The royal family is, for most people, a source of intrigue and mystery. Over the years, we’ve been learning new secrets from this elusive family and Queen Elizabeth.
However, Buckingham Palace has managed to keep several things under wraps and out of the public eye. At least, for the most part.
Are you intrigued? In this guide, we’ll go over six little-known facts about Queen Elizabeth and the royal family!
1. Queen Elizabeth Was Part of the British Armed Forces
We all have that image of a delicate and reserved queen. Yet, Queen Elizabeth was the first female member of the royal family to become an active member of the British Armed Forces.
On the eve of World War II in 1945, she joined as a second subaltern in the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service under unit 230873.
Now, you’re probably thinking of Downton Abbey and the Earl of Grantham’s war service. Just because she had the title of being in the army didn’t mean she actually served, right?
Queen Elizabeth served in the war, driving and repairing military vehicles. After five months of service, she got promoted to junior commander.
At the war’s end, on Victory in Europe Day, the queen anonymously moved through the streets alongside her comrades to celebrate the war’s end. After her coronation, she had her own wartime victory—she became the leader of the British Armed Forces.
2. Queen Elizabeth Wasn’t Born in the Palace
Many people don’t realize that the queen wasn’t born in Buckingham palace, either. Sure, she may have lived there for the majority of her life.
However, she began her days on April 21, 1926, in the townhouse of her Scottish maternal grandfather. The townhouse’s address was 17 Bruton Street in the Mayfair neighborhood of England.
Before you pack your bags to check out the queen’s birthplace, however, it’s worth knowing that it was demolished in 1937. Today, you’ll find an office building and a Chinese restaurant where the home once stood.
What you can visit, however, is the house she lived in shortly after her birth. This home sits at 145 Picadilly in London, and she later lived at the White Lodge residence in Richmond Park, too. Both of those might be better suited to tourists!
3. The Queen Was the Best Traveled Monarch in History
The queen wasn’t just a secret butt-busting military monarch but also extremely well-traveled. It all began in 1947 when the queen took part in a transcontinental tour of South Africa.
The tour began in Zimbabwe with her parents and sister. At the time, the future queen was celebrating her 21st birthday. This was also when she announced that she was committed to a life of service to England.
After her marriage, the queen began to establish herself as the future queen, having to replace George VI in several public acts, which led her to tour Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Kenya. She was turning into one jet-setting lady with those acts alone!
However, that was only the beginning. In her lifetime, Queen Elizabeth visited a total of 107 countries, earning her the title of the Best Traveled Monarch in History.
4. Queen Elizabeth Couponed Her Wedding Dress
Most of us love following royal weddings and ogling the gorgeous gowns that women dawn. And plenty of fans were eyeing Queen Elizabeth when she married Philip Mountbatten, Prince of Greece and Denmark.
On her wedding day, the queen wore a gorgeous white dress with floral emblems designed by Norman Hartnell. However, the silk from which the dress was made had to be bought with ration coupons.
Since the queen was married during World War II, she had to use ration coupons, which British citizens used to purchase food and other scarce items during wartime.
The queen’s dress was hand-sewn by 350 women in just two months, and she had to save an extra 200 ration coupons to pay for the gown!
5. Prince Phillip Wasn’t British
Okay, this one’s not about the queen herself. Still, we did say that this was the queen and the royal family, right?
One fun fact that most people are unaware of about the royal family has to do with Prince Phillip. Prince Phillip was Queen Elizabeth II’s late husband, and despite what most people think, he wasn’t British!
Instead, Prince Phillip was born in Greece and was a member of the Danish and Greek royal families. However, he was exiled from his home country as a child and grew up in France, Germany, and The UK.
Final Thoughts on Queen Elizabeth and the Royal Family
The royal family is a fascinating group of people. Still, at the end of the day, they’re just people like you and me!
So, do these secrets make you feel like you know them better? Perhaps so!
We’ve got you covered if you’re looking for other fun facts about the royal family and other unique topics. Check out our other posts for more guides like this one.
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This article was originally published and syndicated by Career Step Up.
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