10 Unusual Facts About the Royal Family We Had No Idea About
Among all royal families, the British one is the most famous. People from all over the world watch the lives of Elizabeth II, her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. But there are still some facts that might have remained unnoticed.
Bright Side has collected the answers to the most interesting questions about the House of Windsor.
10. How many family members are there?
In total, 15 people belong to the royal family.
They are: Elizabeth II and her husband Philip, their children (Charles, Anne, Andrew, Edward), their grandchildren (William, Harry, Beatrice, Eugenie, James, Louise), great-grandchildren (George and Charlotte), and the Queen’s sister Margaret.
Besides, 15 more people are relatives of the Queen though they don’t have titles. These are dukes, earls, lords, and ladies.
9. What does the Queen do during the day?
The Queen wakes up at 7:30 AM, drinks sugar-free tea, and eats cookies with milk. Since the tastes of royal family members are kept secret, it’s difficult to say which brand of tea Elizabeth prefers: some sources say it’s Earl Grey and some claim she likes English Breakfast.
At 8:30 AM Elizabeth has breakfast with her husband in a dining room overlooking the garden of Buckingham Palace. They usually eat cornflakes, yogurt, and toast with maple syrup or marmalade. During breakfast, the Queen reads newspapers. As a rule, these are the Daily Telegraph and Racing Post.
Then she conducts briefings regarding various questions with her assistants. They also discuss the Queens mail that she reads on her own (200-300 letters per day.) Then until late evening Elizabeth is busy with meetings and events.
Just before going to bed, the Queen deals with matters of national importance only: she reads all the documents with important topics that she receives in a red suitcase every day.
8. Elizabeth’s favorite jewelry
A 3 strand pearl necklace is one of the Queen’s favorite accessories. When Elizabeth was 10, she received the necklace from her grandfather George V.
Later, Queen Mary, Elizabeth’s grandmother, gave her pearl earrings. Today both items are a part of the modern monarch’s image.
7. The tradition of name changing before ascending the throne
Since ancient times, monarchs from different countries have changed their names before ascending the throne. In Great Britain, this tradition is common too. Thus, before the coronation, Queen Victoria was Princess Alexandrina and King George was Albert. Elizabeth II preferred not to change her name since it was optional, not mandatory.
Of course, many supporters of traditions still remember the Queen’s choice. In 2002, on the eve of the 50th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s ascension to the throne, Elizabeth received several letters from the Scottish National Party. Party members insisted that the Queen should finally change her name. But as far as we can see, Elizabeth II stands firm on her decision.
6. Misconceptions about titles
Elizabeth is often called the Queen of England but that’s not quite correct. First, she is the monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and England is just a part of the whole country.
Second, a British monarch also reigns in some other countries: Australia, Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Grenada, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, and Jamaica. Thus, Elizabeth II is the Queen of 16 countries.
There are also a lot of misunderstandings when it comes to princesses. People started calling lady Diana a princess after her marriage. But she wasn’t born royal, which is why, according to the rules, her title should be “Her Royal Highness the Princess Charles of Wales.”
William’s wife, Kate Middleton isn’t a princess either. She married the Duke of Cambridge, that’s why her title is the Duchess of Cambridge.
5. How do princes spend their free time?
For the last 2 years, William has been a pilot for the East Anglian Air Ambulance. His shifts lasted for 9.5 hours (around 20 hours per week.) And he used to donate his salary to the EAAA charity. On March 27, 2017, the Duke of Cambridge left his role as a pilot.
William began his pilot career in 2008 when he joined the search and rescue unit of the United Kingdom’s aerial warfare force. He had continued to work there until 2014. Now, at the age of 35, the Duke of Cambridge wants to fully devote himself to the future of the royal family.
As for Prince Harry, he’s also got a great military career: he graduated from The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and joined the cavalry regiment.
Prince Harry was in Afghanistan twice and once served as a military helicopter pilot. Later, he was awarded a medal for taking part in these combats.
He also took part in counter-terrorism exercises with the Australian Army. When, for security reasons, the Prince was recalled from the army, he started organizing sports competitions for soldiers who got injured during hostilities.
4. How do the members of the royal family address Queen Elizabeth II?
According to various sources, different family members have their own privileges. Thus, Elizabeth’s husband calls her Lilibet. The future queen used to call herself this when she was a child.
Other adult members are obligated to address the Queen as “Your Majesty.” Even her own son Charles has to follow this rule before he calls her Mommy.
Prince George calls Elizabeth II Gan-Gan. This is the way he says great-grandmother.
3. The Queen is rather frugal.
Elizabeth II is really frugal and she’s an example for all her servants and housekeepers. It’s known that she always turns off the lights when leaving a room and insists that all palace inhabitants do the same.
She has also preferred to use the same polish for years. Essie’s Ballet Slippers lacquer is the only color Her Majesty has worn since 1989.
The Queen has found a great mix of a neutral color (the pale pink tone contrasts with bright outfits) and a low price — $9 for a bottle.
2. Which countries does the Queen visit most often?
Buckingham palace representatives say that the Queen travels abroad in accordance with the recommendations of the British government. Thus, she usually visits those countries where she should be present due to the current state of affairs.
Since ascending the throne in 1952, Queen Elizabeth II has visited more than 120 countries. Canada has been the most frequently visited country (27 times). She’s also been to Australia 18 times.
1. Scandalous photos of Elizabeth II giving a Nazi salute
In 2015, The Sun published a photo dated 1933, depicting 7-year-old Elizabeth, her little sister, her mom, and her uncle Edward allegedly giving a Nazi salute.
The royal family was really disappointed that the picture, apparently from her majesty’s personal family archive, had been obtained and exploited in this manner. They think that the historical context is the only thing that matters: it’s a shot showing the family playing and that gesture is just a gesture that was rather common in the past.
Bonus: Diana’s private collection pictures
In 2017, many pictures were publicly released to mark the 20th anniversary of Diana’s death. These 2 photos of Diana with Harry (on the left) and Diana with William (on the right) were from the Princesses personal photo collection which the brothers had been reluctant to go through. Harry said, “Part of me never really wanted to look at them and part of me was waiting to find the right time where we could sit down and look at them together.” The brothers noted that looking through the old images reminded them about the happy memories and smiles that they’d never forget.
Which fact is the most interesting? Share your opinion with us!