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Do you know when Queen Elizabeth learnt driving?

Last updated on: May 21, 2012 10:00 IST

Image: (From left to right) King George VI (1895 - 1952), Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II), Queen Elizabeth (later Queen Mother, 1900 - 2002) and Bernard Fitzalan-Howard, 16th Duke of Norfolk (1908 - 1945) at the Oaks Stakes, Epsom Downs Racecourse, Surrey. Photo taken on June 3, 1948.
Photographs: Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II is the international celebration throughout 2012 marking the 60th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II to the thrones of seven countries upon the death of her father, King George VI, on February 6, 1952.

Queen Victoria in 1897 is the only other monarch in the histories of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and a few other Commonwealth realms to have celebrated a Diamond Jubilee. brings you some facts about the queen on this occassion

  • The Queen is the second longest serving monarch. Only five other kings and queens in British history have reigned for 50 years or more. They are:
    • Victoria (63 years)
    • George III (59 years)
    • Henry III (56 years)
    • Edward III (50 years)
    • James VI of Scotland (James I of England) (58 years)
  • The Queen is the 40th monarch since William the Conqueror obtained the crown of England.
  • The Queen has answered around three and a half million items of correspondence.


Do you know when Queen Elizabeth learnt driving?

Image: Former British prime minister Harold Macmillan (1894 - 1986) gives a speech at the inauguration ceremony of a memorial to John F Kennedy at Runnymede. Behind him on the stand are Jackie Kennedy, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, and prime minister Harold Wilson (1916 - 1995, far right). Photo taken on May 14, 1965
Photographs: McCabe/Express/Getty Images
  • Over the reign, Her Majesty has given regular audiences to 12 prime ministers. They are:
    • Winston Churchill 1951-55
    • Sir Anthony Eden 1955-57
    • Harold Macmillan 1957-63
    • Sir Alec Douglas-Home 1963-64
    • Harold Wilson 1964-70 and 1974-76
    • Edward Heath 1970-74
    • James Callaghan 1976-79
    • Margaret Thatcher 1979-90
    • John Major 1990-97
    • Tony Blair 1997-2007
    • Gordon Brown 2007-2010
    • David Cameron 2010 - present
  • Tony Blair was the first Prime Minister to have been born during The Queen's reign. He was born in early May, 1953 - a month before the Coronation.
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      Do you know when Queen Elizabeth learnt driving?

      Image: Queen Elizabeth II dancing with Air Marshal Sir John Baldwin (1892 - 1975), colonel of the 8th Hussars, at a ball held at the Hyde Park Hotel, London. The ball celebrates the centenary of the Battle of Balaclava. Photo taken on November 26, 1954
      Photographs: Dennis Oulds/PNA/Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
      • Unusual live gifts given to The Queen on foreign tours include: two tortoises given to The Queen in the Seychelles in 1972; a seven-year-old bull elephant called "Jumbo" given to Her Majesty by the President of Cameroon in 1972 to mark The Queen's Silver Wedding, and two black beavers given to The Queen after a Royal visit to Canada.

      • The Queen has sat for 129 portraits during her reign. 

      • In 1969 the first television film about the family life of the Royal Family was made, and shown on the eve of the Investiture of Prince Charles as Prince of Wales.


      Do you know when Queen Elizabeth learnt driving?

      Image: Queen Elizabeth II on the balcony of Government House, Melbourne, during her tour of Australia. Picture taken in March, 1954
      Photographs: Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
      • The Queen has sent over 175,000 telegrams to centenarians in the UK and the Commonwealth.

      • The Queen has sent almost 540,000 telegrams to couples in the UK and the Commonwealth celebrating their diamond wedding (60 years) anniversary.

      • The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh have sent approximately 45,000 Christmas cards during The Queen's reign.

      • The Queen has given out approximately 90,000 Christmas puddings to staff continuing the custom of King George V and King George VI


      Do you know when Queen Elizabeth learnt driving?

      Image: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (left) are greeted by Premier of New South Wales Joseph Cahill (1891 - 1959) and his wife Esmey before a State Banquet in Sydney, Australia. Picture taken on February 8, 1954
      Photographs: Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
      • The Queen launched the British Monarchy's official website in 1997. In 2007 the official British Monarchy YouTube channel was unveiled, swiftly followed by a Royal Twitter site (2009), Flickr page (2010) and Facebook page (also 2010).

      • In an average year, The Queen will host more than 50,000 people at banquets, lunches, dinners, receptions and Garden Parties at Buckingham Palace. The Queen also hosts more than 8,000 people each year at garden parties and investitures at Holyroodhouse, during Holyrood Week.

      • The Queen learnt to drive in 1945.

      • The Queen has 30 godchildren. 

      Do you know when Queen Elizabeth learnt driving?

      Image: A worker looks at a poster of the 'Royal Wedding: 20 Novermber 1957 exhibition' at Buckingham Palace on July 27, 2007 in London. Queen Elizabeth II will be the first reigning sovereign to celebrate a 60th wedding anniversary
      Photographs: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
      • The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh have been married for 64 years. They were married on 20th November, 1947 in Westminster Abbey. The Queen's wedding dress was designed by Norman Hartnell and was woven at Winterthur Silks Limited, Dunfermline, in the Canmore factory, using silk that had come from Chinese silkworms at Lullingstone Castle.

      • The wedding of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh was the first and so far the only time in British history that the heir presumptive to the throne had been married.

      • Queen Victoria was the last and to date the only British Monarch to celebrate a Diamond Jubilee. The Queen, who was aged 85 on Accession Day in 2012, is the oldest monarch to celebrate a Diamond Jubilee. Queen Victoria was 77 when she celebrated hers in 1897.


      Do you know when Queen Elizabeth learnt driving?

      Image: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip walk through the crowd at Arawa Park, Rotorua, during her Commonwealth visit to New Zealand. She was met by around 20,000 Maoris from all over the country. Photo taken in January 1954
      Photographs: Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
      • There have been 102 inward State Visits from 1952 to the end of 2011 (up to and including Turkey in November 2011).

      • In 60 years, The Queen has undertaken 261 official overseas visits, including 96 State Visits, to 116 different countries.

      • The Queen's official visits have ranged from the Cocos Islands, 5.4 square miles with a population of 596, to The Peoples' Republic of China, 3.7 million square miles with a population of 1.34 billion. 

      Do you know when Queen Elizabeth learnt driving?

      Image: Queen Elizabeth II is seen reflected in the wing mirror of her Land Rover as she follows The Duke of Edinburgh as he competes in the Driving Grand Prix Competition B -- the marathon event during the Royal Windsor Horse Show at Home Park, Windsor Castle in Windsor, England. Photo taken on 14 May, 2005
      Photographs: Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images
      • The Queen's real birthday is on 21st April, but it is celebrated officially in June.

      • The Queen has launched 21 ships during her reign.

      • The Queen also introduced a new breed of dog known as the "dorgi" when one of Her Majesty's corgis was mated with a dachshund named Pipkin which belonged to Princess Margaret. There have been 11 dorgis - Tinker, Pickles, Chipper, Piper, Harris, Brandy, Berry, Cider, Candy and Vulcan.

      • There have been only three Diamond Jubilees of Heads of State celebrated throughout the world during The Queen's reign. King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand celebrated 60 years on the throne in 2006; the former Sultan of Johor (now a part of Malaysia) celebrated his in 1955; and the late Emperor Hirohito of Japan celebrated his in 1986.

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