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7 things you might not know about the late Queen Elizabeth II, Britain's longest-reigning monarch

Queen Elizabeth II dies at 96
Queen Elizabeth II dies at 96 03:40

London — As the United Kingdom, and its Commonwealth nations and the world mourn the passing of Queen Elizabeth II after her record 70 years on the throne, here are seven things you may not have known about the British monarch. 

Revisit the legacy of the late Queen Elizabeth II, Britain's longest-reigning monarch 01:40

1. Longest reign in British history

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II became the longest reigning monarch in British history on September 9, 2015, surpassing the reign of her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria. (She had the second-longest reign in world history, behind only France's King Louis XIV, who gained his title at the age of just 4 years old, in 1643.)

Queen Elizabeth II becomes longest-serving British monarch 03:44

2. Presidential meetings

Queen Elizabeth met 13 of the 14 presidents of the United States who have served during her reign. She did not meet President Lyndon Johnson. 

Joe Biden — Queen Elizabeth
Britain's Queen Elizabeth walks with President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden at Windsor Castle, June 13, 2021. Chris Jackson/Pool/Reuters

3. Generations of corgis

Elizabeth was given a corgi pup named Susan on her 18th birthday in 1944. She owned more than 30 corgis and dorgis during her reign — most of them descendants of Susan. 

Inside the royal life of the Queen's corgis 01:56

4. Military service

Elizabeth joined the women's branch of the British Army — the Auxiliary Territorial Service — during World War II, becoming the first female member of the royal family to serve as a full-time, active member of the military. During her service, she learned to drive and maintain vehicles.

Royal Princess Learns Motor Repair
Princess Elizabeth, then the heir apparent to the throne of England, is shown checking the motor of an army vehicle during her training at an Auxiliary Territorial Service depot in southern England, April 18, 1945 Getty/Bettmann

5. Early emailer

Then-Princess Elizabeth sent her first electronic message on March 26, 1976. The message — which would later become known as an email — was sent to the U.S. Secretary of Defense to formally open collaboration between the two countries on a military computer programming language. She was the first British royal, and among the first people outside top secret military circles, to ever use the technology.

Gayle King explores the extraordinary life and reign of Queen Elizabeth II 05:23

6. Windsor Castle home

Windsor Castle, which was Elizabeth's primary residence until her passing, is the largest and oldest palace in the world still in use by a royal family. William the Conqueror ordered construction to begin in 1070, and his castle was ready 16 years later. It has been a home to Britain's kings and queens ever since.

Inside St. George's Chapel at Winsdor Castle 02:34

7. Historic broadcast

Elizabeth's formal coronation ceremony in 1953 — about four months after she actually took the throne upon the death of her father, King George VI — was the first to be broadcast on live television. Some 27 million people watched it in the United Kingdom alone.

Queen Elizabeth II, surrounded by the bishop of Durham Lord Michael Ramsay (L) and the bishop of Bath and Wells Lord Harold Bradfield, walks to the altar during her coronation ceremony on June 2, 1953 in Westminster Abbey, London, as her maids of honor carry her train. Getty
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