NEW YORK—This July will mark 242 years since the U.S. colonies declared independence from the British. Yet, it would seem that many Americans (myself included) can’t escape the lure of “royal-mania.” After all, a whopping 29 million in the U.S. tuned in on Saturday, May 19 to watch the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (me again!), according to Nielsen's total of the 15 channels that showed the wedding. I wonder what the Founding Fathers would think, hah.
While that was a huge deal, I’m actually here to talk about a different royal, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II whose coronation took place today in 1953. That makes the 92-year-old the longest ruling monarch in British history as well as the world’s oldest head of state.
With that many years on the throne (and on earth in general), the Queen has lived quite some life. From sitting front row at fashion shows with Anna Wintour and helping James Bond during the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony to becoming a well-known meme, there’s nothing she can’t do.
So, to commemorate her coronation, let’s take a look at some lesser known facts about the longest reigning Monarch as we browse a selection of some of her iconic eyewear looks. God Save the Queen!
- She became queen when her father, King George VI, died on Feb. 6, 1952, but her official coronation was on June 2, 1953.
- Queen Elizabeth II was in Kenya at the time of her father’s death and became the first Sovereign in over 200 years to accede while abroad.
- Her coronation was the first ever to be televised. Although the BBC Television Service had covered part of the procession from Westminster Abbey after her father's coronation in 1937.
- 80 percent of U.K. residents weren't alive when Queen Elizabeth ascended the throne.
- She calls the year of 1992 her ‘Annus Horribilis’
- In April 2018 Queen Elizabeth’s last Corgi, Willow, passed away. Known for her pack of Corgis, she’s had 30 of them in all.
- Although she was born in April, her official birthday is celebrated in June which was a tradition officially started more than 250 years ago by King George II in 1748.
- The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh became the first couple in the Royal Family to celebrate 60 years of marriage, also known as their diamond wedding anniversary.
- As a princess, Elizabeth drove a truck and trained as a mechanic in World War II.
- To pay for her wedding dress materials, she collected rationing coupons.
Now that we know a little more about Queen Elizabeth II, we’re back to playing Lorde’s Royals on repeat while we patiently wait for the next season of The Crown to air.