On April 21, Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her 93rd birthday – and her first of two official birthdays. Although millions of words have been written about the world's longest reigning monarch, few know the woman behind the crown or even what her daily duties mean. In honor of Her Majesty here are some things that you may not know about this royal legend and why it is good to be the queen.
. 1 She was not born as heir to the throne.
The Queen Elizabeth (3rd-L, future Queen Mother), her daughter Princess Elizabeth (4th-L, future Queen Elizabeth II), Queen Mary (C), Princess Margaret (5th-L) and King George VI (R) posing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in December 1945.
AFP, Getty Images  In the first decade of her life was Princess Elizabeth was a relatively insignificant queen – her status today was similar to the princesses Beatrice and Eugenie of York – but that changed with the death of her grandfather, King George V, in 1936.
The next in line of royal succession was Elizabeth's uncle Edward VIII, who throne less than a year r took his throne after assuming the throne to work with him He was supposed to marry an American celebrity named Wallis Simpson. Edward had no children at the time, and so his brother Albert (Elizabeth's father) rose to the throne, taking the name of George VI. And made the then 10-year-old Elizabeth the first queen to become queen.  2. Her younger sister gave her a family name. Princesses Margaret and Elizabeth 1933. Princesses Margaret and Elizabeth 1933. 19659005 AFP / Getty Images Elizabeth and Margaret were the only children of Queen Elizabeth the Queen's mother and King George VI., Who said of his daughters, "Lilibet is my pride, Margaret my Joy." Of course, "Lilibet" is Elizabeth, who earned her nickname because Margaret – whom the family affectionately called Margot – constantly mispronounced her big sister's name.
. 3 She did not go to school.
Princesses Elizabeth (right) and Margaret at Waterloo Station, London, 1939.
Fox Photos, Hulton Archive / Getty Images  Obviously, heirs do not just appear as normal children in elementary school. Instead, at home, Elizabeth was taught at home by various teachers such as Henry Marten, the deputy chair of Eton College (which is still meant only for boys), and also received private-religion lessons from the Archbishop of Canterbury.
. 4 But she and Margaret technically had a teacher.
1937 stamps featuring Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret Rose, the Coronation Chair, Westminster Abbey, the Coronation Bus, the Houses of Parliament, Windsor Castle, King George VI, and Queen Elizabeth commemorating the king's coronation.  London Express, Getty Images
Just because she did not go to school does not mean that Elizabeth did not receive any training. Most of it came from her nanny Marion Crawford, who described the royal family as "Crawfie". Crawford was eventually ostracized by the royal family for writing a book in 1953 entitled The Little Princesses without their permission. The book reported on Crawford's experiences with Elizabeth during her younger days.
. 5 She wanted to go to war, but she was too young.
<img typeof = "foaf: Image" src = "https://images2.minutemediacdn.com/image/upload/c_fit,w_728/v1555470358/shape/mentalfloss/94258-gettyimages-562646011.jpg?itok=HaHYMrDM "old =" Queen Elizabeth Elizabeth shakes hands with Princess Margaret when Princess Elizabeth follows in 1936. Queen Elizabeth Elizabeth holds Princess Margaret's hand as Princess Elizabeth follows in 1936.  Central Press, Hulton Archive / Getty Images
As the Second In 1939, when Elizabeth was still a teenager, Elizabeth asked her father to somehow join the effort, starting with radio broadcasts to improve the morale of British children, and during one of the programs, the 14-year-old princess calmed the audience: "I can tell you truthfully that we kids at home are full of cheerfulness and courage. We try to do everything we can to help our knightly sailor. Soldiers and airmen, and we also try to take our own share in the danger and sadness of the war.
6. It eventually served in World War 2. Princess Elizabeth changed the tire of a vehicle while training as an ATS officer during World War II in April 1945. Princess Elizabeth changed the tire of a vehicle while she was training ATS officer During the Second World War in April 1945.
Despite the risks, Elizabeth joined the Women's Relief Service in 1945 and completed training as a truck driver and mechanic aged 18.
Queen Elizabeth is still the only female member of the royal family who has joined the armed forces, and is currently the only living head of state to serve officially in World War II.
7 She celebrated the end of the war by how their subjects celebrated.
Princesses Elizabeth and M argaret 1947.
William Vanderson, Fox Photos / Getty Images
When? Prime Minister Winston Churchill announced that the war in Europe was over on May 8, 1945, and people were pouring into the streets of London – including the princesses Elizabeth and Margaret. The protected duo was allowed to sneak out of Buckingham Palace to join the revelers at the behest of their father.
"It was a unique outburst of personal freedom," recalls Margaret Rhodes, her cousin, who went with them in reverse. She married her cousin.
The then Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip following their wedding ceremony in November 1947.
AFP, Getty Images
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and Queen Elizabeth are the third cousins, both sharing the same great-great-grandparents: Queen Victoria and Prince Albert
9. Elizabeth and her husband know each other since their childhood.
<img typeof = "foaf: Image" src = "https://images2.minutemediacdn.com/image/upload/c_fit,w_728/v1555470380/shape/mentalfloss/94258-gettyimages-876243302- dress.jpg? itok = eKNM6S7_ "alt =" A family portrait in the throne room of Buckingham Palace on the wedding day of Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II) and Philip, Duke of Edinburgh on November 20, 1947.  Family photo in the throne room of the Buckingham Palace on the H Easter day of Princess Elizabeth (future Queen Elizabeth II) and Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, on November 20, 1947.
STR / AFP / Getty Images
Philip, son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice von Battenberg, got to know Elizabeth when she was only 8 years old and he was 14 years old. Both attended the wedding of Princess Marina of Greece (Prince Philip's cousin) and Prince George, the Duke, of Kent (Elizabeth's uncle).
Five years later, the couple met again when George VI led Elizabeth to a visit to the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth, where Philip Kadett was. In a personal note, Elizabeth remembered the young soldier who was in the making: "I was 13 years old and he was 18 years old and a cadet who was about to leave .He joined the Navy, and I have only occasionally seen him when he was on vacation – I guess he was about twice in three years, "she wrote. "Then, when his uncle and aunt, Lord and Lady Mountbatten, left, he spent several weekends with us at Windsor."
10th She did not tell her parents that she would be hated.
Princess Elizabeth (future Queen Elizabeth II), Philip Mountbatten (also the Duke of Edinburgh), Queen Elizabeth (future Queen Mother), King George VI, and Princess Margaret pose to Buckingham Palace on July 9, 1947, the day on which the engagement of Princess Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten was officially announced.
AFP / Getty Images
In 1946, Philip proposed Elizabeth when she planned a one-month visit to Balmoral, her royal estate in Scotland. She accepted the proposal without even contacting her parents. But as George VI. Finally, wind of the upcoming wedding, he would only officially agree, if he announced the engagement until her 21st birthday.
The official announcement of the engagement took place almost a year later, on July 9, 1947
11. She has a very royal name. Princess Elizabeth (left) and her mother, Queen's Wife Elizabeth, in 1951. Princess Elizabeth (left) and her mother, Queen's Wife Elizabeth, in 1951.
Reg Speller, Fox Photos / Getty Images
She is the second British monarch named Elizabeth, but Elizabeth II was not named after Henry VII's famous descendants. Queen Elizabeth II is the maiden name of Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, after the names of her mother Elizabeth, her paternal grandmother, Queen Alexandra, and her paternal grandmother, Queen Mary.
12th She could choose her own last name.
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip with two of their children, Prince Charles and Princess Anne, circa 1951.
OFF, AFP / Getty Images
Technically, the surname of the queen is "Windsor", which was first elected by George V in 1917, after the royal family wanted to distance themselves from "Saxe-Coburg". Gotha "- the dynasty to which they belonged – which sounded Germanic during the First World War.
However, to distinguish themselves from the rest of the royal family, Elizabeth and Philip took the official name of Windsor-Mountbatten in 1960 Certainly remember that the surname Drama was briefly discussed in the series by Netflix The Crown. .
13. It has two birthdays.
Princess Elizabeth just before her 21st birthday in April 1947.
AFP / Getty Images
Like most British monarchs, Elizabeth gets to celebrate her birthday twice, and the reason why it affects the timely pomp and circumstance.
She was born on April 21, 1926, but April was considered too cold and could fall in bad weather a recognized birthday on a Saturday in late May or June so that the celebration can take place in the warmer months. The exact date varies from year to year in the UK and usually coincides with Trooping the Color, Britain's annual military competition.
fourteenth Her coronation was televised against her will.
Coronation of Queen Elizabeth, June 1953. AFP, Getty Images
Elizabeth was officially elevated to the throne at the age of just twenty-five. Her father, George VI., died on February 6, 1952. Elizabeth was in Kenya at the time of his death and returned home as queen of her country. As fans of The Crown will remember, the hustle and bustle around their coronation was filled with plenty of drama.
The notorious camera-shy Elizabeth – who did not even allow photos of her wedding – I did not want the event to be televised, and others believed that the transmission of the coronation to citizens would break the traditions of the upper class by having only members British high society would witness the event. A coronation commission chaired by Philip was set up to weigh the options. Initially, they decided to allow cameras in only one area of Westminster Abbey "west of the organ screen" before the entire thing could be televised with a minor. Reservation: No close-up on Elizabeth's face.
15th She paid for her wedding dress using war coupons.
A sketch of Princess Elizabeth's 1947 wedding dress by Norman Hartnell.
Central Press, Getty Images
19659006] Elizabeth, still recovering from the post-war atmosphere, used ration coupons and a 200-coupon government supplement to pay for her wedding dress. But do not be fooled, the dress was extremely elegant; It was made from ivory-colored duchesse silk, covered with 10,000 imported seed beads, it took six months to manufacture, and a 13-foot train was used. (It cost nearly $ 40,000 to recreate the dress for The Crown .)
16. She does not need a passport for the journey.
Queen Elizabeth II. In Nuku & # 39; alofa, Tonga in December 1953.
STRINGER, AFP / Getty Images
Elizabeth II is the most traveled head of state in the world, visiting more than 115 countries between more than 270 official state visits, but she does not even have a passport. Since all British passports are officially issued in the name of the Queen, she does not need any technical.
17th She also does not need a driver's license.
Queen Elizabeth II drives a car in 1958.
It's not just because she has a fleet of chauffeurs. Britain also officially issues a driver's license for Elizabeth. So do not expect her to show her ID when she's forced to take other heads of state for a turn in her Range Rover.
Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, former British ambassador to Saudi Arabia, reported The Sunday Times the time when Elizabeth drove the former Saudi crown prince Abdullah on the grounds of Balmoral: "To his surprise, the rose Queen in the driver's seat, turned the ignition and drove off, "he said. "Women are not yet allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia, and Abdullah was not used to being driven by a woman, let alone a queen."
18th She does not have to pay taxes (but decides to do so).
ODD ANDERSEN, AFP / Getty Images
Queen Elizabeth has voluntarily paid income and capital gains taxes since 1992, but was always subject to VAT.
19th She survived an assassination attempt.
British Queen Elizabeth II rides a rider's saddle and salutes during a trooping of The Color ceremony in London in 1952.
STRINGER, AFP / Getty Images
During the 1981's "Trooping the Color" led the Queen performed a royal procession on horseback through the mall towards Buckingham Palace as gunfire rang out. A 17-year-old man named Marcus Sarjeant, obsessed with the murders of personalities like John Lennon and John F. Kennedy, shot Elizabeth a series of blanks. Sarjeant, who wrote in his journal, "I will stun and mystify the whole world with nothing but a weapon" – fortunately was unable to buy ammunition living in Britain. He was sentenced to five years' imprisonment under the Treason Act of 1848, but released in October 1984.
20 She also survived an intruder who came to her bedroom.
Queen Elizabeth II. In Australia 1954.
Fox Photos, Hulton Archive / Getty Images
One year after the incident of color, Elizabeth had one more Incident. But instead of near Buckingham Palace, this time was in [BuckinghamPalace]. On July 9, 1982, a man named Michael Fagen managed to climb over the barbed wire fence of the palace, screwed up a drainpipe, and finally sneaked into the queen's bedroom.
According to the then report, Fagen and the Queen had a long time before being captured by palace security, Fagen told The Independent that the queen did not chatter to chat: "She went to me over and ran out of the room, her little bare feet ran over the floor. "
21. She owns technically all dolphins in the UK.
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Keystone, Hulton Archive / Getty Images
In addition to owning all of the country's dolphins, she also owns all the Sturgeon and Whales – a still-valid law from the reign of King Edward II of 1324 states, "Also the king should have … taken whales and sturgeons in the sea or elsewhere in the kingdom, "meaning that most aquatic organisms are technically marked" fish royal, "and are claimed in the name of the crown.
As the song says: "Rule, Britannia! Britannia rules the waves!
22. She has her own money that she can give to the poor.
Queen Elizabeth II Spends Money in 2004.
PHIL NOBLE, AFP / Getty Images
Known as "Maundy Money," the queen has silver coins – currently with Elizabeth's portrait at the front – given to the retirees in a ceremony called Maundy Thursday. The royal family was expected to wash their feet and distribute gifts to destitute subjects as a symbolic gesture to honor Jesus' act of washing the feet of the poor in the Bible was rolled around and the dirty feet of the people were not considered to be suitable for a king, the act was replaced by financial allowances, which had left the monarch.
23. Gin is their drink of choice.
RUSSEL MILLARD, AFP / Getty Images
The queen drinks gin mixed with dubonnet (an enriched wine from 19459010) and a lemon slice every day before lunch on the rocks. She also allegedly drinks wine for lunch and drinks a glass of champagne every night.
24th She created her own dog breed.
Queen Elizabeth with her dog Susan, circa 1959.
AFP, Getty Images
Elizabeth has a well-known, professed love for corgis (she had more than 30 of them during her reign, her last, Willow, died in 2018), but what about Dorgis ? She currently owns two dorgis (Candy and Vulcan), a hybrid she developed when one of her corgis mated with a dachshund named Pipkin, who belonged to Princess Margaret.
25th She's in social media … so to speak.
Queen Elizabeth II visits a Canadian Blackberry factory in 2010.
John Stillwell, Pool / Getty Images  It is my pleasure today to open the information age exhibition in the @ScienceMuseum and I hope visitors will enjoy it. Elizabeth R.
– The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) October 24, 2014
The Queen joined Twitter in July 2009 under the direction of @RoyalFamily and sent the first tweet herself, but did not own it has been maintaining the site since then (she has a team for digital communications). She is also on Facebook (and no, the royal family can not be stolen) and in March 2019 the royal family released their first Instagram.
This story originally ran in 2017.