Her Majesty’s 90th Birthday: 9 facts to know about Queen Elizabeth II
As we count down to the Malaysian celebration of Her Majesty's 90th birthday, here are 9 quick facts about the British Monarch and Head of Commonwealth.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II turned 90 years old on April 21, 2016, and as part of the celebration fit for a literal Queen, countless events are lined up in the weeks to follow to commemorate the momentous occasion.
Here in Malaysia, a special reception will be held at a renowned hotel on April 28, 2016, to toast the 64 good years she has reigned. The grand ballroom and other parts of the hotel will be transformed to look like Buckingham Palace and there will also be a few royal surprises that we can't divulge just yet.
As we count down to the event, let’s read up on some of these trivia on the British Monarch whose role as the Head of Commonwealth has seen the flourishing of the UK-Malaysia relationship.
The first child of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, The Queen was born at 2.40am on 21 April 1926 at 17, Bruton Street in Mayfair, London. At the time of her birth, she was third in line to succeed the throne after Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII) followed by her father (then the Duke of York).
She was christened Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, after her mother, her paternal great-grandmother, Queen Alexandra and paternal grandmother, Queen Mary.
As a princess, she was homeschooled with her younger sister, Princess Margaret. She was also a strong swimmer, a Girl Guide and a Sea Ranger. The two princesses were moved to Windsor Castle in 1940 at the height of the blitz for their safety, where they spent most of the War years.
On November 20, 1947, Princess Elizabeth married Liutenant Phillip Mountbatten in Westminster Abbey in a fairly simple ceremony. As the wife of a naval officer, Princess Elizabeth visited Malta four times while her husband Prince Phillip was stationed there.
Her Majesty was living in a remote part of Kenya when she received the news of her father’s death on February 6 1952, and subsequently her own accession to the throne.
As Queen, she initiated a new practice in 1970 – the ‘walkabout’ – that allowed her to walk about and meet as many people as possible. She marked 25 years of Sovereign in 1977, which was met with a nationwide tour, Commonwealth visits and celebrations at every level. In 1997, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh also celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary with a special garden party at Buckingham Palace.
The Queen turned 80 in 2006 with another public walkabout in Windsor town centre. In 2011, she made a historic visit to Ireland that has not seen a visit by a British Monarch since it gained independence.
Her Majesty is also a passionate lover of horses, owning and breeding thoroughbreds of her own that have won at Royal Ascot on a few occasions. She often attends equestrian events to watch her horses run.
Her Majesty also enjoys Scottish country dancing, and is known to give dances called the Gillies’ Ball to neighbours, estate and castle staff every year during her stay at Balmoral Castle.
In case you missed it: Check out the official photographs from Princess Charlotte's christening by Mario Testino.