The United Kingdom’s longest-reigning monarch in history, Queen Elizabeth II, died at 96, and world leaders are paying their respects today at her funeral at Westminster Abbey in London. Many have taken to social media to discuss her legacy, both critics and fans.
No matter how mixed the reaction to the Queen’s passing was, it is clear that she was an icon in her own right, and she will continue to be a monumental figure in history.
With her having such a long reign, there are quite a few fun facts about her that millennials today may not know, especially from the time she was, herself, a young woman. She took on the role at 25 and handled fame and fortune to the highest degree, all while trying to make the right choices for the United Kingdom.
Here are four fun facts about Queen Elizabeth II from that time:
1. She worked to make the monarchy more relatable.
Queen Elizabeth and her family were known for their inclination to privacy for many generations.
Many people would probably be surprised to know that Queen Elizabeth wanted to humanize the monarchy by airing a documentary about their private life as a family, an idea that came from her press secretary at the time. She slowly began to see the benefit of airing a show about their family.
According to Town and Country, “Royal Family” was aired on British TV stations on June 21, 1969 on the government-owned BBC in black and white and then a week later on commercial station ITV in color.
Queen Elizabeth later had the show archived.
2. She rebelled against her family for love.
Queen Elizabeth fell in love when she was only 13 years old with her distant cousin.
Though Prince Phillip had a stately title, with claims to the Greek and Danish thrones, Queen Elizabeth’s family did not easily accept him as her lifelong partner.
According to Vogue, many of the royals thought that Phillip was too “brusque, German, and unpolished” to marry the then-princess. It was much unlike other royals to rebel against family for love, but Elizabeth insisted.
3. She spent a lot of her young adulthood traveling.
As leader of the Commonwealth, Queen Elizabeth spent a lot of her time traveling abroad.
Many perceived her as a bad mother for traveling while her children were left at home, but Queen Elizabeth took her role as leader of the Commonwealth seriously.
According to CNN, the Queen saw the beginning of the Jet Age, flew supersonic on the Concorde, saw regimes change, countries form and dissolve, the end of the British Empire and saw the rise of globalization.
4. She was one of the first Royals to embrace technology
Queen Elizabeth was one of the first world leaders to send an email in 1976, but even before then, she was a lover of technology.
Queen Elizabeth allowed her coronation to be broadcasted on BBC for the first time in history when she was only 25. It garnered twenty million viewers and is largely credited with making television more mainstream.
With so many years under her belt, the Queen was able to have an impact on the world, even as a young adult.
As the world continues to mourn for Queen Elizabeth II, it is worth considering her life in its entirety, as she went quickly from a girl to a young mother attempting to make progress amidst a changing world.
Several news sites are livestreaming Queen Elizabeth’s funeral today. Find out more on how and when here.