7 Things You Didn’t Know About The Queen
Queen Elizabeth II may be notoriously private, but that only makes Britain’s longest-reigning monarch that much more fascinating. Here are seven little-known facts about Canada’s Head of State.
The Queen’s proper title
The Queen’s full title – Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom, Canada and Her other Realms and Territories, Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith – wouldn’t fit in a single Tweet.
The Queen’s gift from Hudson’s Bay
In the 17th century, the Crown granted the Hudson’s Bay Company the right to exploit resources around Hudson Bay. The fee? Two elk skins and two black beaver pelts to be presented to the British royalty during a so-called Rent Ceremony upon visits to Canada. On July 14, 1970, in Winnipeg, rather than offer Queen Elizabeth the animals in their customary form, HBC gave her two live beavers that hammed their way through the proceedings. The frisky pair was later placed in the care of the London Zoo.
Long live the Queen
During the Queen’s six-plus decades on the throne, there have been seven popes, 11 Canadian prime ministers and 11 governors general.
The Queen’s go-to jewellery
In addition to horses, corgis and dorgis (a breed she introduced that’s a cross between a corgi and a dachshund), Queen Elizabeth II has a passion for jewellery. A wardrobe staple: the Williamson Brooch, fashioned from a pink diamond given to her by Canadian geologist John Thorburn Williamson as a wedding present. Williamson later offered her 203 white diamonds from his mine in what is now Tanzania, and the whole was used to form the jonquil-shaped bauble.
The Queen’s gift from the RCMP
A committed equestrian, the Queen-who still rides at the age of 89-has been presented with several horses over the years. Between 1969 and 1986, at the annual Trooping the Colour ceremony, she rode a black mare named Burmese given to her by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
The Queen’s message to Chris Hadfield
The Queen and her communications team released 32 messages and statements in 2013, one of which was addressed to superstar spaceman Chris Hadfield:
13 March 2013
I am pleased to transmit my personal best wishes, and those of all Canadians, to Colonel Christopher Hadfield as he takes command of the International Space Station on Wednesday. Our thoughts and best wishes are with him and the entire crew, as are our prayers for an eventual safe return to family, friends and fellow Canadians.