Celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s 96th Birthday With These Majestic Facts

30. Her Majesty is the monarch of 14 countries in addition to the UK. She is also the head of the Commonwealth, which consists of 54 countries.

31. But those aren’t his only roles. She also holds the titles of Head of State, Head of the Nation, Head of the Armed Forces, Sovereign of the Garter, Defender of the Faith, and Supreme Governor of the Church of England, among others.

32. As Head of State, Her Majesty must remain neutral on political issues. Therefore, she does not vote or stand for election. Although, as the Royal Family website explains, the monarch has ceremonial and formal roles related to the British government, such as opening new sessions of Parliament and approving ordinances and proclamations through of the Privy Council. It can also appoint a prime minister and meet with him regularly.

33. In May 2021, the Queen opened Parliament for the 67th time – having opened it every year of her reign except 1959 and 1963 (when she was pregnant and expecting Prince Andrew and Prince Edward).

34. Hearings, or individual meetings, are part of Her Majesty’s job. According to the royal family’s website, there are more than 170 ambassadors and high commissioners in London at any one time, and the monarch will have an audience with each shortly after the individual takes on the role. She also has a weekly audience with the Prime Minister during which they discuss government matters.

35. In 2016, the Queen held more than 660 nominations (an event which rewards individuals for achievement, bravery or service to the United Kingdom and British Overseas Territories).

36. Her Majesty has more than 600 patronages.

37. His reign was not entirely free from criticism. After Princess Diana’s death in 1997, for example, Her Majesty came under public criticism for initially staying at her Balmoral Castle in Scotland, instead of returning to London, and for not initially lowered the British flag, which only happened on the day of Diana’s funeral. The monarch then addressed the death of the Princess of Wales in a televised statement.

“I admired and respected her for her energy and commitment to others,” she said in part, “and especially for her devotion to her two boys.”


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