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Top Historical Facts of Queen Elizabeth II's Reign
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1 Jun 2012 04:33 PM EST

-by Molly C. Braswell, Staff Writer; Image: Queen Elizabeth II (Image Source: Wikipedia)

For anyone who has been living under a rock, 2012 is the 60th year that Queen Elizabeth II has ruled Great Britain. To honor this occasion, Queen Elizabeth II is celebrating with a series of events known as the Diamond Jubilee.

The Queen has attended several events earlier this year, but this week has been the most prominent events during the celebration. Thus, this is the perfect time to look back on some interesting occurrences during her reign.

1. Queen Elizabeth II has ruled Great Britain for 60 years, longer than any other monarch, except Queen Victoria, who, at age 77 ruled for 63 years; however, at 86 years old, Queen Elizabeth II is the oldest ruling monarch to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee. If Queen Elizabeth II rules for four more years, she will be the longest reigning monarch. She is also the only monarch to celebrate her diamond wedding anniversary (to Prince Philip).

2. She speaks fluent French.

3. During her reign, the Queen has received 3.5 million letters of correspondence, personally held 610 investitures and conferred more than 404,500 awards and honors. About 1.5 million people have attended her garden parties. She is the patron of more than 600 charities. She has sat for 129 official portraits. She has owned more than 30 corgis, 5 of which she currently owns.

4. Her Royal Majesty is worth an estimated $525 million. She earns about $50 million annually. In case she needs some of that cash, one ATM is inside Buckingham Palace.

5. Queen Elizabeth II has met:

6 Roman Catholic Popes—Pius XII, John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II and Benedict XVI

12 U.S. Presidents—Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Herbert Hoover, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton George W. Bush and Barack Obama. She did not meet Lyndon B. Johnson while he was a sitting president. Only President Obama (1961) was born during her reign.

12 Prime Ministers—Sir Winston Churchill, Sir Anthony Eden, Harold Macmillan, Sir Alec Douglas-Home, Harold Wilson, Edward Heath, James Callaghan, Margaret Thatcher, John Major, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron. PM Tony Blair (1954) and PM David Cameron (1966) were born during her reign.

6. The Queen and her husband, Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh, began informal luncheons to meet and converse with foreign dignitaries and distinguished persons around the world. They held the first party May 11, 1956.

7. Queen Elizabeth II is on Facebook. Her page is called the British Monarchy. You can’t Poke her. She’s also on Twitter. And a YouTube channel. And an official website. She sent her first email in 1976 from a British army base.

8. She is the only person in Britain who can drive without a license or number plate on her state car.

9. The Imperial State Crown that Queen Elizabeth II wears at the state opening of Parliament includes 2,868 diamonds. The St. Edwards crown she wore at her coronation in 1953 weighs 4.9 lbs.

10. When a footman gave her corgis whiskey, she demoted him.

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