Friday, April 21, 2006


Today is the Queens 80th Birthday and here are a few facts I found about her.

You can also send THE QUEEN a birthday message

  • The Queen speaks fluent French and often uses the language for Audiences and State Visits. Her Majesty does not require an interpreter.
  • During her reign, The Queen has received many unusual gifts including a variety of live animals. The more unusual animals have been placed in the care of the London zoo, among them jaguars and sloths from Brazil, and two black beavers from Canada. The Queen has also received gifts of pineapples, eggs, a box of snail shells, a grove of maple trees and 7kg of prawns.
  • The Queen has owned more than 30 corgis during her reign, starting with Susan who was a present for her 18th birthday in 1944. A good proportion of these have been direct descendants from Susan. The Queen currently has five corgis, Emma, Linnet, Monty, Holly and Willow.
  • The Queen also introduced a new breed of dog known as the "dorgi" when one of Her Majesty's corgis was mated with a dachshund named Pipkin which belonged to Princess Margaret. The Queen currently has four dorgis, Cider, Berry, Candy and Vulcan.
  • The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh were married on 20 November 1947 in Westminster Abbey. The Queen's wedding dress was designed by Sir Norman Hartnell and was woven at Winterthur Silks Limited, Dunfermline, in the Canmore factory, using silk that had come from Chinese silkworms at Lullingstone Castle.
  • The Queen's dressmakers over the years have included Sir Hardy Amies, Sir Norman Hartnell, Karl-Ludwig Couture and Maureen Rose. The Queen's milliners have been Frederick Fox, Philip Somerville and Marie O'Regan.
  • The Queen has an extensive collection of jewellery, most of which are Crown Jewels, some inherited and some gifts, including the largest pink diamond in the world. Some well known pieces include; a brooch of diamonds forming a spray of wattle presented by the Australian Government in 1954; and a necklace of large square cut aquamarines and diamonds with earrings as a gift in Coronation year by the Ambassador of Brazil, which The Queen wore on the French State visit in 2004.
  • In 2005, The Queen claimed ownership of 88 cygnets on the river Thames. They are looked after by the Swan Marker. The first Royal Swan Keeper was appointed around the 12th Century.
  • Technically The Queen still owns the sturgeons, whales and dolphins in the waters around the UK. A statute from 1324, at the time of the reign of King Edward II , states that:"Also the King shall have ... whales and sturgeons taken in the sea or elsewhere within the realm." This statute is still valid today, and sturgeons, porpoises, whales and dolphins are recognised as 'Fishes Royal'. When captured within three miles of UK shores, or washed ashore either dead or alive, they may be claimed on behalf of the Crown. Generally, when brought into port, a sturgeon is sold in the usual way, and the purchaser, as a gesture of loyalty, requests the honour of its being accepted by The Queen.

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