8 fun facts you didn't know about Queen Elizabeth II to celebrate her 90th birthday

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II attends the opening ceremony for the Borders railway route at Tweedbank station, Scotland, Wednesday Sept. 9, 2015. (AP)

Queen Elizabeth II became the longest-reigning British monarch last year, and on Thursday April 21, she celebrates her 90th birthday. Born in 1926, the Queen has reigned for over 63 years and has always been at the center of the public eye. But there still a lot about the British monarch that may surprise you.

Here's eight fun facts you didn't know about Queen Elizabeth II:

1. She is the first head of state to open two Olympic games in two different countries.

Queen Elizabeth II speaks at a reception at Buckingham Palace on July 23, 2012, four days ahead of the opening of the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 27.


Elizabeth II opened the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal and the most recent Summer Olympic games in London in 2012.

2. She speaks fluent French.

The queen commonly uses the language during state visits and doesn't require an interpreter.

3. There have been 12 U.S. presidents and 7 popes during her reign.


Harry Truman and Pope Pius XII were holding the positions when Elizabeth II took over in 1952.

4. Queen Elizabeth II is supposedly the only British monarch properly trained on how to change a spark plug.


The monarch received driving and mechanic training as a member of the Women's Auxiliary Territorial Service during World War II.

5. She was the first member of the royal family to be awarded a gold disc from the recording industry.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II arrives in the Royal Box in the gardens of Buckingham Palace, June 3, 2002, during the second concert to commemorate her Golden Jubilee.


The live CD recording of "Party at the Palace," a concert held in 2002 to celebrate Elizabeth's II Golden Jubilee, went on to sell 100,000 copies.

6. The queen has owned more than 30 Corgis during her reign.

Left: Queen Elizabeth II with her pet corgis in 1966. Right: the Queen meets members of the public with two corgi dogs during a visit at southwest England, on May 1, 2012.


All the royal Corgis are descendants of Susan, a Pembroke Corgi given to the Queen on her 18th birthday.

7. She sent her first e-mail in 1976 from a British Army base.

Queen Elizabeth II meets with staff at the UK headquarters of Google on October 16, 2008 in London, England. The Queen uses a computer to upload a video to YouTube on her visit.


The monarch sent the message while visiting the Ministry of Defence's scientific research hub titled the Royal Signals and Research Establishment. The technology-savvy monarch also has a Twitter account, which she created last fall.

8. She's met the most important astronauts of the day.

Neil Armstrong, Apollo 11 astronaut shown with Michael Collins and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin as they meet Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace, Oct. 14, 1969 in London.


The queen has hosted Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space, and Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, the first men on the moon, at Buckingham Palace.

Sources: The official website of the British Monarchy, Time.com.

PHOTOS: Queen Elizabeth II through the years

Related Topics:
royal familyqueen elizabethu.s. & worldhistorybuzzworthydistractionwatercooler