Queen Elizabeth ll Photo:
1. The ceremonial and symbolic objects associated with the coronations of English Kings and Queens are referred to as the Regalia. The main piece is St Edward’s Crown - made of gold and weighing 2.23kg, it was last used to crown Queen Elizabeth II on 2 June 1953. The Queen’s jewels are one of the greatest jewellery collections in the world - containing unique and historical pieces. They receive millions of visitors each year and are guarded by "Beefeaters" in the Tower of London. Although attempts have been made, nobody has successfully stolen the Crown Jewels. The oldest piece of the Regalia is the 12th century gold Anointing Spoon, used to anoint the Sovereign with holy oil.
2. Queen Elizabeth's father, King George VI, was the subject of the 2011 Academy award-winning film, The King's Speech. The film follows the King's rise to the throne after his brother Edward VIII abdicated, his struggle with a speech impediment and the friendship he forms with his speech therapist. Critics praised the film despite some historical inaccuracies. According to cbsnews.com, the Queen Mother requested screenwriter David Seidler to wait till after her passing to go ahead with the film - she died in 2002.
3. Queen Elizabeth II is married to HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. He is a former naval officer, has been married to Queen Elizabeth II since 1947 and at 90 is the longest-serving consort in British history. Prince Philip is the son of Prince Andrew of Greece and was born Prince of Greece and Denmark. He renounced his Royal title when he became a naturalised British subject in 1947. King George VI gave him the titles of The Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich. In the British monarchy, the husband of a queen does not take the title of king. The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh are related - they are both great-great-grandchildren of Queen Victoria.
4. Queen Elizabeth ll has long been known for her fashion and style - including her signature matching of shoes and handbag. A select group of designers have dressed the Queen, including Norman Hartnell who dressed the Queen for her wedding and coronation. A year after succeeding her father, the then 27-year-old Queen went on her longest tour through the Commonwealth countries and had 100 outfits made to cope with the varying climates and six-months of Royal duties. Many of the Queen's outfits are currently on display at Buckingham Palace.
5. The Queen celebrates two birthdays each year: her actual birthday on 21 April and her official birthday on a Saturday in June. Around the world Commonwealth countries celebrate the Queen's Birthday on a variety of dates and it is often celebrated with a public holiday in many countries. The Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II will be celebrated in 2012 - it marks the 60th anniversary of her accession to the throne.
For more Royal facts, visit http://www.royal.gov.uk
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