Monarch used to records

Seventy years of reign for a 96-year-old monarch who has circumnavigated the earth 42 times: Queen Elizabeth II, whose platinum anniversary is celebrated in Britain, is a regular record holder.

Illustrative picture

KEYSTONE/AP Photo/Chris Harris


Elizabeth II reigns for 70 years and almost 4 months. In the United Kingdom, the previous record was held by his great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria, who reigned 63 years, 7 months and 2 days (20 June 1837 until her death 22 January 1901).

Queen Elizabeth is also the oldest reigning monarch in the world at 96 years old.

Only two kings have reigned longer than her: King Louis XIV (over 72 years between 1643 and 1715) and King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand (70 years and 4 months, from June 9, 1946 to October 13, 2016).

– Globetrotter

She has visited more than 100 countries as Queen – another record for a British sovereign – and visited more than 150 Commonwealth countries. She has been to Canada 22 times – more than any other country – and 13 times to France, whose language she speaks, more than any other European country.

The Daily Telegraph calculated that she orbited the earth 42 times before retiring from international travel in November 2015 at the age of 89.

Her longest trip abroad had lasted 168 days (November 1953 to May 1954), she had visited 13 countries.

Very busy

“I declare before you that my whole life, long or short, will be devoted to your service,” declared Elizabeth, still a princess, on her 21st birthday.

During her reign, she performed around 21,000 engagements, approved around 4,000 bills with “royal assent” and received large numbers of dignitaries on 112 state visits. Among them Emperor Haile Selassie (Ethiopia, 1954), Japanese Emperor Hirohito (1971), Polish President Lech Walesa (1991) and US President Barack Obama (2011).

Over 180 garden parties have been held at Buckingham Palace, attended by over 1.5 million people.

14 prime ministers

She has known 14 prime ministers, from Winston Churchill (1952-1955) to Boris Johnson, who kept her updated on key current developments during what were essentially weekly hearings.

Queen Elizabeth has also met 13 of the 14 American Presidents, from Harry Truman (1945-1953) to Joe Biden. Only Lyndon Johnson (1963-1969) is missing.

The Queen, head of the Anglican Church, very religious and practicing, met four popes on official visits: John XXIII. (1961), John Paul II (1980, 1982 and 2000), Benedict XVI (2010) and Pope Francis (2014).

A million greeting cards

She sent around 300,000 greetings cards to centenarians and more than 900,000 to couples celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary (60 years). She herself remained married to Prince Philip for more than 73 years, who died in April 2021, another record for a British monarch.

More than 200 portraits

She posed for over 200 portraits, including the first when she was 7 years old.

Sometimes pioneer

Queen Elizabeth became the first British monarch to visit China in 1996, addressing the House of Representatives in Washington on May 16, 1991.

The Queen sent her first email on March 26, 1976, during a visit to a Ministry of Defense research center.

In 1997 she launched the first official website for Buckingham Palace.

She sent her first tweet in 2014 and her first Instagram post in 2019.

Videos with James Bond

She’s the only monarch to (almost) parachute with James Bond: in a video filmed for the opening of the London 2012 Olympics, we see her receiving the spy then owned by Daniel Craig was played at Buckingham Palace, before both pretend to board a helicopter, fly over London and parachute over the Olympic Stadium, where the Queen’s (real) arrival was greeted with a standing ovation.


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