A timeless classic – SA joins the Queen’s birthday celebrations

A timeless classic – SA joins the Queen’s birthday celebrations

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, who has two birthdays each year, celebrates the public one on Wednesday.

Queen Elizabeth and Madiba

The Queen’s official birthday is on April 21, but she will not officially turn 93 until the public celebration, which is usually on the second weekend in June.


The British High Commissioner to South Africa Nigel Casey is set to host the local celebrations on Wednesday.

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Here are five facts about Britain's oldest and longest-reigning monarch.




Over 80 percent of Britons have not experienced life under any other monarch, having not been born when Elizabeth ascended the throne on February 6, 1952, according to the UK Office of National Statistics.

She has reigned over 14 prime ministers, coming to the throne during the tenure of Winston Churchill.

She has also met with 11 of the 12 US presidents in office and signed more than 3,500 bills into law.




The Queen was born on April 21, 1926, at 17 Bruton Street in London's upmarket Mayfair neighbourhood, which is now a high-end Chinese restaurant whose signature dishes include "Roasted silver cod with Champagne".

She has another official birthday on the second Saturday in June, to celebrate the landmark publicly.

The double birthday tradition was started by King George II in 1748.





The monarch has been an animal lover all her life, and is particularly fond of horses and dogs.

She has owned more than 30 corgi dogs, her favourite breed, and even invented a new breed, the dorgi -- a cross between a corgi and a dachshund.

The 93-year-old has also owned an elephant, black jaguars and a crocodile -- all gifts that were looked after in zoos -- and due to arachic laws, still owns all unmarked mute swans and "royal fish" in Britain, including dolphins and sturgeons.




Although not legally obliged to pay tax, Elizabeth chose in 1992 to start voluntarily paying income tax on her private earnings amid public grumblings about the cost of restoring the family's fire-damaged Windsor Castle.


Tech savvy


Despite the tradition and pomp of the family, the Queen has been comfortable with developing technologies ever since serving as a truck mechanic in World War II.

She sent her first email in 1976, sent a message taken to the moon by astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin in 1969, first tweeted in 2014 and made her first Instagram post last month.

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