Queen Elizabeth II: Things You Didn't Know About Her Majesty

By Grace Taylor
Queen Elizabeth II waves during a walk in 2016. (Getty Images)

On this day 94 years ago, the longest reigning monarch in British history was born. Although no one could have known it when she slid into the world on April 21, 1926, Queen Elizabeth II of England would become one of the most recognizable faces on planet Earth. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, her image has appeared on the currency of 35 different countries, more than any other person in history. Let's celebrate her royal legacy with fun facts about the Queen you may not know!

Queen Elizabeth II Wasn't Born To Be Queen

It's hard to believe, but the longest reigning monarch wasn't meant to be a monarch at all. For one thing, her father was never supposed to be king. Albert Windsor was the second boy born to King George V, and it was expected that his older brother, Prince Edward, would ascend the throne when their father died. That all changed, however, when Prince Edward fell in love with a glamorous American divorcee named Wallis Simpson. Despite the fact that the Church of England was basically founded for the sake of royal divorce, it was nonetheless a major religious, cultural, and political scandal for him to marry a divorced woman. Edward's heart overcame ambition, and he served as king for less than a year before he abdicated his throne to little brother Albert.

Because Albert never had a son, his eldest daughter, Elizabeth, became heir apparent at the age of 11. Nowadays, the fact that he never had a son wouldn't be an issue at all thanks to Parliament, who changed the law in 2013 to allow the monarch's first-born child to become their heir regardless of gender.