- The Queen married her third cousin.
- Queen Elizabeth's sister gave her her famous nickname, Lilibet.
- There was an assassination attempt against the Queen in the 80s.
Queen Elizabeth II is celebrating her 94th birthday on April 21st, and honoring her legacy, we've decided to test your knowledge and how much you know about the Queen. If you watch Netflix's "The Crown," you will probably know a bit more about her than the regular folk, but there's a lot that the show doesn't reveal about the Queen's exciting life. Queen Elizabeth is probably one of the most interesting people in all of England as she's been the monarch for 68 years, longer than anyone else in all of history. Read on to find out 15 things you probably didn't know about her.
15. Queen Elizabeth's Nickname, Lilibet, Has An Interesting Origin
The public first found out about Queen Elizabeth's popular nickname when her father, King George VI, said the famous quote: "Lilibet is my pride, Margaret my joy." this, of course, was referring to his two daughters Elizabeth and Margaret. The nickname Lilibet came from Margaret, her younger sister, who always had trouble saying Elizabeth as a child. The nickname stuck, and in her early days, many referred to her as Lilibet, although we're not sure if anyone is calling the 94-year-old monarch the nickname to this day.
14. She Didn't Attend Any School
Yep, that's right. Queen Elizabeth and Margaret didn't have any sort of formal education. Although they did have a private teacher, this teacher Marion Crawfire educated both Margaret and Elizabeth for some time. She even went on to write a tell-all book, without the permission of the crown.
13. Queen Elizabeth Served In WWII
The fact that Queen Elizabeth served in WWII comes as a shock to many. In fact, in 1939, Elizabeth begged her father to join the military, but she was far too young. She wanted to fight alongside her people. At 14, Elizabeth did help in some way, though. She would go on the radio and make announcements saying that the children of London are cheerful and courageous as they stay at home while their brothers and fathers fought the war. Elizabeth did not give up, and by 18, she registered to join the Women's Auxiliary Territorial Service, this is where she put her car knowledge to the test and trained as a truck driver and mechanic. This quite an impressive fact as the only female member of the royal family to enter the armed forces.
12. Queen Elizabeth Married A Member Of Her Family
Yes, you read that correctly. Queen Elizabeth and her still-husband Prince Phillip are actually cousins. They both share great-great-grandparents, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. This would make Elizabeth and Phillip's third cousins.
11. The Queen Has Only Made 5 Official Visits To The US
When you're the Queen of England, people tend to come to you...Although it is still surprising that in her 63 year-long reign, she's only officially visited the United States 5 times. The last official visit was over 13 years ago when she visited and gave a memorable speech at the White House.
10. She Has Owned Only One Specific Breed Of Dog
It's not a secret that the Queen loves her welsh corgis. But we bet you that you didn't know she's owned over 30 of them! Elizabeth has oned at least one corgi at any given time between 1933 and 2018. Wanting the legacy to last long after she's gone, there have been many pieces of art commissioned by the Queen herself that includes her corgis.
9. She Doesn't Need To Own A Passport
The Monarch doesn't need a passport, license plate or a driver's license, all for one simple reason: All British passports and official documents are issued in her name, so she herself does not need one.
8. She Broke Something Very Important On Her Wedding Day
No, she didn't break a hip or a leg...but she did break her tiara. While her hairdresser was getting the tiara in place, one of the very old and antique metal frames snapped. The Queen couldn't continue with the crown that was made for her grandmother Queen Mary and had to select a different one.
7. She Wears A Specific Nail Polish
The Queen sports the same nail polish every day and has yet to change. If you're thinking this is an exclusive nail polish that has pearls or diamonds in it, you would be totally wrong. The nail polish is named "Ballet Slippers" from the popular polish brand, Essie. You can actually get this polish for a very reasonable price at your local drug store.
6. She Owns Property In The United States
Queen Elizabeth actually owns her own apartment in New York City. It's an 8 million dollar penthouse and is over 3,000 square feet. You can actually rent and be her neighbor...for a reasonable price of $30,000 a month. Who wouldn't take that deal?
5. She Has Three Alcoholic Drinks A Day
If the Queen does it that must mean it's healthy, right? In a tell-all book, the Queen's cousin spoke about how the Queen has a glass of gin and dubonnet before lunch and a glass of champagne and a dry martini in the evening. That's quite the lifestyle.
4. Her Wardrobe Is Warning Signs For Her Staff
Even what the Queen wears, down to her purse, is significant. She wears very vibrant outfits, save for at a funeral, and matching hats so that she can be easily seen in a crowd during an emergency. As for her handbag, the placement of it are signals for her staff. It is said that if she places her handbag on the table she wants to leave the area within the next five minutes and if she's putting her bag on the floor, it means she's not having a good time and wants to leave as well.
3. Queen Elizabeth Has Sat In For Over 125 Portraits In Her Reign
Because the Queen has reigned for so long, it's only natural that she'd have to sit for many official portraits, 129 to be exact. There are many different artists who have been commissioned to paint the Queen's portrait, and one even painted her in the first ever holographic portrait.
2. The Queen Doesn't Use Alarm Clocks
What a specific fact! There is actually a bagpiper that plays outside of Queen Elizabeth's bedroom window every morning for 15 minutes at 9 am. He is known as the Piper to the Sovereign. What a way to wake up!
1. There Was An Assassination Attempt Against Her
Being in the spotlight for most of her life, the Queen was subjected to a number of assassination scares. One, in particular, stands out, in 1981 during the Trooping the Colour. The Queen was to lead on horseback down the streets to Buckingham Palace when a series of blank shots her fired her way. A 17-year-old who was particularly intrigued with assassinations against famous people in power shot towards the Queen as she was riding, unarmed and unguarded down the streets of London. The 17-year-old young man was luckily unable to get his hands on ammunition while in London and therefore couldn't fire at the Queen. He did, however, serve 5 years in prison for his attempt.