London Eye - Difficult - Lesson 3
She's one of the most familiar faces in History. Her Majesty has lived through the most important moments of the modern era and she's still kicking. But we want to throw some facts at you that perhaps you didn't know. Fasten your seat belts!
1 Born by Caesarian Section
She was born on April 21st, 1926. Her mum, the future Queen mother, was 25 at the time and her doctors issued a statement saying “a certain line of treatment was successfully adopted”. That was the polite way of saying that Elizabeth was born by Caesarean section. This fact had major implications for the Royal Family.
Caesareans were very delicate and risky procedures in the 1920s and this operation automatically meant that her mother would not have a large family. The chances of producing a male heir became small and, when the time came, Elizabeth would be crowned Queen.
2 Loved To Imagine Herself As A Pony
According to her cousin, Lady Mary Clayton, as a child, Elizabeth (or Lilibet, as they used to call her) liked to imagine herself as a pony or a horse. When she was immersed in the role (полностью входила в роль) and someone called her, if she didn’t answer right away, she would then say, "I couldn’t answer you as a pony!" This might very well explain her passion for horses and horse racing.
3 Had Three Accidents At Her Wedding
You would think that a future Queen getting married would ensure a wedding without last minute accidents. But not one or two, but three crises occurred on Her Majesty's wedding day. First, no one could find the bride's bouquet. A footman had put the flowers in a cool room to keep them fresh, but until he remembered, there was panic at the palace. Then, Elizabeth's diamond tiara snapped and it had to be repaired hastily on the go. Last but not least, another jewel she planned to wear - the double strand pearls given by her parents - were on display at St James's Palace. No one thought she would want them. So her private secretary had to pick them up using the King of Norway's car to avoid traffic.
4 Had a Long, Difficult Childbirth
When Her Majesty the Queen gave birth to Prince Charles in 1948, she endured a long 30 hours in labour. But many don't know that this birth was the first to drop a long tradition in the British Monarchy. It was the first time since the 18th century, that a government minister was not in attendance to witness and certify the birth of the heir to the throne.
5 First Monarch Whose Coronation Was Broadcast
English and British monarchs have been crowned at Westminster Abbey since the year 1066. But Elizabeth II's coronation was the first in history to be broadcast. Winston Churchill insisted that such a sacred event should not be seen by people who "would listen in pubs”. However, the coronation's broadcast was a major hit around the world. But the most sacred portion of the service, the Anointing, was not seen by the public. A little victory for Sir Winston.
6 Recorded A Message For The Moon
Together with leaders from 73 countries, the Queen recorded a message for the moon. Her message was carried by the astronauts of Apollo 11 in the first moon landing. The Queen's message was microfilmed and deposited in an aluminium case on the surface of the moon, in the Sea of Tranquility. The size of a 50-cent coin, the inscription at the top of the disc reads: "Goodwill messages from around the world brought to the Moon by the astronauts of Apollo 11. From Planet Earth -- July 1969.”
7 Adores Welsh Corgi Dogs
Everyone knows that The Queen has a soft spot for Pembroke Welsh Corgi dogs. She has owned more than 30 during her reign. What many don't know is that these dogs enjoy a better life than many humans. That's right! They reside in the Corgi Room, in Buckingham Palace. They sleep in individual elevated wicker baskets to prevent drafts. And they have an extensive menu which includes fresh rabbit and beef served by a gourmet chef. In 2012 the Queen said that she didn't want to breed any more corgis as she "didn't want to leave any young dog behind" after she was gone.
8 The Longest-Lived, Richest Queen In History
The Queen holds several records in the Guinness Book. These are just a few of Elizabeth II's landmarks: She's the world's longest-reigning living queen and the oldest British monarch in history. She holds the world record for most currencies featuring the same individual. The Queen appears on the coinage of at least 45 different countries. And she's also the wealthiest queen with a personal fortune estimated at £310 million. Since September 2015, she's the longest-reigning monarch in British history. You could say that, as with many of her other duties,
she has taken the motto “Long Live The Queen” quite seriously.
- Look, Grandma, there's a letter in your name from Buckingham Palace!
- How exciting! Would you read it for me, darling? Grandma has misplaced her reading glasses again.
- Let's have a look... "Dear Mrs Davis, for your extraordinary efforts in charity work..." Grandma! You're going to meet the Queen! You're invited to the Royal Palace!
- Well, it's about time, isn't it! Finally, a childhood dream come true! Having tea with the Queen!
- It doesn't say anything about tea, though...
- Well, I'm bringing scones and strawberry jam! And I'm making her a scarf and a hat. A proper, sensible hat, none of the ridiculous stuff they make her wear!
- I'm sure she'll be delighted, Grandma. Although, I wouldn’t call the Queen's hats 'ridiculous' in her presence.
- Best friends always tell each other the truth! And I have a gut feeling we're going to be best friends with Her Majesty!
- I'm sure you'll get along just fine... Where are you off to, Grandma?
- Shopping of course! I need to get proper clothes! And... and a selfie stick.