Seven things you didn't know about the queen

Thursday, October 27, 2011
Seven things you definitely didn't know about Queen Elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth has been Australia's head of state for nearly 60 years, but how much do you really know about our beloved monarch? Here are some bizarre facts even the most devoted royalists probably don't know.

1. She owns several jaguars (the animals, not the car):
During her reign, Queen Elizabeth has received many unusual gifts including a variety of live animals. The more unusual creatures have been placed in the care of London Zoo, and include jaguars and sloths from Brazil and two black beavers from Canada. She has also received gifts of pineapples, eggs, a box of snail shells, a grove of maple trees and 7kg of prawns.

In pictures: Queen Elizabeth's visit to Australia

2. She was sending emails before most of us even knew what a computer was:
The queen sent her first email from an army base in 1976, several years before computers were common in homes and decades before the internet became publicly accessible.

3. The queen and Prince Philip are cousins:
Queen Elizabeth and her husband the Duke of Edinburgh are distantly related. They have the same great, great grandmother, Queen Victoria, making them third cousins.

4. A letter she wrote was sent to the moon, and is still there today
Queen Elizabeth sent a message on congratulations to Apollo 11 astronauts to commemorate the first moon landing in 1969. The message was converted into micro-film and deposited on the moon in a metal container.

5. She has owned more than 30 corgis, and even created a new breed — the 'dorgi'
Elizabeth received her first corgi, Susan, as a gift on her 18th birthday in 1944. This dog started a lifelong love affair between the queen and the breed. She has owned more than 30 corgis during her reign, and most of these have been direct descendents of Susan. She currently has four corgis, Linnet, Monty, Holly and Willow. The queen has also introduced a new breed of dog, the 'dorgi', a cross between a corgi and a dachshund. She currently has three dorgis, Cider, Candy and Vulcan.

6. She loves soap operas:
The queen is a big soap opera fan and has visited the set of several popular UK shows, including Coronation Street, East Enders and Emmerdale.

In pictures: Previous royal visits to Australia

7. She is a gold-selling recording artist
EMI produced a CD called 'Party at the Palace in 2002, which went on to sell 100,000 in the first week, making the queen the first and only member of the royal family to be awarded a 'gold disc' by the recording industry.

Your say: Do you think Australia should remain a monarchy, or become a republic?

Video: The queen in Perth

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