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Queen@91: 15 facts about her that might surprise you

By The Rediff News Bureau
April 21, 2017 09:22 IST
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Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning British monarch, turns 91 on Friday.

In celebration of her birthday, here are some interesting facts about her life.

IMAGE: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh feed Donna the elephant as they visit the Elephant Centre at the ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. Photograph: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II married the Duke of Edinburgh on 20 November 1947, aged 21. They have been married for nearly 68 years. She is the first reigning British monarch to celebrate a diamond wedding anniversary
During World War II, the young Elizabeth worked as a military truck driver and mechanic

Elizabeth’s love of the corgi is well known. Her father, George VI, introduced the breed to the royal family in 1933 when he bought a corgi called Dookie. Her corgis were all issued little rubber boots to protect their feet from BuckinghamPalace’s gravel in 1999

In 1981, a man named Marcus Serjeant fired six blank shots at the Queen while she was riding down The Mall to the Trooping the Colour ceremony. Though shaken, the Queen retained control over her horse. Marcus Serjeant was tried and sentenced to five years in prison under the treason act

Queen Elizabeth became the first reigning monarch to visit Australia and New Zealand. In 1970, she invented the popular tradition, the royal ‘walkabout’, to meet local people as well as dignitaries on her tours
She has a private ATM in the basement of Buckingham Palace

Her signature handbag is made by British luxury leather manufacturer Launer? and costs £1000 (Rs 1.01 lakh). Additionally, if the Queen swaps her handbag between arms, it’s an indication that she is bored with talking to someone 
A good driver, the Queen doesn’t have a driver's licence; she doesn’t need one. She also doesn't need to have a number plate on her car
She has visited 116 countries during 265 official visits since she took the throne in 1952, making her the most-travelled monarch in history

She’s obsessed with watching the popular British drama Downton Abbey. In 2014, she also visited the set of Game of Thrones in Northern Ireland.

She enjoys photography
She is the first monarch to have seen three of her children divorce
The Queen's husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, is known to call her "Cabbage. Her great-grandson, George, the son of Prince William and Duchess Kate, calls her Gan-Gan. 
She starts every morning with a cup of Darjeeling tea at 7.30 am
The Queen still owns all the whales, sturgeons and dolphins within a few miles of the British coast

Photograph: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images


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