As we honour the remarkable life and reign of HM Queen Elizabeth II we look back at some of the Queen’s most inspiring moments and achievements during her life time
Words: Millie Sykes
1. The royal family has a long history of serving in the military but Queen Elizabeth II was the first female royal to serve in the armed forces. Her Majesty trained as a mechanic and driver during World War II and enrolled in the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS).
2. Queen Elizabeth II was the longest- serving active member of the Women’s Institute, having joined in 1943 when she was still Princess Elizabeth. Her Majesty was President of Sandringham WI and hosted her fellow members at Buckingham Palace in 1956 for the WI’s Golden Jubilee.
The Women’s Institute remembers Queen Elizabeth II: ‘She was a loyal and dedicated member of the WI for 80 years, and never failed to show her support for us throughout her time as Queen.’
3. Queen Elizabeth II changed the course of history for women inside the British monarchy in 2013 when she gave royal assent to the Succession to the Crown Act. It altered the laws of succession to give the women and men in the royal family equal right to ascending the throne.
4. In 2003 the-then Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Abdullah, came to visit Queen Elizabeth II at Balmoral. At the time women were not legally allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia so Her Majesty took the opportunity to drive the Prince around in her Land Rover.
5. During the Trooping the Colour ceremony in 1981 Her Majesty was shot at six times by a 17 year old with harmful intent. She continued to bravely ride her horse and luckily the shots had been from a fake gun.
6. Queen Elizabeth was known throughout her life as a lover of colourful clothing and she was the first monarch to ever attend a show at London fashion week.
7. Her Majesty was homeschooled but she wanted to give her children the best opportunities, a stable education and opportunity to meet other children so they were educated outside of the palace.