20 Fun Facts About Queen Elizabeth That Will Surprise You

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Jul. 20 2023, Published 4:25 p.m. ET

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So Smart

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Her Majesty was fluent in French and often spoke the language for audiences and at state visits — without the need for an interpreter.

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Royal Scribe

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During her reign, the queen received more than 3.5 million letters — and counting. Talk about a full inbox!

Fearless Leader

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She bestowed some 404,500 honors and awards.

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Giving Back

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From the British Red Cross to regiments in the Armed Forces, Elizabeth was patron to more than 600 charities and organizations.

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World Traveler

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The monarch made 260-plus official overseas visits to 116 countries around the world.

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Ladies Who Lunch

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In an average year, Elizabeth hosted more than 50,000 people at various banquets, lunches, dinners, receptions and garden parties at Buckingham Palace.

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Ship Master

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Her Majesty launched more than 20 ships. The first was the battleship HMS Vanguard in 1944, and the most recent was her namesake aircraft carrier, the HMS Queen Elizabeth, in December 2017.

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How Sweet

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The sovereign gave out approximately 90,000 Christmas puddings to staff. How sweet!

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Photo Guru

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Ever since her father, King George VI, gave her a Browning box camera, Elizabeth became a keen photographer and loved taking pictures of her family.

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Sitting Pretty

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She sat for over 130 official portraits, including a 3-D holographic image created in 2003 in honor of the island of Jersey's 800-year allegiance to the English throne.

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Milestones

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She sent a message of congratulations to the Apollo 11 astronauts for the first moon landing in 1969, which was later deposited there in a metal container.

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Giddy Up

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Her first horse was a Shetland pony named Peggy. As an avid equestrian, she had two dozen racehorses in training each season.

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Dog Lover

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Her Majesty once demoted a footman and cut his salary for giving her corgis whiskey!

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Strict Requirements

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In addition to lace-trimmed pillows and its own chefs, the luxurious nine-carriage Royal Train had a hard-and-fast rule — no bumpy tracks when the queen would take her 7:30 A.M. bath!

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Money, Money, Money

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There's a private ATM (only for royals!) she could have used at Buckingham Palace — but what on earth would she want the pounds and pence for?

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Wax Figure

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There have been 23 wax figures of the queen at Madame Tussauds in London. The first was of a 2-year-old Princess Elizabeth in 1928.

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Cheers!

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She reportedly loved to indulge in a glass of champagne each night before bed.

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Big Apple

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In 2015, the queen purchased a $7.9 million, 3,000-square-foot apartment near the U.N. headquarters in New York City.

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Quirks

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The monarch had a talent for mimicry and could imitate the sound of a Concorde jet landing.

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Just Like Us!

queen elizabeth fun facts
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She was a fan of Downton Abbey and loved to "pick out the mistakes."

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