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Diamond Jubilee: Surprising facts about Queen Elizabeth II's 60 years

June 01, 2012|By Catharine M. Hamm | Los Angeles Times Travel editor
  • Queen Elizabeth's diamond jubilee is set for June 2-5, and the merchandising is evident.
Queen Elizabeth's diamond jubilee is set for June 2-5, and the merchandising… (Catharine Hamm / Los Angeles…)

Americans may be more enamored of the royal family than the Brits. There is something so delightfully, well, foreign about the concept, and something so endearingly stuffy about a monarch who is always perfectly groomed and a perfect lady.

As Californians, don't you long to see her in shorts and flip-flops just once? Probably not going to happen. But we imagine you'll see her in a slightly new light after you take this quiz about a queen who became queen only because her uncle abdicated to marry the woman he loved.

Here are some tidbits, with thanks to Encyclopedia Britannica, Kenneth Kidd's article in the Toronto Star and the official website of the British monarchy.

1. What are the queen's two middle names?

a. Agnes and Edith

b. Edith and Esther

c. Alexandra and Mary

d. Mary and Josephina

2. When she was 18, Princess Elizabeth met Susan. It was then that she discovered a true passion in life. Who or what was Susan?

a. A personal secretary who was multilingual and sparked Elizabeth's love of language

b. A corgi, a birthday gift and the first of many

c. Her first car, a 1944 Lanchester, which ignited in her a love of fast cars and country roads

d. Her personal cook, who instilled in her the need for proper nutrition as a key to long life

3. It is said that the queen never goes out without a retinue of four of these. What are they?

a. Stenographers

b. Videographers

c. Footmen

d. Corgis

4. What is a dorgi and what does it have to do with the queen?

a. A form of Dutch origami, and she is said to have learned to fold intricate patterns of them at age 7

b. A British iPhone app, which stands for daily organizing, said to keep her on schedule

c. An ancient Indian instrument, sometimes spelled "dhorghi," which is played by plucking the strings

d. A cross between a dachshund and a corgi, and she is said to have five of them

5. Elizabeth’s mother is reported to have said this at one time: "The children will not leave unless I do. I shall not leave unless their father does, and the king will not leave the country in any circumstances whatsoever." When did she say this?

a. During a polio outbreak in the early '50s, when the royal family was urged to leave the country

b. During World War II, when it was thought the princesses might be sent to Canada

c. After the war, as rationing continued and violence broke out as people fought for necessities

d. After the abdication of Edward VIII and the coronation of King George VI, when a media frenzy erupted after it became clear that Elizabeth would one day be queen.

6. In a speech in November 1992, the queen said: "1992 is not a year on which I shall look back with undiluted pleasure. In the words of one of my more sympathetic correspondents, it has turned out to be an 'annus horribilis.'" To what was the queen referring?

a. A series of unfortunate events, including a fire at Windsor Castle and her children's marital woes

b. An economic downturn that sent the unemployment rate skyrocketing to 17%

c. an IRA bombing of Harrods

d. The death of two of her beloved corgis

7. How many queens of England have there been since the Norman conquest?

a. Six

b. Two

c. Four

d. 11

8. The royal website says the queen visited Kentucky in 1984, 1986 and 1991. What was the purpose of those trips?

a. To pick out hats from the plethora associated with the Kentucky Derby

b. To sample the bourbon and choose a royal bourbon maker

c. To visit horse farms, another of her passions

d. To select bluegrass for the front lawn of Windsor Castle

The origins of "God Save the Queen," the British national anthem (not to be confused with the song by the Sex Pistols), are unclear, but the tune is not unfamiliar to Americans. (Think "My Country Tis of Thee.") Below are some stanzas with words missing. Fill in the blanks.

9. "God save our gracious queen,
"Long live our noble queen,
"God save the queen:
"Send her victorious,
"Happy and glorious,
"Long to reign (fill in one word here): "God save the queen.

a. Meritorious

b. Over us

c. Pater Notorious

d. Laborious


10. Start of the second verse: "O Lord our God arise,
"Scatter her enemies, "And make them (fill in one word here)

a. Humble

b. Sick

c. Fall

d. Flee

11. Continuing the second verse: "Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks,
"On Thee our hopes (fill in two words here):"God save us all

a. Still sticks

b. We fix

c. Will mix

c. And bricks


12. Beginning the third verse: "Thy choicest gifts in store,
"On her be pleased to pour; "Long may she (fill in one word here):

a. Gain

b. Reign

c. Stand

d. Wave

13. "May she defend our laws,
"And ever give us cause
"To sing with heart and (fill in one word here) "God save the queen."

a. Soul

b. Voice

c. Nation

d. Diaphragm

14. When you meet the queen, you are to address her as:

a. Queen Elizabeth, head of the British Empire

b. Mrs. Mountbatten

c. Your Majesty and, later, ma'am

d. Toots

15. What is the official title of the queen?

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