The Queen is alive and well. Queen Elizabeth II is 93 years old and has been the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom since 1952, but she shows no sign of slowing down—even after living one of the most eventful lives in modern history. Much of her life has been heavily documented, but here are the five things you did not know about the longest-ruling monarch in British history.
She has 30 godchildren
The Queen has 30 godchildren, and honestly, who wouldn’t want the Queen as a godmother? It is a sweet deal. Her first Godchild, Guy Rupert Gerard Nevill, was born on March 29, 1945; the Queen was just 19 years old when she became his godmother. Guy is the son of Lord Rupert Nevill and Lady Anne Camilla Wallop. He held office as a patron of honor to Queen Elizabeth from 1958-1961. Unfortunately, Guy died in 1992. The Queen’s last godchild is Princess Theodora of Greece and Denmark, born in 1983. Princess Theodora is the daughter of Greek King Constantine and Queen Anne-Marie.
She's on Facebook
Yes, like billions of us commoners, the Queen joined Facebook. Back in November of 2010, she created a page called “The British Monarchy" that features photos, videos, and speeches—however, it is not possible to private message the Queen or send her a post through the website. Queen Elizabeth joined other social media sites as well—she was on Twitter before Facebook back in 2009. As would be expected, none of the royals tweets themselves. They have their public relations staff do social media, and a team at Buckingham Palace tweets daily updates on the Queen’s Twitter page.
She's received some weird gifts
During the Queen’s reign, she has received countless gifts. However, some weird gifts have caught her by surprise. She has received quite a lot of live animals as gifts; among the more unusual ones were a jaguar and sloth from Brazil, and black beavers from Canada. These animals have been placed in the London Zoo. The Queen also accepted pineapples, eggs, a box of snail shells, maple trees, and 15 pounds of prawns. Maybe people should stick to flowers instead of sending weird gifts.
She gives her staff Christmas pudding
Even though the Queen completes her daily royal duties, she always shows her staff appreciation. Every Christmas she gives them Christmas pudding. Over the years, it is estimated that she has given out 90,000 Christmas puddings. The Queen does this to continue the tradition of King George V and King George VI. Furthermore, the Queen also gives her entire staff Christmas gifts. She is a patron to over 600 charities and sends out presents to schools and cathedrals. On top of that, she also does a Christmas broadcast to the Commonwealth every single year, except in 1969. In that year, a repeat of the royal family was shown, and a written message from the Queen was issued.
She owns a lot of swans and dolphins
The queen owns all the swans and dolphins in the U.K. waters. As early as the 12th century, the British monarch laid claim to all the mute swans in the country. Back then, the birds were considered a delicacy. Today, the Queen does not eat the swans, but she technically still owns them. The Swan Upping is an annual swan-counting event—yes, over the course of several days the Queen’s swan squad counts the birds and make sure they are healthy.
According to the Montreal Gazette, if she wanted to, the Queen could claim ownership of all royal fishes. These include dolphins, whales, and anything that resides in the waters around the United Kingdom.
As we have seen throughout her reign, the Queen takes her responsibilities seriously. However, it is lovely to know that she has a sense of humor. She enjoys flipping a coin to “me or tails,” plays "Great Balls of Fire" on the piano, and gets laughter from dinner guests for her mental arithmetic. Being the Queen is great!