was tutored at home by Britain's best tutors. She studied constitutional history and law in preparation for her future role. She also took lessons in religion from the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Well-versed in history and law
The Queen has travelled to over 120 countries during her reign. She was the most travelled monarch in the world. Despite her advancing age, the Queen still made state visits to important British allies.
Most travelled monarch in history
The Queen used to receive about 200-300 letters a day. She would choose a few to read herself and then have staff members respond.
Received around 70,000 letters a year