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Five Fascinating Facts about Queen Elizabeth II

Alison Mitchell | June 2, 2022

Queen Elizabeth II has been Britain’s queen for over 70 years, having become queen in 1926 when she was just 25 years old. During her reign she has worked with 14 British prime ministers and met every US president since Harry S. Truman (except for President Lyndon B. Johnson). She has also met chart-topping pop stars, medal-winning athletes, and knew the Bible teachers Billy Graham and John Stott. Her travels have taken her to over 110 countries across six continents, making her Britain’s best-traveled as well as longest-reigning monarch.

I enjoyed researching the life of Queen Elizabeth II for our latest children’s biography. She truly is amazing. Here are just a few reasons why:

1. Elizabeth Wasn’t Supposed to Become Queen!

Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary was born on the 21st of April 1926. Although her grandfather was King George V, her father was the king’s younger son, meaning Elizabeth was never expected to become queen. But that all changed when she was ten. Her uncle, King Edward VIII, abdicated. Suddenly, Elizabeth’s father became King George VI—and that meant that Elizabeth would one day be queen.

2. She Trained as a Mechanic during World War Il

When Elizabeth was 13, World War II broke out. In 1940, Buckingham Palace was bombed, so Elizabeth and her sister Margaret were evacuated from London. Their parents stayed in Buckingham Palace to show solidarity with those living through the London Blitz. 

Elizabeth joined the ATS (Auxiliary Territorial Service) when she turned 18. She trained to be a driver and mechanic. This was such a surprising thing for a future monarch to do that the British press nicknamed her “Princess Auto Mechanic”!

3. She Is the Longest-Reigning British Monarch

King George VI died on 6th February 1952, and Elizabeth became queen. Her coronation on the 2nd of June 1953 was attended by 8,000 guests, with crowds of 3 million in the streets, and watched by 20 million people on television. 

On 9th September 2015, Elizabeth became Britain’s longest-serving monarch. Before that, the longest-reigning monarch was Queen Victoria, who was queen for 63 years and 7 months.

On 6th February 2022, Elizabeth had been Britain's queen for 70 years, making this her Platinum Jubilee.

4. She Invented a New Breed of Dog

Elizabeth has loved dogs and horses all her life. She had her first horse, a Shetland pony called Peggy, when she was four—and she loved playing with her father’s corgis. The queen has had corgis all her life, and also helped to create a new breed known as “dorgis,” which are a mix of corgi and dachshund.

5. She Has a Personal Bagpiper

The queen has her own bagpiper, known as Piper to the Sovereign, who plays for her every morning. She is also patron of The Piobaireachd Society, which encourages the study and playing of piobaireachd, the classical music of the Highland bagpipe.

But the Most Important Fact of All…

…is the Queen’s personal faith in Jesus. This has underpinned her life of service, and is something she often refers to in her annual Christmas broadcast. Here are a few examples:

“I rely on my faith to guide me … I know that the only way to live my life is to try to do what is right … to give of my best in all that the day brings, and to put my trust in God.” (2002)

“God sent into the world a unique person—neither a philosopher nor a general (important though they are)—but a Saviour, with the power to forgive.” (2011)

“For me, the life of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, whose birth we celebrate today, is an inspiration and an anchor in my life.” (2014)

For Queen Elizabeth, Jesus Christ has been her “Saviour” and her “anchor.” She has chosen to serve him all of her life.

Alison Mitchell is the author of multiple award winning children’s books and Queen Elizabeth II, a new children’s biography written in celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Alison Mitchell

Alison Mitchell is a senior editor at The Good Book Company, where she has worked on a range of products including Bible-reading notes for children and families, and the Christianity Explored range of resources. She is the best-selling author of The Christmas Promise and the award-winning Jesus and the Lions' Den.

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