Here's a snapshot of the British monarch's very long life as she turns 96 today.
Queen Elizabeth II turns 96 today, and it’s incredible to think that 70 of those years have been as monarch to a number of realms.
Being queen for so long has meant that Elizabeth has taken part in many historical events, and has met millions of people from all walks of life. In doing so, the British sovereign has notched up some pretty impressive stats.
So on her special day, we thought we’d share just some of the amazing figures associated with the nonagenarian:
- The Queen can cut lines in airports due to the fact she has no passport.
- The Queen’s daily schedule was shared a few years ago in which her activities were noted. Every day she follows a routine that sees her do 2 hours of correspondence in the morning, and look through her “red box” that her private secretaries prepare for her. In the box is all the important mail and the government papers that she needs to study and sign. She takes one day off a year from looking at the red box, and that is Christmas Day.
- She has two birthdays! One is her actual birthday — today — and the other is later in June when she takes part in Trooping the Colour, a 260 year-old tradition whereby the sovereign’s birthday is celebrated by parading troops.
- There is some trivia that is just slightly crazy, but also not surprising of the the royal family. According to various reports, Her Majesty has a bath drawn for her every day that is precisely 7 inches deep.
- During the Queen’s reign, seven popes have sat on Peter’s Chair. Elizabeth has actually met four while queen, and she met Pope Pius XII a year before she ascended to the throne.
- However, the Queen has also met many other heads of state, including 13 out of the last 14 sitting U.S. presidents. (We’re not sure why she never met Lyndon Johnson.)
- It’s widely known that Elizabeth II is a big dog fan. She has apparently had over 30 corgis in her lifetime — a breed of dog she is particularly fond of. She currently has4 dogs, two dorgis (a dachshund and corgi mix), a corgi, and a new Cocker spaniel.
- Considering the U.S.A. will celebrate 246 years as a nation this year, Elizabeth has been queen for just under a third of the time it has existed!
- Elizabeth II has met her fair share of politicians, including the 170 prime ministers in her various realms over 70 years, 14 being in the United Kingdom. When her reign began she was head of 32 realms, this has now diminished to 15 in some rather far flung places, such as Australia and New Zealand.
- Part of her daily routine includes looking at some of the 300 letters she receives each day.
- One of the main roles of the sovereign is to lend her support to worthy causes, something she takes very seriously. She is actually patron or president of more than 600 charities, but with her advancing years, she will be handing over the reins to other members of the royal family.
- Hats off to her majesty for donning over 5,000 head pieces during her reign, in a multitude of colors. The Queen sees her hat as a uniform, so is very rarely seen without one, or at least another headpiece, such as her rather heavy Imperial State Crown that weighs 2.3 pounds.
- The Queen has visited 117 different countries, and by the time she stopped traveling abroad, she had clocked 1,032,513 miles, which is the equivalent of circumnavigating the world 42 times.
- The Queen has shaken hands with countless individuals, although one Reddit poster tried to make an educated guess that would put it past 1 million people. However, there have been some handshakes that have been particularly symbolic, such as the time she controversially shook hands with former IRA commander, Martin McGuinness, in 2012 — a gesture that showed the world that serious attempts at peace and forgiveness were being made.