Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee: 7 things you might not know about the royal

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II celebrates the start of the Platinum Jubilee at a reception in the Ballroom of Sandringham House, the Queen's Norfolk residence on February 5, 2022. - Queen Elizabeth II on Sunday will became the first British monarch to reign for seven decades, in a bittersweet landmark as she also marked the 70th anniversary of her father's death. (Photo by Joe Giddens / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JOE GIDDENS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II celebrates the start of her Platinum Jubilee marking 70 years on the throne. (Photo by JOE GIDDENS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

It's official: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has begun a whirlwind year of Platinum Jubilee celebrations to mark a historic reign of 70 years on the throne.

The celebration kicked off on Feb. 6, which marks seven decades to the day since a 26-year-old Princess Elizabeth became Queen, following the death of her father King George VI.

While the day is marked by the tragic loss of her father, the Queen is also looking forward to using the celebrations as a way for loved ones to come together across the globe.

"I hope this Jubilee will bring together families and friends, neighbours and communities – after some difficult times for so many of us – in order to enjoy the celebrations and to reflect on the positive developments in our day-to-day lives that have so happily coincided with my reign," she shared in a message on Saturday to mark the occasion.

After all these years in the public eye there are still plenty of surprising things about Queen Elizabeth II that you may not know. That's why we've gathered some of the little-known facts about Her Majesty in honour of this year's historic celebrations.

If you thought you knew everything about the Queen, read on.

She’s doesn’t just rule in the U.K.

Did you know that the Queen does not just reign in the U.K? Other countries include members of the Commonwealth like Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Saint Lucia, Jamaica, Ghana and others.

When she is travelling to these countries, she is the only U.K. resident that does not need a passport or a driver’s license.

She speaks a second language

Oui, c’est vrai – It’s true. She is fluent in French. When she is in a French-speaking country, she speaks the language fluently and does not need a translator.

EGHAM, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 11: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Queen Elizabeth II attends the Out-Sourcing Inc. Royal Windsor Cup polo match and a carriage driving display by the British Driving Society at Guards Polo Club, Smith's Lawn on July 11, 2021 in Egham, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth favours bright colours when doing public appearances for easy visibility. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

She favours bright colours when doing public appearances

When making public appearances, the Queen always wears brightly coloured coats so that she can be spotted immediately by her onlookers. According to her biographer, Robert Hardman, she was once quoted as saying, “I can never wear beige because nobody will know who I am.”

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She's a creature of habit

While many of us love to change things up, Queen Elizabeth II has been wearing the same pink nail polish since 1989: Essie’s Ballet Slippers, an elegant and timeless shade of sheer pink.

She has also been known to drink a glass of champagne every night before bed as a way to cap off the day.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 07: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Queen Elizabeth II (Patron of the Commonwealth Games Federation), wearing her Nizam of Hyderabad diamond rose brooch, attends the launch of the Queen's Baton Relay for Birmingham 2022, the XXII Commonwealth Games at Buckingham Palace on October 7, 2021 in London, England. The Queen's Baton Relay will span 294 days, during which the Baton will visit all 72 nations and territories of the Commonwealth. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth is rarely spotted without a handbag, which is used as a way to share messages with her staff. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

The Queen sends secret messages with her handbags...

It's rare that the Queen is ever seen without a handbag, and that’s because she uses them to send signals to her staff. For example, when she wants to leave dinner, simply setting her bag on top of the table lets her aides know the party is ending shortly and she’s ready to depart.

She also switches her handbag from her left hand to her right to indicate when it's time for a conversation to politely begin wrapping up.

She has two birthdays

While her official birthday is April 21, it is always celebrated on a warm Saturday in June. Given that English weather can be quite unpredictable in April, the date was moved to June to offer her a more fitting, and weather appropriate celebration.

The Queen’s ‘other’ favourite country

Other than the U.K., the Queen lived in one other country for a span of two years. While many of us might be inclined to guess somewhere in France or Italy, the country is in fact, Malta. She found it irresistibly charming and the people extremely welcoming.

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