Queen Elizabeth II Birthday: Facts About the British Monarch as She Turns 93

Today, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II turns 93. The monarch, who has ruled for longer than any other in British history, is a well-respected figure across the world. As well as being Queen, she has raised four children, nurtured grandchildren, as well as great-grandchildren.

But who will the Queen be spending her birthday with? And why does she have two birthdays?

A History of the Queen

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On this day in 1900 Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother was born.  Here she is photographed with her daughters Princess Elizabeth (The future Queen Elizabeth II) and Princess Margaret in 1939. Following the outbreak of war in 1939, there was some suggestion that the Queen and her daughters should evacuate to North America or Canada. To this the Queen made her famous reply: "The children won't go without me. I won't leave the King. And the King will never leave." Thus throughout the Second World War the Queen and her children shared the dangers and difficulties of the rest of the nation. She was in Buckingham Palace when it was bombed in September 1940. She and the King visited badly damaged areas throughout the country after the air-raids, and toured Britain visiting hospitals, factories and troops. Her Majesty was Patron or President of some 350 organisations. She was Commandant-in-Chief of the Army and Air Force Women's Services, and for Women in the Royal Navy, and held other Service appointments. For many years she was President of the British Red Cross Society, and she was Commandant-in-Chief of the Nursing Division of the St John Ambulance Brigade. She was also Colonel-in-Chief or Honorary Colonel of many UK and overseas regiments, and Commandant-in-Chief of the Royal Air Force Central Flying School. And on her 100th birthday Her Majesty received, like other centenarians, a message of congratulations from The Queen. Image courtesy of Royal Collection Trust. #OnthisDay #TheQueenMother #TheQueen

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According to the official website for the British Royal Family, the Queen was born at 2.40 a.m. on April 21, 1926 at 17 Bruton Street in Mayfair, London. She was the first child of The Duke and Duchess of York—who later became King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

Originally not seemingly destined for the throne, her life changed when her uncle—King Edward VIII—abdicated in December 1936 so he could marry a divorced American, Mrs Wallis Simpson. This left her father as King, and her as next in line to the throne.

Princess Elizabeth and her younger sister, Princess Margaret, were educated at home, though she was taught religious studies by the Archbishop of Canterbury. She was also a Girl Guide and a Sea Ranger.

The Queen's coronation took place in Westminster Abbey on June 2, 1953. It was conducted by Geoffrey Fisher, Archbishop of Canterbury.

Who Is Related to the Queen?

The Queen met her husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, in 1934 and they were engaged and married in 1947 at Westminister Abbey. Because the wedding took place so soon after World War II, Princess Elizabeth had to collect clothing coupons for her dress, like any other young bride according to Royal UK.

The Queen has four children:

  • Prince Charles, Prince of Wales
  • Princess Anne, Princess Royale
  • Prince Andrew, Duke of York
  • Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have eight grandchildren:

  • Peter and Zara Phillips, children of Princess Anne
  • Prince William of Wales and Prince Henry of Wales, children of Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales
  • Princess Beatrice of York and Princess Eugenie of York, children of Prince Andrew
  • Lady Louise Windsor and Viscount Severn, children of Prince Edward

Their great-grandchildren are:

  • Savannah and Isla Phillips, children of Peter and Autumn Phillips
  • Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, children of the Prince William and Kate Middleton (The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge)
  • Mia Tindall, daughter of Zara and Mike Tindall

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle are also expecting to add another great-grandchild to the list; she is due at the end of April or early May 2019.

Does the Queen Celebrate Two Birthdays?

According to the Royal Mint, the Queen celebrates two birthdays every year. Her actual birthday is on April 21 and her official birthday is usually on the second Saturday in June. This year it will take place on June 8.

The official birthday is held in the summer when there's a better chance of good weather in Britain.

Will the Queen Be Spending Her Birthday with Harry and Meghan?

The Queen is said to spend her birthday in private with her family.

If you would like to send a message to HM Queen Elizabeth II for her birthday, or for any other reason, you can do so here.

Can the Queen Speak French?

Yes. Queen Elizabeth II learned French as a girl, which she has used to speak with ambassadors and heads of state from French-speaking countries.

The Queen has an in-depth knowledge of horses, having owned and bred thoroughbreds. She annually attends the Epsom Derby, one of the flat races in Britain, and Royal Ascot, which has been a Royal occasion since 1911.

She is also known for spending time with her dogs. Corgis are well-known for being pets of the Royal Family. The Queen received a corgi called Susan for her 18th birthday.

According to Royal UK, a lesser known interest of the Queen's is Scottish country dancing. Each year during her stay at Balmoral Castle, she gives dances known as Gillies' Balls, for neighbors.

Queen Elizabeth II Birthday: Facts About the British Monarch as She Turns 93 | U.S.