90 Facts For The Queen’s 90th Birthday

As Her Majesty marks her 90th birthday, here is a fact for every year of her life so far:

1. Elizabeth Alexandra Mary was born at 2.40am on 21 April, 1926, at 17 Bruton St, Mayfair, London.

2. She also has an official birthday in June - this year it falls on Saturday 11 June.

3. She was born by Caesarean section - described at the time in a statement by royal doctors as "a certain line of treatment".

4. The home secretary, Sir William Joynson-Hicks, was waiting in a nearby room throughout the labour. The now dispensed with custom made sure the new arrival was a genuine descendant of the monarch and not an imposter who had been smuggled in.

5. She was named after her mother, while her two middle names are those of her paternal great-grandmother, Queen Alexandra, and paternal grandmother, Queen Mary.

6. She was christened on 29 May, 1926, in the private chapel at Buckingham Palace.

7. During the ceremony, Princess Elizabeth, as she was then known, cried so much that she had to be given dill water - an old fashioned remedy for colic - by her nurse.

8. She was called "Lilibet" by her close family.

9. She was much-loved by her grandfather George V and her visits were credited with aiding his recovery during his serious illness in 1929.

10. Her cousin Margaret Rhodes described her as "a jolly little girl, but fundamentally sensible and well-behaved".

11. She once fell in the lake at Buckingham Palace as a child, looking for a duck's nest, and ended up covered in green slime

12. At age 19, she and her younger sister Princess Margaret, then 14, mingled incognito with ecstatic crowds celebrating VE Day, 8 May 1945, in London. The Queen later recalled it was "one of the most memorable nights of my life".

13. She was educated at home with Margaret by tutors including their father and the Archbishop of Canterbury.

14. The Queen speaks fluent French, learned from a number of her French and Belgian governesses.

15. She travelled on the London Underground for the first time in May 1939 with her governess Marion Crawford and Princess Margaret.

16. The Queen was a Girl Guide (1937) and Sea Ranger (1943).

17. She learned to drive in 1945 when she joined the Army.

18. She went on her first overseas tour to southern Africa in 1947, accompanied by her parents.

19. She married Prince Philip on 20 November, 1947, at Westminster Abbey in London.

20. Their engagement had been announced in 9 July, 1947.

21. On her wedding day, she lost her bouquet before the ceremony and only found it after a footman remembered he had put it in a cupboard to keep it cool.

22. Elizabeth and Philip are second cousins, once removed and third cousins through Queen Victoria.

23. They began to exchange letters when the princess was just 13.

24. Princess Elizabeth had eight bridesmaids.

25. The Royal still needed to use ration coupons to buy the material for her gown, which was designed by Norman Hartnell.

26. She did her own make-up.

27. On the morning of the ceremony, while getting dressed at Buckingham Palace, her tiara snapped but luckily the court jeweller was standing by in case of emergency.

28.  Her wedding ring was made from a nugget of Welsh gold which came from the Clogau St David's mine near Dolgellau.

29. In post-war Britain it was not acceptable for the Duke of Edinburgh’s German relations, including his three surviving sisters to be invited to the wedding.

30. The Duke of Windsor, formerly King Edward VII, was not invited either.

31. Princess Elizabeth became Queen at the age of 25.

32. Elizabeth was at the Royal hunting lodge in Kenya when she found out her father, King George VI, had died in his sleep.

33. She was the 40th monarch since William the Conqueror obtained the crown of England.

34. She sent her first email in 1976 from an Army base.

35. In 1981, she was shot at by a teenager with a replica gun as she rode past crowds on horseback near Buckingham Palace

36. At state banquets, she dislikes serving raw food or messy dishes such as spaghetti which can embarrass the eater.

37. In Papua New Guinea, where she is the constitutional monarch, she is known in the pidgin language of Tok Pisin as "Missis Kwin", and as "Mama belong big family".

38. The Queen also has the titles the Lord of Man in the Isle of Man, the Duke of Normandy in the Channel Islands, and the Duke of Lancaster in the land of the Duchy of Lancaster.

39. She has a cushion in her private sitting room at Balmoral embroidered with the words "It's good to be Queen."

40. She became Britain's longest reigning monarch on 9 September, 2015, breaking the record previously set by her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria.

41. With the birth of Prince Andrew in 1960, the Queen became the first reigning sovereign to have a child since Queen Victoria.

42. The first football match she attended was the 1953 FA Cup Final, in which a Stanley Matthews-inspired Blackpool beat Bolton Wanderers 4-3.

43. She sent a message of congratulations to Apollo 11 astronauts for the first Moon landing on 21 July, 1969. The message was micro-filmed and deposited on the Moon in a metal container.

44. The Queen was the first British monarch to visit China - in 1986.

45. She also made a historic visit to the Republic of Ireland in May 2011 – the first visit by a British monarch since Irish independence.

46. She has a well-known love of corgis. Her favourite breed is the Pembroke Welsh Corgi.

47. She has owned more than 30 corgis, starting with Susan who was a present for her 18th birthday in 1944.

48. Susan even went on the Queen's honeymoon!

49. The monarch used to set off an ear-piercing rape alarm to break up dog fights between her many corgis and dorgis. Now she has only two corgis left: Holly and Willow and two dorgis - Candy and Vulcan.

50. A "dorgi" is a new breed introduced by the Queen. It occurred when one of her corgis mated with a dachshund named Pipkin which belonged to Princess Margaret.

51. There have been 11 dorgis.

52. One of her beloved corgis had to be put down in 2003 after it was attacked by Princess Anne's English bull terrier.

53. The Queen's first pony was a Shetland called Peggy, given to her by her grandfather, King George V, when she was four.

54. She is a keen pigeon fancier. In 1990, one of her birds took part in the Pau race, coming first in the Section 5th Open and was subsequently named "Sandringham Lightning".

55. Madame Tussauds have showcased 23 different waxworks of Her Majesty to date.

56. The Queen and her husband are both great-great-grandchildren of Queen Victoria.

57. She has a keen interest in Scottish country dancing and hosts annual dances known as Gillies' Balls for neighbours, estate workers and members of the local community when she stays at her Balmoral Castle.

58. In June 2002, she hosted the first public concerts in the garden of Buckingham Palace to celebrate her Golden Jubilee. The 'Party at the Palace' pop concert was one of the most watched items in history, attracting around 200 million viewers all over the world.

59. The Queen was the first member of the Royal Family to be awarded a gold disc from the recording industry. 100,000 copies of the CD of the 'Party at the Palace', produced by EMI, were sold within the first week of release.

60. She has made a Christmas Broadcast to the Commonwealth every year of her reign except 1969, when a repeat of the documentary film Royal Family was shown.

61. She made her first public speech in October 1940 at the age of 14 in a radio address on BBC's Children's Hour.

62. The Queen’s love of ponies and horses is well-known.

63. Thoroughbreds owned by the Queen have won four out of the five flat racing classics - the 1,000 Guineas and 2,000 Guineas, the Oaks and the St Leger – with only the Derby eluding her.

64. In recent years the Queen made sporting history when she became the first reigning monarch to win Royal Ascot's Gold Cup with her thoroughbred Estimate in 2013.

65. Her first reported riding lesson took place in the private riding school at Buckingham Palace Mews in January 1930, when she was still only three years old.

66. The monarch takes a keen interest in their breeding and training and is respected for her knowledge of the equine world.

67. But the head of state famously does not bet and appears to get her enjoyment from watching her horses develop and compete.

68. The Queen’s racing colours are a purple body with gold braid, scarlet sleeves and black velvet cap with gold fringe.

69. Tony Blair was the first Prime Minister to have been born during the Queen’s reign. He was born in 1953.

70. The Queen has given regular audience to 12 prime ministers.

71. The reason she usually wears a single-colour outfit and decorative hat is to make sure she can be seen in a crowd.

72. Many of The Queen's official tours were undertaken on the Royal Yacht Britannia.

73. It was launched by Her Majesty on 16 April, 1953 and was commissioned for service on 7 January, 1954.

74. It was de-commissioned in December 1997. During this time, Britannia travelled more than a million miles on Royal and official duties.

75. The Queen sat for the first, and only, hologram portrait in 2003.

76. Her Majesty has sat for 129 portraits.

77. She is patron of over 600 charities and organisations, 400 of which she has held since 1952.

78. The Queen has personally held over 610 Investitures.

79. She has sent over 175,000 telegrams to centenarians in the UK and Commonwealth.

80. She has answered around 3.5 million pieces of correspondence.

81. She has given out approximately 90,000 Christmas puddings to staff, continuing the custom of King George V and King George VI.

82. She has visited Australia 16 times, Canada 22 times, Jamaica six and New Zealand 10 times.

83. The Queen has launched 21 ships during her reign.

84. She has attended 35 Royal Variety performances.

85.  She has attended every opening of Parliament except those in 1959 and 1963 when she was expecting Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.

86. The first 'Royal walkabout' took place by the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh in Australia and New Zealand in 1970. It was introduced to allow them to meet as many people as possible, not just officials.

87. The Queen launched the British Monarchy's official website in 1997.

88. In 2007 the official British Monarchy YouTube channel was unveiled, swiftly followed by a Royal Twitter site (2009), Flickr page (2010) and Facebook page (also 2010).

89. The Queen has 30 godchildren.

90. Among the unusual gifts she has received over the years are jaguars and sloths from Brazil and two black beavers from Canada. She has also received gifts of pineapples, eggs, and prawns.

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