Queen Elizabeth has been on the throne for 70 years, making it the longest reigning monarch in the world. Immediately good for a lot of numbers and facts. Do you know how many British Prime Ministers or Popes the Queen has seen pass? Or why she opted for colourful ensembles (up to fluorescent)? Not to mention her unconditional passion for horses and corgis.
Longest on the throne? A one-two with Bhumibol
Which royal was on the throne the longest? It’s how you look at it. Louis XIV, the Sun King of France, reigned for 72 years (1643-1715) and holds the record. It is not unimportant that he already took the throne at the age of four, but it was his mother who was regent and the prime minister who had actual power. It was not until he was 18 that Lodewijk was in charge. If you take that into account, the Queen officially takes the cake, although it is little different with the Thai King Bhumibol.
Elizabeth is proclaimed queen on February 6, 1952, the day her father King George dies. But Elizabeth is not crowned until a year later, on June 2, 1953. Thai King Bhumibol is proclaimed king on June 9, 1946, after the death of his brother and head of state Ananda Mahidol. However, Bhumibol takes the oath four years later (May 1950). Why? 19-year-old Bhumibol first wants to complete his studies in Switzerland.
Beloved King Bhumibol died on October 13, 2016, officially serving on the Thai throne for 66 years, unofficially for 70 years. The Queen has officially reigned for 69 years, and unofficially for 70 years.
How many presidents, prime ministers and popes have “worn out”?
Elizabeth saw no fewer than 15 different British Prime Ministers, 13 American Presidents and 7 Popes pass in her impressive career.
The ministers: Liz Truss, Boris Johnson, Theresa May, David Cameron, Gordon Brown, Tony Blair, John Major, Margaret Thatcher, James Callaghan, Edward Heath, Harold Wilson, Alex Douglas-Home, Harold Macmillan, Anthony Eden, Winston Chuchill.
The presidents (13): Joe Biden, Donald Trump, Barack Obama, George Walker Bush, Bill Clinton, George Herbert Walker Bush, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson, John Fitzgerald Kennedy en Dwight Eisenhower.
On the pause (7): Francis, Benedict XVI, John Paul II, John Paul I, Paul VI, John XXIII and Pius XII.
Horses and dogs “part of the family”
The Queen has a predilection for horses and dogs. People come last, the British dare to say ironically.
Horses: Elizabeth has been riding horses since childhood. It is one of the few hobbies that allows her to completely relax or immerse herself in it (see videos). She even breeds thoroughbred horses in her stables. By the way, she is the first reigning monarch to win the prestigious Ascot Gold Cup race with one of her mares, Estimate. During the corona lockdown, the 94-year-old Queen is photographed on pony Fern at her estate in Windsor.
And it’s in her genes as her only daughter, Princess Anne, becomes European horse riding champion in 1971 and her granddaughter, Zara Philips, brings silver from the 2012 London Olympics.
Dogs: If there’s one living thing that can really follow the Queen anywhere, it’s her dogs. It is her beloved father, King George, who brings home the first corgi, named Dookie. For her 18th Elizabeth gets corgi Susan as a gift, since then she has had more than 30. All corgis and dorgis (cross between a corgi and dachshund) and all descendants of Susan.
In recent years, Elizabeth had two more four-legged friends: Vulcan and Candy. They were even allowed to pose in an official portrait for her 90th birthday, because to the Queen they are just “part of the family”.
“New acquisitions” were shunned at first. Young dogs would be too boisterous and a danger to the older Queen. Reportedly, Elizabeth also didn’t want to leave any animals behind when she came to go. But after Vulcan’s death in December 2020, the Queen would have been persuaded – according to the British sensational magazine The Sun – with two puppies, a present from son Prince Andrew. This to have some life in the brewery in corona times and it turned out to be a welcome distraction for her after the death of Prince Philip. According to your news bearer, the recent dog list may also include Lissy, a cocker spaniel who won a sniffer dog competition.
Real “firm” of children and (great) grandchildren
The Queen has an extended family, the working part of which is labeled as “The firm” (or company). She has 4 children of her own: Prince Charles (73), Princess Anne (71) and the youngest children Andrew (62) and Edward (58).
Elizabeth unexpectedly becomes queen at the age of 25 and has to learn the trade by doing, so to speak. She is conscientious and does mountains of (overseas) work, so that there is less time for the children. They are raised – and as was the custom at the time – by nannies and governesses. Still, her best friend and niece Margaret Rhodes lets slip that Elizabeth is not a distant mother: “She often talks about them and worries like any mother.”
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