Top 20 Times the Queen Was Badass

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Top 20 Times the Queen Was Badass

VOICE OVER: Emily Brayton WRITTEN BY: Tal Fox
History will remember these times the Queen was a badass. Our countdown includes sent a message to the moon, drove the Saudi King around, kept her house's name, and more!
Transcript

Top 20 Times the Queen Was Badass


Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 20 Times the Queen Was Badass.

For this list, we’ll be looking at admirable facts or moments from the Queen’s life or anytime Elizabeth II was particularly awesome.

Did you know the Queen was this cool? Let us know in the comments.

#20: Holding a Record Reign


On September 9, 2015, Queen Elizabeth II became the longest-reigning monarch in Britain, taking the record from her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria. Following her father’s passing in 1952, she became Queen and then was subsequently crowned in 1953, at the age of 27. This momentous event was also the first televised coronation and was viewed by 277 million people around the world. And in June 2022 she is set to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years of her accession. As if all that isn’t impressive enough, in 2016 she also took the record for the longest-reigning living monarch in the entire world.

#19: Dropping the Mic for Team UK


Ever wanted to see how the First Family and the Royal Family do trash talk? Well, ahead of the 2016 Invictus Games, hosted in Orlando, the Obamas took to Twitter for some hilarious rivalry banter with Prince Harry. But when the Obamas sent the young Royal a video telling him that the US was ready to “bring it”, they didn’t anticipate that he wouldn’t be alone when he received the message. Sure their mic drop was impressive, but with the Queen in his corner, Harry called checkmate. Nothing quite says “drop the mic” like the Queen having the last laugh.

#18: Sent a Message to the Moon


In 1969, as Apollo 11’s highly anticipated launch neared, the Queen joined 72 other world leaders in sending goodwill messages as part of this historic mission. Although she reportedly thought it was just a gimmick, she understood their good intentions and provided a note to be uploaded on a disc and taken to the moon. In 2019, her note was included in a National Archives collection, celebrating 50 years since the monumental moon landing. It read, “On behalf of the British people, I salute the skills and courage which have brought man to the moon. May this endeavour increase the knowledge and well-being of man-kind.”

#17: Wearing a Hat That Resembles the EU Flag


As Head of State, the Queen must appear impartial on all political matters. However, some believe that she sends out subtle messages through her outfit choices. In 2017, during a Parliamentary appearance, where Brexit received top billing, viewers thought that the Queen’s hat bore resemblance to the European Union’s flag. Her dresser at the time found this amusing, but insisted that it was nothing more than a coincidence and that the outfits are planned to accommodate the Queen’s busy schedule. While we may never know the truth, it wouldn’t be the only time the public thought the Queen was communicating through her accessories.

#16: Surprising a Couple on Their Wedding Day


When Frances and John Canning discovered that they’d be sharing their wedding venue with this VIP, they jokingly sent her an invite to their civil ceremony at Manchester town hall. They were surprised enough to receive a thank you letter from the Royal household and thought that would be the end of it. But after their ceremony, they were asked to wait in the hallway, where they were greeted by the Queen and Prince Philip! The royal couple had specifically scheduled time to congratulate the newlyweds on their special day. No one wants to be upstaged on their wedding day, but if it’s by the Queen, you might make an exception.

#15: Hosting Buckingham Palace’s First-Ever Women-Only Event


Back in 2004, the Queen and her daughter, Princess Anne hosted the first-ever lunch to celebrate female achievement at Buckingham Palace. They invited about 180 women spanning across a myriad of fields, from arts, and sports to academics and business. She also included the UK’s first female train driver and London’s first woman firefighter. Of course, some famous faces were in attendance too such as, Twiggy, Jennifer Saunders, and Heather Mills, among others. This was an incredible first-step in celebrating female excellence and we can’t wait to see how this initiative continues to develop and evolve in the years to come.

#14: Paid for Her Own Wedding Dress Using Ration Coupons


When the Queen got married in 1947, the country was still recovering from the Second World War. Everyone still relied on rationing coupons to do their shopping and the Queen was no exception. Her wedding dress, designed by Norman Hartnell, featured a 13-foot-long train and 10,000 seed pearls, imported from America. While she saved up her coupons to pay for it, hundreds of well-wishers sent her their tokens too. However, due to legal reasons, she had to return them all. Still, the government gifted her 200 coupons to help pay for her dream dress. Now, that is some extreme couponing.

#13: Kept Her Own Name as Queen


When a new monarch takes the throne, they can choose to keep their birth name or opt for a regnal name instead. The Queen’s own father has christened Albert, but after his brother abdicated, he was crowned King George VI. So when the princess was asked what name she intended on using, she replied “My own name, of course. What else?” Of course, she would not be the first Queen Elizabeth, with the last ruling about 4 centuries earlier. Adjustments had to be made since this was also the title her mother used. She was ultimately crowned Elizabeth II, Queen Regnant.

#12: The Potential for Secret Codes in Her Choice of Brooches


There was many an eye roll performed following what was considered Trump’s disrespectful behavior towards the Queen during his 2018 official state visit. However, some eagle-eyed royal fans thought they spotted the Queen throwing back some subtle shade of her own in what many hoped was a deliberate statement. During his visit, the Queen wore a green brooch, from his predecessor, President Obama, a snowflake one gifted by Canada, and finally the brooch her mother wore to her father’s funeral. While we can’t prove that any of this was intentional, wouldn’t it be great if it was? Now that would be throwing shade in style.

#11: Addressing the Nation During Unprecedented Times


Throughout her reign, the Queen has only made a handful of royal addresses to the nation and in 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic became the reason for one of them. In April, almost 24 million people watched it live, compared to 7.85 million who tuned in for her annual Christmas Day speech in 2019. She took the opportunity to thank frontline workers and everyone who had been following government guidelines. While acknowledging that there were still tough times ahead, she concluded that we will see the light at the end of the tunnel. She ended with the words, “we will meet again,” which some have taken to be a quote from Dame Vera Lynn’s famous wartime song, “We’ll Meet Again”.

#10: Kept Her House’s Name


As mentioned, while most British monarchs take on regnal names during their reigns, Elizabeth remained Elizabeth when she acceded to the throne. But even before the Princess became Queen, she was already breaking tradition. When she married Prince Philip in 1947, she chose to keep her own house’s name, Windsor, rather than taking on her husband’s, which was Mountbatten. Prince Philip allegedly wasn’t too happy, especially since the Queen Mother and Winston Churchill also insisted on keeping the House of Windsor’s name. Elizabeth II would officially declare the royal house to remain that of Windsor following her coronation. The couple did eventually come to a compromise years later, since some descendants can now have both surnames. Sounds fair to us!

#9: Photobombed Two Field Hockey Players


Queen Elizabeth: the photobomber? It happened! At the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Australian field hockey players Jayde Taylor and Brooke Peris decided to take a selfie. Pretty normal stuff, right? Well, this was no ordinary self-portrait photograph. The girls were surprised to find the Queen join in on the shot, beaming right behind them. Taylor was quick to tweet the photo, complete with the #sheevensmiled hashtag. The Australian women’s field hockey team went on to win gold at the Games. Safe to say Lady Luck wasn’t the only one smiling upon them.

#8: Became the First Monarch to Send an Email


Spending over six decades on the throne means a lot of stationery. Queen Elizabeth has sent thousands of letters, cards, and telegrams to heads of state, British citizens, and everyone in between. But in today’s digital world, she’s made sure to keep up with the times. Aside from the Royal Family’s social media accounts, the Queen also holds the distinction of being the first sitting monarch to send an email. Even more impressive? This was at an army base way back in 1976, years before the personal email addresses we know today.

#7: Participated in Target Practice


She may seem all prim and proper, but the Queen also knows her way around a gun – both for sport and defense. In 1993, Elizabeth was photographed firing an L85 battle rifle when she visited the National Shooting Centre in Surrey. This might sound unusual at first, but it seems to run in the family. During World War II, the Queen Mother learned how to use a gun in case of a Nazi invasion, and Prince Harry served as a helicopter co-pilot and gunner in Afghanistan. While she hasn’t pulled the trigger in a long time, she’s a sure shot!

#6: “Skydived” During the Olympics


Her daughter and granddaughter are Olympians, and in 2012, the Queen joined in on the fun. Okay, so she didn’t actually jump into the Olympic Stadium. But millions of viewers around the world got to see the Queen and her stunt double during the opening ceremonies in London. In a tribute to the James Bond franchise, the Daniel Craig version of Bond enters Buckingham Palace to meet the head of state – and her beloved corgis. The two then hop onto a helicopter and seemingly go skydiving…only for the real Queen to enter wearing the same outfit. Elizabeth the Bond girl – who knew?

#5: Drove the Saudi King Around


Now into her nineties, the Queen still gets behind the wheel here and there. During a visit to Balmoral in 1998, the soon-to-be king of Saudi Arabia, Crown Prince Abdullah, and Elizabeth had just finished lunch when she suggested they tour the castle grounds. Women aren’t allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia, so the Prince was in for a surprise. Abdullah waited in the Land Rover with his interpreter, expecting a male driver. Yet sure enough, the Queen herself took the wheel. He got even more nervous as she let out her inner speed demon, all the while carrying a conversation with him. Can we carpool?

#4: Handled the Michael Fagan Incident


With 14-foot walls surrounding its elegant grounds, Buckingham Palace is one fancy fortress – but on July 9, 1982, someone managed to break in! That morning, Michael Fagan somehow bypassed palace security, and made his way to the Queen’s bedroom. Fagan now says that once the Queen saw him, she left straight away to get help. But reports at the time claimed the Queen spoke with the intruder for ten minutes before security finally came. Fagan later spent six months in a psychiatric hospital, and palace security was heavily criticized. While only the Queen and Fagan really know what happened, one thing’s for sure – she kept calm and carried on.

#3: Held It Together During an Attempt on Her Life


The Queen has always been a public figure, and such a high-profile life has led to some very close calls. On June 13, 1981, she was on her way to the Trooping the Colour ceremony when 17-year-old Marcus Sarjeant fired six shots towards her. Luckily, they were all blanks, so while it was quite a shock, no one was injured. After comforting her startled horse, the Queen kept her cool and continued as if nothing had happened. Sarjeant apparently did it for the fame and notoriety, but unlike his target, he now lives a quiet life out of the spotlight.

#2: Married Against Her Family’s Wishes


Royal marriages were often arranged and not always out of love. This was not the case for Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Philip. She crushed on him when she was a teenager, and after years of courtship, the couple became engaged in July 1947. While Elizabeth wanted to marry him, her family wasn’t too excited. Philip was not as wealthy, was a foreign-born prince, and was considered just not good enough a match for the future queen. She married him anyway. Their marriage has had its struggles, but decades later, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are still very much in love.

#1: Served in WWII as a Mechanic & Truck Driver


When Britain entered World War II, everyone did their part. The royal family was no exception. Elizabeth was only 13 when war broke out, but when she turned 18, she jumped at the chance to serve her country. The young princess drove military trucks and ambulances for the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service. She even knew how to repair them, a fact notably shown on an episode of “The Crown.” As of 2017, the Queen is the only female British royal and the last surviving head of state to serve in World War II. Decades later, her contributions to the war effort are not forgotten.
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