Can you believe Queen Elizabeth II – the woman who’s face is on all of our coins and $5 note – will blow out 90 candles today? While nine decades isn’t too uncommon in the western world these days – especially for the incredibly wealthy – celebrations are happening around the world to celebrate it.
For some reason, we Aussies celebrate her birthday on three different dates across the year depending on what state you live in (New South Wales will be June 13th). But many Aussies will be sending Liz a cheerio and maybe even have a cup of tea and crumpet in her honour.
So we’d thought we’d dig up nine random facts about the British Royals that only perhaps the real monarchy fanatics would have known. Happy Birthday your majesty!
- Elizabeth II’s husband Prince Phillip the Duke of Edinburgh is approaching his 95th birthday (June 10). This makes him the oldest ever male member of the royal family. He had a few health issues recently, but it appears he’s back on his feet and might even achieve something few English test cricketers have recently achieved…reaching a century!
- Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip married in November 1947, so that means next year they could well celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary together.
- The pair are actually second cousins once removed but that wasn’t what made their wedding controversial at the time. Phillip was born outside of Britain (Greece) and his sisters were married to Germans who had links to the Nazi regime.
- Phillip had to convert from Greek Orthodox to Anglican and had to change his name to the British Royal Family name (Windsor) because of the request by her grandmother Queen Mary and the Prime Minister at the time, Winston Churchill. Talk about under the thumb!
- Elizabeth II actually had to ration coupons to buy her wedding gown, such were the tough times for Britain following World War II.
- Elizabeth II took over the throne in 1952 just after a tour of Australia and New Zealand when her father – King George VI – passed away. She now holds the record for the longest time spent on the British throne.
- In that time, there have been 12 different British prime ministers.
- In 1981 during the Trooping the Colour ceremony and just six weeks before the wedding of her eldest son Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer, six shots were fired at the Queen from close range. Turns out, the bullets were blank and it was the doing of a 17-year-old kid Marcus Sarjeant. That stunt cost him three years of a five year prison sentence.
- The Queen again got a scare in 1982 when she woke to an intruder by the name of Michael Fagan in her room. She called the Palace police and despite reports at the time of her talking to the man on the edge of her bed, she hid while waiting for the police. This was actually the third time Fagan had broken into Buckingham Place. The 33-year-old unemployed decorator whose wife had just left him somehow had climbed Buckingham Palace’s 4.3m high and barbed wire-protected wall and then through a drainpipe. The first attempt a housemaid saw him and called security, but nobody believed her story. The second time he got in, after getting through an unlocked window on the roof he spent about half an hour eating cheese and crackers and looking at family portraits. He even had a seat on the throne and sculled half a bottle of wine before escaping. Amazingly, the wine stealing was his only charge and that was dropped because of psychiatric problems.
ANZAC DAY AT LANTERN CLUB
Lantern Club will have an ANZAC Day service at 11am on April 25. The service will be conducted by Roselands Flames Bowling Club’s Graham Clayton.
The 20 min short service will include a playing of the Last post and laying wreathes.
Lunch specials will be available at MÀZi afterwards.
© Lantern Club, Roselands