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Author: Bolduresku Vera Ivanovna Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth’s full name is Elizabeth Alexandra Mary. As a child she called herself “Lilibet’, a name that members of her family still use.
The Queen’s surname is Windsor. The British royal family changed their last name – Saxe-Coburg-Gotha during the First World War because it sounded too ‘German’. Anti-German feeling in the county was so strong that King George V dropped all his German titles and changed the family name to Windsor – after his castle of the same name.
Elizabeth was educated at home with Princess Margaret, her younger sister. She studied French, history, art and music, learned to ride and swim.
Just before World War II in 1939, Elizabeth met a young sailor at a Royal Naval College. He was Prince Philip of Greece. They married in Westminster Abbey when she was 21 and now have 4 children (Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and Princess Anne) and 8 grandchildren (including Prince William and Prince Harry).
The Queen has 2 birthdays – her real one, on the 26th of April, and an official one, on the second Saturday of June each year.
Being Queen is a real busy job. Elizabeth II gets up early (she wakes to the sound of her personal bagpiper) and begins the day by looking through the newspapers and reading letters from the public. Later in the morning she usually sees important visitors. After lunch, she often goes out on a public visit – she gets thousands of invitations each year. She opens new hospitals, bridges and factories. Once a week, the Queen meets the Prime Minister. They discuss government business and important things that are happening in the country.
The British royal family goes back more than a thousand years. Queen Elizabeth II is Britain’s 40th monarch.
In the past 60 years, Elizabeth II has been on 261 official visits to 116 different countries.
The Queen in the only person in Great Britain who doesn’t have a passport! She is also the only person in the country who can drive without a licence or number plate on her state car.
The Queen’s hobby is photography. She also enjoys horse racing, fishing and walking in the countryside.
Elizabeth’s favourite dogs are corgis. She has owned more than 30 corgis during her reign. She has also introduced a new breed of dog known as the dorgi (dachshund + corgi).
The Queen has many hats, because she always wears one when she is out on royal visits. She has worn more than 5,000 different hats over the past 60 years.
She speaks French very well and often uses the language during her state visits. She doesn’t need an interpreter.
Elizabeth II is a ‘constitutional monarch’. This means that the country is actually run by the government, led by the Prime Minister. So she isn’t a political force. She is a symbol of Britain’s long history and traditions.