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Congratz to Her Maj


At 5:30 this evening, my time — about four hours ago — Queen Elizabeth the Twoth became the longest-reigning British monarch. Sixty three years a queen. The British papers are full of it, if you’re interested, but I cribbed a few numbers from the Observer:

33,446,430 minutes – approximate length of Elizabeth’s II reign when she set the new record. This works out as 23,226 days, 16 hours and 30 minutes.

12 – prime ministers who have served Elizabeth II since she became the Queen. The first was Winston Churchill (1951-55); the latest is David Cameron (2010 to date).

10 – hours the Queen has spent reading out speeches at the State Opening of Parliament. She has delivered the speech in person 62 times. She doesn’t get to write it, though. Boo.

7 – Archbishops of Canterbury to have served the Queen. The first was Geoffrey Fisher, who officiated at her marriage and coronation. The others were Michael Ramsey, Donald Coggan, Robert Runcie, George Carey, Rowan Williams and Justin Welby.

97 – state visits the Queen has undertaken so far. Her first was to Norway in June 1955. Her most recent was to Germany in June 2015.

173 – visits by the Queen to Commonwealth countries. Her first was to Kenya, where she learned she had become Queen on February 6 1952. Her most recent was to Australia in October 2011. The Telegraph said the Commonwealth still covers a quarter of the world’s population, but I’m damned if I can find the quote now.

2 – countries that have left the Commonwealth during the Queen’s reign: Zimbabwe (in 2003) and the Gambia (in 2013). How’s that workin’ out for them?

0 – passports the Queen has held. She has no need for one, as all British passports are issued in her name. Extra trivia: for a similar reason, she can’t sing the national anthem. How would that go? “God save our gracious ME”?

56 – televised Christmas messages delivered by the Queen. Her first was transmitted live in 1957, while the first pre-recorded TV message was in 1959. There has been a televised message every year since 1957 except in 1969, when a repeat of the film Royal Family was shown. I don’t know why.

109 – state visits hosted by the Queen. The first was a visit by King Gustaf VI and Queen Louise of Sweden in June 1954. The most recent was a visit by the president of Mexico Enrique Pena Nieto and his wife Angelica Rivera de Pena in March 2015.

50,000 – number of people the Queen hosts in an average year at banquets, lunches, dinners, receptions and garden parties at Buckingham Palace. I know several people who’ve been to a garden party at Buck House since I’ve been here, so I can believe it. Not me, though. I’d knick the silverware.

67 – years the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have been married. They will celebrate their 68th wedding anniversary on November 20, 2015.

She’s got a way to go to be the longest serving monarch ever, though (scroll down).

That reminds me: I need to get my citizenship sorted while I can still take the oath to this nice old lady.


Comment from iamfelix
Time: September 9, 2015, 9:33 pm

In the immortal words of Chuck Berry, “Go! little Queenie!”

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: September 9, 2015, 11:42 pm

Now that’s my fave Chuck Berry song evah, Felix 🙂

Comment from SCOTTtheBADGER
Time: September 10, 2015, 12:22 am


Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: September 10, 2015, 2:44 am

God Save The Queen.

Here’s hoping for a return to the Special Relationship between our countries while she still reigns.

Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: September 10, 2015, 2:09 pm

A classy lady she is, and has been. How long did the previous Elizabeth hang on to her throne? Forty-five years or so?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 10, 2015, 4:40 pm

44 I think, Wolfus. I’m a particular fan of Good Queen Bess, I must say.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: September 10, 2015, 5:06 pm

I have a soft heart for the Queen, and I especially liked her mother. My Grandmother was born the same week as the Queen Mother, and my Mother was born the same week as Elizabeth II, so I always liked following the news about the two women.

Comment from Timbo
Time: September 10, 2015, 5:26 pm

Remember seeing her Christmas message back in the day. Us kids were invited by a pair of spinster neighbors who had the only telly in the area. Watched it on a screen the size of an iPad housed in a piece of furniture like a drinks cabinet. When it was over, the cabinet doors were closed and we were shooed out.

Good times.

Comment from mojo
Time: September 10, 2015, 10:16 pm

Be pretty funny if you got introduced to the queen and had forks and spoons start dropping out of your sleeves and pants legs… Sort of a Three Stooges vibe.

Comment from Nina
Time: September 11, 2015, 12:43 am

Three hearty cheers to your Queen!

Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: September 14, 2015, 7:01 am

50,000 – number of people the Queen hosts in an average year…

That’s about 140 per day. Every day. Weekends, Bank Holidays, Christmas and New Year’s.

Of course it doesn’t work that way – some of the events must be much larger than that. But still. There was a mystery called King and Joker, set in Buck House and involving a fictional royal family. One thing I remember was how the author conveyed just how little private time the royals have.

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