The British monarchy is in the middle of a hot streak. The princes have turned out quite nicely—handsome young men who inherited their mother’s love for good deeds and settled down with lovely women. The family’s been remarkably scandal-free—appearing in the news only to dedicate African orphanages or to graciously deflect compliments about Kate’s hair. Add to that the success of Netflix’s The Crown, E!’s The Royals, the upcoming marriage of Harry, and the relative quiet of the dreaded former in-law Fergie, and you would be safe in saying that the royal family is enjoying a true renaissance.
And who but the queen can be credited with the family’s success? The matriarch—our favorite royal and the birthday girl herself, Elizabeth II. England’s longest reigning monarch turns 92 this Saturday, and to celebrate, here are ten facts you might not know about her:
- Elizabeth has been queen since 1952 when her coronation from Westminster Abbey was the first to be shown live on British television
- She is the only living head of state to have served in either World War
- She created her own dog breed, the dorgi, by pairing her favorite corgi with her sister’s dachshund
- Her family’s YouTube channel has nearly 60 million views
- She doesn’t need a license to drive, which she insists on doing herself—whether the vehicle is an ambulance in WWII, a Jaguar, a Bentley, or a Land Rover ferrying a very nervous Saudi Crown Prince around the Scottish Highlands
- Elizabeth is the only woman in the history of the British royal family to serve in the armed forces
- She owns all of the UK’s dolphins and whales
- She sent her first email from an army base in 1976
- She has a glass of champagne every night before bed
- She does a remarkable impression of a landing Concorde jet
Queen Elizabeth is a true original and an inspiring, feisty, strong figurehead for the citizens of both Great Britain and the world. We are thrilled to offer tours through England as well as her beloved Scotland on YMT Vacations’ 10-day Best of England Tour, 10-day Sights of Scotland Tour or a combination of both in our 18-day epic Best of England & Sights of Scotland Tour! To make your reservation, call your travel agent or YMT Vacations at 1-888-756-9072.