The Queen's Birthday, and its significanceJune 10, 2014
Every second Monday of June, members of the Commonwealth realms celebrate the Queen's Birthday. It will be called the King's Birthday if a male is sitting on the throne, but at the moment, it's Elizabeth II, the eldest daughter of George VI. She ascended the throne on June 2, 1953.
The queen's popularity remained high despite some events that were first thought to affect the public support for the monarchy. At 88 years of age, there are no signs of her slowing down. But her advancing age means that Prince Charles, her eldest child, will represent her in succeeding (official) functions here and overseas.
So here are some trivia on Queen Elizabeth II:
1. George VI died in 1952, but the coronation of Elizabeth II took place in 1953. It had been standard practice to wait until the year after the death of the last monarch before the coronation.
2. She is the 40th monarch since William the Conqueror's ascension to the throne in 1066
3. The queen is fluent in French, often using it during state visits
4. In 2002, at the age of 76, Elizabeth became the oldest monarch to celebrate a Golden Jubilee, But she dubbed it annus horribilis, when both the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret, her younger sister, passed away.
5. To celebrate her Golden Jubilee, the Queen hosted the first public concerts in the garden of Buckingham Palace. She attended both the classical and pop concerts.
6. There have been twelve US presidents during her reign
7. There have been six Archbishops of Canterbury (during her reign)
8. She takes a keen interest in horses and racing
9. The Queen is the only person in Great Britain who can drive without a license or number plate (in her state car).
10. She personally held over 540 investitures.
11. She has opened Parliament every year except 1959 and 1963, when she was expecting her children Prince Andrew and Prince Edward respectively.
12. In 1986, the Queen became the first British monarch to visit China
13. The Queen has met (at Buckingham Palace) Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space; Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space; and Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, the first men on the moon.
14. She sent a message of congratulations to Apollo 11 astronauts for the first moon landing. The message was microfilmed and deposited on the moon in a metal container.
15. In 1982, Pope John Paul II visited Britain, the first pope to do so in 450 years. Elizabeth, titular head of the Church of England, received him at Buckingham Palace.
16. The Queen has an extensive collection of jewelry, most of which are crown jewels, some inherited and some gifts, including the largest pink diamond in the world
17. She has visited the sets of a number of popular British soap operas, including "Coronation Street", "EastEnders" and "Emmerdale".
18. Elizabeth laid a wreath at the Cenotaph - Britain's iconic war memorial honoring the dead in both world wars - on Remembrance Sunday every year of her reign, except in 1959, 1961, 1963, 1968, 1983 and 1999, when she was either pregnant or overseas on an official visit.
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