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INFO VINE * The Most Expensive Things Queen Elizabeth II Owns *

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INFO VINE *  The Most Expensive Things Queen Elizabeth II Owns * Empty INFO VINE * The Most Expensive Things Queen Elizabeth II Owns *

Post by Paul Tue 30 Jan 2024, 11:26 am

The Most Expensive Things Queen Elizabeth II Owns






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Photo Courtesy: [Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images]
Queen Elizabeth II is a record-setter and one of the most famous people in the world. She is the longest-serving female head of state in history and the longest-lived and longest-reigning British monarch. Elizabeth II is the Queen of Britain and the Head of State of 15 other areas within the Commonwealth. The Duke and Duchess of York, also known as King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, raised their daughter in a long line of ancestral royals. So, what are the most expensive things Queen Elizabeth II owns? Read on to find out!





All the Swans on the River Thames


Each year, the Swan Upping ceremony takes place on the River Thames, South West London. All the swans and cygnets are weighed and tagged before being released back into the water. The Sovereign's Swan Marker, David Barber, counts the young cygnets to verify that their population is maintained and assesses any medical needs the swans may have.


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Photo Courtesy: [Dan Kitwood/Getty Images News/Getty Images]


The annual event began in the 12th century when the British Crown decreed all Mute Swans along the River Thames were royal property. Queen Elizabeth II inherited them when she ascended the throne on February 6, 1952, at the age of 25. The Seigneur of the Swans has only attended one Swan Upping throughout her roughly 70 years on the throne. It is tradition for those rowing by Windsor Castle to toast to "Her Majesty the Queen, Seigneur of the Swans" during the annual ceremony.


The Seabed and the British Beaches


Since the conquest of the Normans, the British Kingdom has traditionally owned the seabed and most of the British beaches. Queen Elizabeth II's ancestral ownership of the areas dates back to 1066, including the English Channel, the Irish Sea, the North Atlantic Ocean, and the North Sea. In 1963, the waters and beaches surrounding the United Kingdom were transferred to her care. 


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Photo Courtesy: [RomoloTavani/Stock Photos/Sea/iStock]


Queen Elizabeth II owns 55% of the land between low and high tides throughout her reach. Her possession of the seabed extends between low water and 12 nautical miles. The Crown Estate Commissioners manage the properties on her behalf. Every monarch since 1760 has traditionally signed over the profits of the Crown Estate to the Treasury, giving over £300 million to the British government annually for the people.


The World's Most Precious Diamond


Queen Elizabeth II owns the largest and most expensive diamond in the world. Known as both the "Star of Africa" and "Cullinan I," the stone is at the heart of the royal family's Sceptre with the Cross. Cullinan I is pear-shaped and weighs an incredible 530.2 carats. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Print Collector/Hulton Archive/Getty Images]


The Queen's diamond was named after the owner of the South African mine it was found in. To fool would-be thieves, an elaborate plan was put into place. The Star of Africa was supposedly shipped to England on a heavily-guarded boat. In reality, the stone was simply mailed to England without any sort of security.


450 Thoroughbred Racehorses and Three Other Breeds


The Queen has been well-known for her love of horses since childhood. She is pictured below with one of her ponies in Windsor Great Park, Berkshire, at the age of 13. Elizabeth II's great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, initiated the link of the Royal family's name with the Highland pony breed. Today, Queen Victoria's great-great-granddaughter raises Highland ponies under the Balmoral prefix, along with Shetland ponies and Fell ponies. The United States lists the British-native Fell ponies as Threatened on The Livestock Conservancy's Conservation Priority List.


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Photo Courtesy: [Central Press/Stringer/Hulton Royals Collection/Getty Images]


The Queen also owns 450 Thoroughbred racehorses, having inherited King George VI's stock in 1952. She raced her own-bred stock and horses bred by the National Stud up until the late 1960s. Elizabeth II and jockeys who ride her racehorses wore registered colors identical to those of her father and great-grandfather; a purple and scarlet jacket with gold braiding along with a black cap adorned with gold fringes. In 1974, the Queen won the Prix de Diane, a French Classic. She also achieved the distinguishment of being the first reigning monarch to be named British flat racing Champion Owner twice, along with owning horses that have won more than 1,600 races.


 Corgis and Dorgis


Queen Elizabeth II has been in love with Pembroke Welsh Corgis since 1933. When she was seven years old, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth got their family's first Corgi. When Elizabeth II turned 18, she received one as a birthday present. Since then, she has raised over 30 Corgis. In the photo, the monarch was with one of her beloved pets at Balmoral Castle on September 28, 1952.


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Photo Courtesy: [Bettmann/Bettmann/Getty Images]


Queen Elizabeth II has been credited as the creator of the Dorgi breed. The dogs are a cross between a Dachshund and a Corgi. One of the Queen's Pembroke Welsh Corgis was mated with Princess Margaret's Dachshund, Pipkin. In 2007, Elizabeth II owned four Dorgis; Cider, Berry, Vulcan, and Candy. She is said to walk them herself every day.


An Enormous Collection of Miniatures


Queen Elizabeth II has more than 3,000 miniatures in the Royal Collection, making it one of the largest collections in the world. The art form of creating tiny models dates back to the 16th century when King Henry VIII began the Royal Collection and hired the first miniaturists into official court positions. The Queen has kept the tradition alive, purchasing items such as the tiny portrait of Queen Henrietta Maria by John Hoskins. Those wishing to view her impressive art pieces can see them through the Royal Collection Trust’s digital database.


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Photo Courtesy: [Folb/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images]


A miniature of Elizabeth II in her uniform of Colonel of the Grenadier Guards is pictured above. On September 13, 1940, German fighters dropped five bombs on Buckingham Palace. Princesses Elizabeth and Princess Margaret were evacuated to Windsor Castle, about 20 miles outside of London. As a young teenager, Elizabeth II performed her first act to help the war-torn country by giving a speech to the rest of its youth. She boosted their morale by expressing empathy toward everyone who evacuated their homes for safety.

A few years later, on her 16th birthday, she performed her first inspection of a military regiment during a parade at Windsor Castle. Elizabeth II received the honorary role of Colonel of the Grenadier Guards. On her 18th birthday, she joined the women's branch of the British Army, the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS). Her father was against the idea, but she insisted on aiding the citizens during WWII. During her second term, the Princess was promoted to Junior Commander, a position equal to a Captain.


Personal Writings and Speeches


The Queen has delivered 68 Christmas Day speeches and counting to Britain and the Commonwealth nations. She has created numerous personal writings and speeches, starting before her first coronation address in 1953, that are incredibly valuable and continue to grow in worth. A young Queen Elizabeth II is seen below, creating one of her priceless pieces with an ink pen from her vast collection.


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Photo Courtesy: [Lisa Sheridan/Stringer/Hulton Royals Collection/Getty Images]


One of the passages from the Queen's famous coronation speech accentuates the love she continues to have for her people, language, literature, and taking care of what needs to be done. She said, "During recent centuries, this message has been sustained and invigorated by the immense contribution, in language, literature, and action, of the nations of our Commonwealth overseas. It gives expression, as I pray it always will, to living principles, as sacred to the Crown and Monarchy as to its many Parliaments and Peoples."


Three Breeds of Cattle


In 1972, Queen Elizabeth II and her late husband, Prince Philip, were photographed walking through fields at Balmoral, Scotland, with some of the cattle she owns. The Queen raises three different types of cattle, including the Highland, Jersey, and Sussex breeds. Highland and Sussex breeds are less common than Jersey cattle in the United States. Though the former two do not have the excellent milk production of Jersey's, they are well-known for their docility and longevity.


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Photo Courtesy: [Fox Photos/Stringer/Hulton Royals Collection/Getty Images]


BBC Countryfile visited the Royal Dairy at Windsor for the 65th anniversary of The Queen's Coronation and the 30th anniversary of Countryfile. No one filmed the Royal Dairy before the BBC production that year. In 1848, Prince Albert oversaw the construction of the new Renaissance-style structures replacing those from George III's reign. Today, around 165 Jersey cows reside at Windsor Home Park. Many of Queen Elizabeth II's Jersey cattle descend from the "Pretty Polly" bloodline gifted to Queen Victoria in 1871.


Shopping Centers


The Queen owns a lot of property, including 14 retail parks and three shopping centers. All together, her realm contains over four million square feet of retail space. Elizabeth II was seen shopping at a Waitrose supermarket in the King Edward Court Shopping Center in 2008. The design of her Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead is easy for shoppers to travel across on foot.


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Photo Courtesy: [Pool/Tim Graham Picture Library/Getty Images]


The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead offers shoppers a wide variety of choices. Shops inside the compact town centers sell one-of-a-kind handmade pieces, vintage items, art, jewelry, souvenirs, greenery, food, and high-end goods. Cafés and restaurants line the pedestrian-only streets, and the Windsor and Eton railway stations are centrally located in the district for easy traveling. The Queen's castle sits above the shops along the High Street, Thames Street, and the 17th-century Windsor Guildhall.


Tiaras


While Queen Elizabeth II owns many tiaras, she prefers to wear only a handful from her collection. She generously loaned Princess Anne, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, and Meghan Markle tiaras for their royal weddings, too. Among the monarch's most frequently worn tiaras are the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara and Queen Mary's Fringe Tiara. Both were passed down to Elizabeth II by her paternal grandmother, Queen Mary. She left her granddaughter a multitude of jewels and tiaras when she passed away in 1953. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Sean Gallup/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images]


In 1919, the House of Garrard crafted Queen Mary's Fringe Tiara with 47 delicate bars of diamonds. In 1947, Elizabeth II wore the tiara for the first time, in honor of her wedding to Prince Phillip. The tiara snapped on the day of the ceremony and was escorted by police officers to the House of Garrard for an emergency repair. To this day, Queen Mary's Fringe Tiara is one of Queen Elizabeth II's favorite pieces.

The Queen also adores the Nizam of Hyderabad Tiara, the Diamond Diadem, and Queen Alexandra's Kokoshnik. She chose the elements for the tiara herself after the Nizam of Hyderabad requested that she choose from Cartier's stock. It was designed so that the floral elements detached to be worn as brooches. The Diamond Diadem, created in 1820, was worn by King George IV during his coronation. Since then, only queens have worn the diamond and pearl diadem. Queen Alexandra's Kokoshnik was gifted to Queen Alexandra in 1888 for her silver wedding. It was inspired by Empress Marie Feodorovna of Russia's tiara.


Regent Street


Regent Street, lined with some of London's most luxurious stores, is owned by the Queen. The street is said to be one of the most popular roads in the United Kingdom, delighting tourists and residents alike. Elizabeth II is said to earn an estimated two billion dollars from her Regent Street properties.


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Photo Courtesy: [Tim Graham/Tim Graham Photo Library/Getty Images]


Garrard Crown Jewellers have created unique pieces for the British Royal Family since 1735, beginning with Frederick Louis, Prince of Wales. Robert Garrard purchased the business from the goldsmith George Wickes in 1802, and 41 years later, Queen Victoria appointed Garrard as Crown Jewellers. The title granted the house of Garrard responsibility for designing and creating jewelry for the Royal Family and tending to the Crown Jewels as needed. The Garrard Crown Jewellers shop is located on Regent Street in London and features the Royal Warrant from Queen Elizabeth II above the door.


The Tower of London


In central London, along the north bank of the River Thames, lies the Tower of London. The historic castle was founded in 1066 during the Norman Conquest, and William the Conqueror erected the White Tower in 1078 as the fort's most vital military point and chapel. Throughout English history, whoever besieged and controlled the Tower of London held sway over the country.


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Photo Courtesy: [Kypros/Hulton Archive/Getty Images]


The structure's official full name is "Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London." From 1100 through 1952, part of the tower served as a prison. Elizabeth I from the house of Tudor, Elizabeth Raleigh, and Sir Walter Raleigh were all held captive there over the years. The expression "sent to the Tower" originated with the acts of locking up figures who fell from grace into the Tower of London.


Sandringham Castle


The Sandringham estate is a very special place for Queen Elizabeth II and her family. Since 1842, four generations of monarchs have called Sandringham Castle their private home. The Queen's father, George VI, and grandfather, George V, both died there in 1952 and 1936 respectively. On April 1, 1969, Prince Edward, Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Anne, Prince Charles, and Prince Andrew were photographed enjoying family time in one of the drawing rooms.


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Photo Courtesy: [Hulton Archive/Stringer/Hulton Royals Collection/Getty Images]


Sandringham hosts events throughout the year, and guests can take tours or go on Land Rover safaris. Seasonal fairs, workshops, and activities take place for visitors to participate in with their families. Restaurants and shops provide nice places along the way to rest and have even more fun while enjoying the royal getaway.


Balmoral Castle, Scotland


In 1852, Queen Victoria's husband, Prince Albert, purchased the Balmoral estate from the Farquharson family. Soon after moving into the house there, the British Royal Family commissioned the construction of the castle. Prince Albert personally amended the designs of architect William Smith of Aberdeen. Queen Elizabeth II owns Balmoral Castle as part of her private property and hosts Scottish holiday vacations each year. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Bettmann/Bettmann/Getty Images]


The Queen and her family posed for a portrait in front of Balmoral Castle around 1960. Princess Anne, Prince Phillip, Baby Prince Andrew, the Queen, Prince Charles, and one of Her Majesty's Corgis enjoyed the day together. In present times, guests can take guided tours and expedition tours around the castle grounds. Holiday cottages are available for rental, and souvenirs can be purchased from an online gift shop.


A Bat Colony


Elizabeth II's pet dogs and horses have been well documented over the years, but did you know that she keeps bats as pets, too? One of the more unusual things the Queen owns is an entire colony of bats, and they made their home in the ballroom rafters of the 164-year-old Balmore Castle.


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Photo Courtesy: [Remus86/Stock Photos/Bat - Animal/iStock]


One of the Queen's favorite pastimes while in her Scottish home is to help the staff catch the bats with a butterfly net. Her Royal Chronicler, Brian Hoey, wrote, "She would catch them in the net, hand them to me and tell me to let them go outside. She was always very strict about them not being harmed."


Luxury Cars 


Elizabeth II learned to drive during WWII when she operated a first-aid truck for the Women's Auxillary Territorial Service. While the Queen does have a driver's license issued in her name, she is the only person in the U.K. who doesn't legally need a license to drive or a number plate on any of her cars. She has an extensive collection of luxury vehicles, but the Bentley State Limousine presented to her in 2002 for her Golden Jubilee is her favorite. Her bullet-proof and bomb-proof limo was veiled before the Queen's birthday celebration. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Tim Graham/Tim Graham Photo Library/Getty Images]


The Rolls Royce above, parked behind the Queen's covered Bentley State Limousine, is another one of her preferred cars. In 2010, Elizabeth II was seen driving herself around the 2010 Royal Windsor Horse Show. She was in her $400,000 Range Rover, adorned with a custom-made Corgi statue on the hood. That same year, her 1984 Jaguar Daimler Double Six Long-Wheelbase Saloon was auctioned off for $77,000. 


The Entire U.K. Dolphin Population


In 1324, King Edwards created a statue during his reign. It states, "The king shall have wreck of the sea throughout the realm, whales, and sturgeons taken in the sea or elsewhere within the realm, except in certain places privileged by the king." The proclamation also decrees that all dolphins and porpoises captured within three miles of the United Kingdom belong to the Royal Family.


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Photo Courtesy: [Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images]


In March 2021, the Scottish Government collaborated with government departments across the U.K., Northern Ireland, and Wales to launch the United Kingdom's first dolphin and porpoise conservation strategy. Their goal is to help wildlife such as the harbor porpoise, common dolphin, bottlenose dolphin, and minke whale populations thrive. Further research and additional steps towards improved management are underway to help marine mammals reach Favorable Conservation Status by the U.K. Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies.


Nearly Seven Billion Acres Around the World


Did you know that Queen Elizabeth II is related to the first Viking king and Norse nobleman, Rollo? He was the founder and ruler over present-day Normandy. After his ancestors, the Dukes of Normandy, invaded England in 1066, the Vikings became kings of England. The Queen is a descendant of William the Conqueror, who founded the Tower of London. The Normans conquered all of the territories of the United Kingdom along with lands scattered throughout the world. In total, the Vikings amassed about one-sixth of the entire Earth's surface. Those lands were inherited by the Royal family in the 11th century and eventually passed down to Elizabeth II.


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Photo Courtesy: [Keystone/Stringer/Hulton Archive/Getty Images]


During WWII, the Royal Family turned a portion of their private estate at Sandringham into a space for agricultural production to aid those in need. As seen above, the Queen Mother, King George VI, Princess Elizabeth, and Princess Margaret toured the space. In 1968, they donated approximately 351 acres of their Sandringham property for a country park. Today, Sandringham Royal Park spans around 600 acres with evergreen and deciduous trees planted throughout the vast countryside. 


Australia and the British Commonwealth Realms


Since 1952, Australians have known Elizabeth II as their Queen and current Head of State. Citizens regularly see her profile, name, or initials on hospital and government documents, postboxes, stamps, banknotes, and coins. The Queen reigns over the Commonwealth of Nations, 54 member states associated politically, nearly all of which were once part of the British Empire. England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland make up the Commonwealth of England. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Pool/AFP/Getty Images]


An estimated three-quarters of the population of Australia observed Elizabeth II's 2011 tour of the country. Queensland's premier, Anna Bligh, joined the monarch at a wildlife park in Brisbane, pictured above. The 11-day trip in October 2011 was her 16th visit to the country since 1954. That same year, Her Majesty became the first British monarch to make a state visit to the Republic of Ireland.


Fabergé Eggs


Tsar Alexander III gave his wife, Empress Maria Feodorovna. jeweled Easter eggs as gifts. In 1885, Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich recommended that his brother commission Peter Carl Fabergé to create a jeweled egg for the Empress. Within six weeks, Fabergé became the supplier to the Imperial Court. Empress Maria Feodorovna was so impressed by his work that she appointed Peter Carl Fabergé a "goldsmith by special appointment to the Imperial Crown." Every year after that, he designed increasingly more elaborate eggs, each with a unique surprise. Fabergé Eggs are the most expensive decorated eggs in the world, complete with genuine gold adornments.


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Photo Courtesy: [John Stillwell/Pool/Getty Images News/Getty Images]


The Royal Family began collecting the famed eggs in 1900. They are one of Queen Elizabeth II's favorite items, and she possesses over 600 Fabergé eggs worth close to $200 million. On November 26, 2010, the Sultan of Oman presented Elizabeth II and Prince Philip with a musical one before a State Banquet at his palace, as shown above.


Scotland's Gold Mines


The Queen has a long line of Scottish nobility in her family. Robert II, King of Scots, was a common ancestor shared by Elizabeth II's parents. She is descended from the Royal House of Stewart through James VI of Scotland on her father's side and the Bowes-Lyons, Earls of Strathmore, through her mother's side. Naturally, Her Majesty possesses land and properties in Scotland through her bloodline, including all of the country's gold mines.


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Photo Courtesy: [Sean Sexton/Hulton Archive/Getty Images]


The Royal Family has owned prehistoric ornaments and other centuries-old treasures that were discovered deep within the land. Robert the Bruce, Mary Queen of Scots, Charles I, and Queen Victoria have all added to that collection, a portion of which has been passed down to Queen Elizabeth II. In the 19th century, the only two gold rushes in Britain's history occurred in Scotland. While most of the findings at Fife turned out to be fool's gold, a boon of genuine gold has been mined in the area since the 1990s.


An Extravagant Jewelry Collection


Since at least the 16th century, England's kings and queens have viewed their diamond collections as a traditional way to display their royal status, wealth, and influence. When interviewed for the BBC documentary The Coronation, Queen Elizabeth II expressed her opinion on the subject, saying, "The more jewels, the better." While Her Majesty owns an extravagant jewelry collection, she prefers to rotate a handful of her favorite pieces. She has even given some of them nicknames, like "Granny's Chips," the Cullinan Diamond brooch.


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Photo Courtesy: [Pool/Tim Graham Picture Library/Tim Graham Photo Library/Getty Images]


Some of her most precious pieces were made from the largest gem-quality rough diamond ever found, which weighed 3,106 carats. Edward VII received the Cullinan diamond in 1907 and commissioned Joseph Asscher and Company to cut it into various shapes and sizes. Cullinan I is mounted in the Sovereign's Scepter with Cross. Cullinan II is mounted in the Imperial State Crown. Queen Elizabeth II owns both, along with "Granny's Chips" and the six other diamonds in the Cullinan collection.

The Queen also wears the diamond bracelet her late husband gave her for a wedding present. The Festoon necklace, made of three strands of diamonds, was given to her mother in 1950. King George VI paid the house of Garrard to create it as a gift for his wife before it was passed down to their daughter. The Greville Chandelier earrings are another item often worn by Elizabeth II, typically paired with her Queen Mary's Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara and Festoon necklace. 


Two Black Jaguars


Since early childhood, animals have had a constant presence in Elizabeth II's life. In 1968, the Prefect of Brasília gave her two extremely rare black jaguars named Marques and Aizita. There are only around 600 jaguars globally, with black jaguars accounting for a tiny percentage. Marques and Aizita were sent to live at the ZSL London Zoo and said to be worth $56,000.


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Photo Courtesy: [Thorsten Spoerlein/Stock Photos/Black Leopard/iStock]


Jaguars play a vital role in both ancient and modern cultures. Many South American stories exist portraying the big cats as gifting humans with fire. The jaguar, often used to symbolize power and strength, was also the first Olympic mascot. They are the national animal of Guyana and prominently featured on the Amazonas flag department in Colombia. These exotic animals are also seen on the banknotes of Brazilian Real, in sports franchises, on British cars, in religious paraphernalia from the Colombian Andes, and on art from the Mayan and Aztec civilizations.


Royal Wardrobe


Queen Elizabeth II's wardrobe style is unique and tends to reflect the state of her nation. For example, the material for her wedding gown was purchased with ration vouchers like other brides' dresses during WWII. British couturier Norman Hartnell designed her coronation and wedding gowns, described as a "tour de force of craftsmanship." During the start of her decades-long reign, Elizabeth II was portrayed as a "glamorous fairytale Queen." Today, Her Majesty is well-known for her brightly-colored matching overcoats and hats she commissioned to help her "be easy to spot in a crowd."


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Photo Courtesy: [Isabel Infantes/PA Images/Getty Images]


Each year, the Queen honors young designers for their positive impact using sustainable practices or community engagement. She views the fashion industry's role in society and diplomacy as vital. Her Majesty bestows the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design to someone who has contributed significantly through their creations and best practices. In the photo above, she personally presented the first-ever award to Richard Quinn.


Hyde Park in London


Hyde Park has been in Elizabeth II's family since 1536 when Henry VIII took the park from the monks at Westminster Abbey as his hunting grounds. King James I granted partial public access to the park 89 years later, and it was fully opened to the public by Charles I in 1637. The move benefited countless Londoners in 1665 when they flocked to Hyde Park to escape the Great Plague.


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Photo Courtesy: [SangHyunPaek/Stock Photos/Kensington Palace/iStock]


Hyde Park has continued to make headlines over the years. In 1857, the first Victoria Crosses were awarded in a ceremony held by Queen Victoria, and she presented 62 people with the highest award for courage and bravery in the armed forces. The 1872 Act of Parliament designated an area of land for public speaking, known as Speaker's Corner. Then, the country's oldest bandstand was moved from Kensington Gardens to the space in 1886. Queen Elizabeth II made a contribution to Hyde Park in 2004 by opening the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain.


Wind Turbines Worth $900 Million


Elizabeth II bought the world's largest wind turbine, a 574-feet-tall behemoth. It towers over Big Ben, the 316-feet-tall clock tower at the Palace of Westminster's northern end. Its wingspan is equal to the length of two soccer fields, and the approximate height of 111 Queen Elizabeth IIs standing one on top of the other. The giant wind turbine, built by Clipper Windpower, will grow even more prominent, too. Her Majesty wants the seven-and-a-half-megawatt structure increased to put out ten megawatts. That's five times more power generated than standard giant wind turbines sold commercially. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Bloomberg/Bloomberg/Getty Images]


The Crown Estate is linked to the Royal Family's annual earnings. Six sites off of England and Wales were sold to energy companies previously. Nearly nine million more dollars, or roughly 654 million pounds, worth of Crown Estate seabed plots were purchased to create new offshore wind farms. It is thought that by 2030, an estimated seven million British homes will be powered by the Queen's wind turbines.


200 Launer Brand Handbags


England saw the rise of Launer luxury handbags during WWII. Despite shortages caused by the war, the company held to its philosophy of making an "exceptional product, crafted in a meticulous way using the finest leathers." Today, the Launer brand is recognized globally for its formal, structured style and "twisted rope hero signature emblem." Queen Elizabeth II owns 200 Launer handbags, lending to the London-based company's broad appeal.


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Photo Courtesy: [Tim Graham/Tim Graham Photo Library/Getty Images]


So, what is the most cherished handbag in Her Majesty's luxury collection? Her favorite is a black patent custom-designed Traviata, created with slightly longer handles and more spacious pockets. The company, which was bestowed the Royal Warrant by the Queen, also includes a coin purse, a leather-covered mirror, and a matching spectacles case inside each of the monarch's orders. The Turandot, the Sofia, the Bellini, and the Lisa in a cream hue are also top choices for Elizabeth II. In 2011, she wore the latter to Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding. After the event, Launer London's website temporarily crashed due to a flood of orders for ones like it.


 Trafalgar Square


The Royal Family's collection of equestrian stables and falconry, called the Royal Mews, were once situated in present-day Trafalgar Square. George IV moved the mews to Buckingham Palace, and the Square opened to the public in 1844. One of Britain's most famous monuments, Nelson's Column, was erected in Trafalgar Square. The Square's name commemorates the British naval victory during the Battle of Trafalgar on October 21, 1805. Nelson's Column honors Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson, 1st Duke of Bronté. He is credited with leading the British Navy to numerous victories, especially during the Napoleonic Wars.


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Photo Courtesy: [English Heritage/Heritage Images/Getty Images]


Trafalgar Square is located in the city of Westminister and was designed by Sir Charles Barry. A point in the Square is the official center of London and is used to measure distances from the capital. The National Gallery, which houses a collection of over 2,300 paintings beginning from the mid-13th century, rests on the northern side. In addition to water fountains and four bronze lions surrounding Nelson's Column, there are four pedestals, called "plinths" in Trafalgar Square. They uphold statues of General Sir Charles James Napier, Major-General Sir Henry Havelock, and a bronze equestrian statue of George IV. The final plinth, vacant for nearly 150 years, is reserved for an equestrian statue of Queen Elizabeth II to be built after her death. 
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INFO VINE *  The Most Expensive Things Queen Elizabeth II Owns * Empty Re: INFO VINE * The Most Expensive Things Queen Elizabeth II Owns *

Post by Paul Tue 30 Jan 2024, 11:27 am

Queen Victoria’s Wedding Dress


Elizabeth II owns countless items that have been a part of the Royal Family's history. One of the most famous items in the Royal Collection is a cream and white silk, satin, and lace wedding dress worn by Queen Victoria. The tradition of brides wearing white wedding dresses was made popular by the gown and is still observed today.


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Photo Courtesy: [Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group/Getty Images]


On February 10, 1840, the United Kingdom's Queen Victoria married Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. The trend-setting white satin wedding dress was created by Mary Bettans, Queen Victoria's official royal dressmaker. She commissioned William Dyce, head of the Government School of Design, now known as the "Royal College of Art," to design the lace. By purchasing material made in Devon, the monarch supported English industrial workers and the cottage industry for lace.


Two Giant Tortoises from Seychelles


Another pair of expensive pets owned by the Queen are giant tortoises originating from the islands of the Aldabra Atoll in the Seychelles. In 1972, Her Majesty made an official visit to the area and received the behemoths as a gift. They were housed at London Zoo, and their species are reported to live for over 200 years. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket/Getty Images]


The Aldabra giant tortoise is one of the world's largest tortoises. It is roughly the same size as the well-known Galápagos giant tortoise, with an average weight of 550 pounds. The neck of the Seychelles variety has extraordinary lengths, even for its massive body size. Food on tree branches hanging three feet off the ground is easily within reach for an Aldabra giant tortoise. Grasses, herbs, woody plant stems, small invertebrates, carrion, and fruit are all favored foods.


A Private ATM


Buckingham Palace is Queen Elizabeth II's London residence and administrative headquarters. Guests can visit 19 staterooms in Buckingham Palace, but there are still 765 rooms that are shrouded in mystery. The 400-year-old castle has 52 Royal and guest bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices, and 78 bathrooms. You might be surprised to learn that Her Majesty's Palace also includes a private ATM, a chapel, a post office, a movie theater, and a doctor's office equipped to perform surgeries!


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Photo Courtesy: [nrqemi/Stock Photos/ATM/iStock]


The castle's history dates back to the Middle Ages when it was part of the Manor of Ebury, also called "Eia." During the late Saxon times, the property belonged to Edward the Confessor and his queen consort, Edith of Wessex. William the Conqueror took possession of the structure when the Normans invaded in 1066 before giving it to Geoffrey de Mandeville, First Earl of Essex. Next, the monks of Westminister Abbey became the landowners. By 1536, Henry VIII had taken the Manor of Ebury from Westminster Abbey, finally returning the grounds to the Royal Family.


150,000 Original Works of Art


In the photo below, Elizabeth II viewed art from the Royal Collection at Windsor Castle, along with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, French First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, and the late Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. On March 26, 2008, the tour occurred during their state visit to London, and President Sarkozy promised the Queen a renewed alliance between France and Britain.


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Photo Courtesy: [ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images]


The British Royal Family owns the world's most extensive private art collection, and approximately 3,000 pieces are loaned to museums and temporary exhibits across the globe. Well over one million works are housed in 13 occupied and historic royal residences throughout the United Kingdom. The Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace was custom-built to rotate her art regularly. The monarch owns similar art galleries in Edinburgh and at Windsor Castle. Visitors can view the Crown Jewels in the Jewel House at the Tower of London.


Queen Victoria's Sketchbook


Elizabeth II is Queen Victoria's great-great-granddaughter and current owner of the former queen's prized sketchbook. From June 20, 1837, until she died in 1901, Victoria was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The British Parliament bestowed the title of Empress of India to her in 1876. Her reign is known as the "Victorian era" and was the longest of any British monarch to that point, totaling 63 years and seven months. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Hulton Archive/Stringer/Hulton Royals Collection/Getty Images]


In 1845, Queen Victoria created the sketch pictured above of three of her children. When the image was created, Princess Alice, Edward, Prince of Wales, and Victoria, Princess Royal, were ages two, four, and five. Prince Edward grew up to become King Edward VII. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha had nine children by 1857.


Westminster Abbey 


Queen Elizabeth II ascended the throne on February 6, 1952, and her coronation was held at Westminster Abbey on June 2, 1953. The British monarch is supreme governor over the most senior cleric in the Church of England, the archbishop of Canterbury. The Queen's coronation ceremony, performed by the archbishop, was nearly the same as those of her ancestors almost 1,000 years ago. She was presented to and acclaimed by the people and swore an oath to uphold the law and the Church. Then, Elizabeth II was anointed with holy oil, invested with regalia, and crowned before being honored by her subjects. Her Majesty's ceremony closed with a procession, appearance by the Royal Family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, and a banquet.


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Photo Courtesy: [Leon Neal/Getty Images News/Getty Images]


Westminster Abbey is one of the U.K.'s top religious buildings and a burial site for over 3,300 people. Around 16 monarchs, eight Prime Ministers, poets, laureates, actors, scientists, military leaders, and the Unknown Warrior are buried inside "Britain's Valhalla." The cathedral's formal name is the Collegiate Church of Saint Peter at Westminster. The chiefly Gothic abbey church lies west of the Palace of Westminster in London, England. William the Conqueror began the tradition of English and British monarchs' coronation ceremonies being held there since 1066, and 16 royal weddings occurred from 1100 onward. King Henry VIII drove the Catholics out during his reign, and after 1560, the building ceased to be a cathedral for a time. Queen Elizabeth I later dubbed it a Church of England "Royal Peculiar," directly responsible to the sovereign.


A Golden Érard Grand Piano


Nearly two centuries ago, the famous French instrument maker, Sébastien Érard, created a unique piano for Queen Victoria. The gilded, painted, and varnished grand piano was presented to her on April 30, 1856. Classical music composers such as Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, Mendelssohn, Haydn, and Wagner favored the Frenchman's creations. Today, the golden Érard grand piano is still used as a showpiece for the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace by her great-great-granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II. 


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Photo Courtesy: [English Heritage/Heritage Images/Getty Images]


Queen Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, adored music and were inspired by Mendelssohn's works. The couple had a piano placed in the private apartments of every residence they owned. The duets Queen Victoria and Prince Albert played together, including overtures and symphonies, sounded beautiful on the one-of-a-kind gilded grand piano. The miniature painter François Théodore Rochard was commissioned to adorn it with cherubs and mischievous monkeys playing musical instruments.


Henry VIII'S Armor


King Henry VIII of England reigned from 1509 to 1547. He was dubbed "the father of the Royal Navy" for significantly increasing the number of ships from a handful to over 50 and establishing the Navy Board. Henry VIII gave his standing army new armor and weaponry, including battlefield artillery, the war wagon, and giant siege guns. Queen Elizabeth II owns his Italian-made field armor as part of the Royal Collection. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Heritage Art/Heritage Images/Getty Images]


When Pope Leo X rewarded Henry VIII for his Defence of the Seven Sacraments in 1521, the King changed his title. He called himself "Henry the Eighth, by the Grace of God, King of England and France, Defender of the Faith and Lord of Ireland." His motto was "Coeur Loyal," meaning "true heart," and he had it embroidered on his clothes as a heart symbol with the word "loyal." Henry VIII's emblem was the Tudor rose and the Beaufort portcullis, a heavy vertically-closing gate used to fortify medieval castles against sieges. His family, the house of Tudor, is credited with making the portcullis a traditional motif of English heraldry.


The Lily Font


Another important Royal Family treasure passed down to Elizabeth II is Queen Victoria's silver-gilt baptismal font. It was commissioned in 1840 for the birth of her first child, Princess Victoria, Princess Royal. The "Lily Font" has been used in the baptism ceremony for nearly all members of the Royal Family since then.


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Photo Courtesy: [Hulton Archive/Print Collector/Getty Images]


When not in use, the Lily Font is kept at the Jewel House at the Tower of London. The silver gilt gives the baptismal piece the appearance of gold, and it was designed by the silversmiths Edward Barnard and Sons. Above the royal arms of Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, and Princess Victoria, a trio of winged cherubs rest, playing lyres. The bowl is supported by leaves and edged by cascading water lilies. 


A National Collection of Mulberries


One of the stranger things Her Majesty owns is a national collection of mulberries. She appointed Buckingham Palace's head gardener to plant 29 different species of mulberry bushes on the property, and they became the official British National Collection. The location originally was used by King James I in the 17th century. He commissioned a mulberry grove to be planted in a failed attempt to raise his own silkworms. The popular English nursery rhyme and singing game, "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush" or "This is the Way," is thought to be a jab at his unsuccessful attempts.


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Photo Courtesy: [Maryna Iaroshenko/Stock Photos/Mulberry - Fruit/iStock]


During the 17th and 18th centuries, China was a leading producer of silk. Britain's ruler knew that mulberry trees were the primary habitat for cultivating silkworms and hoped to compete with China's silk trade. However, the country's sporadic harsh winters proved to be fateful for the sensitive mulberry trees. The nursery rhyme's lyrics, "Here we go round the mulberry bush on a cold and frosty morning," lends to the theory that it was meant as a joke about King James I's plight.


The World's Largest Stamp Collection


The former American President Franklin D. Roosevelt was nicknamed the "Stamp Collecting President." Queen Elizabeth II owns far more postage stamps than Roosevelt did and is considered to have the largest collection in the world. It became internationally famous after the monarch made her Royal Philatelic Collection a public exhibit. She made it available to charities as a fundraiser by making her stamps available for loan. Her Majesty even gifted the former French President Sarkozy several pieces in 2009 when he confided that he started a collection to create "a calmer image" for himself.


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Photo Courtesy: [Lisa Sheridan/Studio Lisa/Getty Images]


When King George V owned the Royal Philatelic Collection, it consisted of 328 stamp albums. The "Red Albums" still contain the entirety of George V's pieces, and the Queen picked up where he left off. In July 1946, Elizabeth II was photographed admiring her ever-growing compilation in the State Apartments at Buckingham Palace.


Two Yoruba Thrones


The craftmanship of Yoruba Thrones is part of the long-lived heritage of West Africans from Yoruba, and their history of beadwork and royalty dates back to the 11th century. Pictured below, a staff member rearranged one of the thrones presented to Elizabeth II in 1956 by the people of Nigeria. The Yoruba Throne was part of the Royal Gifts Exhibit for the annual Summer Opening of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace.


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Photo Courtesy: [Yui Mok/PA Images/Getty Images]


The Queen received two elegant wooden pieces of furniture featuring tall, straight backs and three stretchers for the arms and legs, complete with a diamond pattern. Four lions adorn the upper portion of the gold-beaded seat. Her Yoruba Thrones also came with a beaded crown on the crest rail with a red and yellow knot design on the straight split between blue and red tassels. The design represents "power, the past, the future, and respect for ancestors and descendants."


A Giant Tunnel Boring Machine


Tunnel boring machines (TBMs), nicknamed "moles," are used as an alternative to drilling and blasting (D&B). TBMs have been compared to "giant underground factories on rails" and can go through various soil and rock strata to produce smooth tunnel walls. To date, the machines can create diameters ranging from three and a half feet to 58 feet. They are also more cost-effective and better-suited for usage in heavily urbanized areas than previous tunneling methods.


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Photo Courtesy: [Astrid Riecken/The Washington Post/Getty Images]


A pair of giant tunnel boring machines were named after Queen Elizabeth II and Queen Victoria. In slightly over three years, from 2012 to 2015, the twin TBMs created the tunnels from the Limmo Peninsula to Farringdon. Machines "Elizabeth" and "Victoria" successfully made five Crossrail tunnel drives, going as deep as 131 feet. The custom-made TBMs are as long as 14 London buses end-to-end and 143 buses in weight.


A Royal Yacht


The Royal Yacht Britannia launched on April 16, 1553, and traveled more than 1 million nautical miles worldwide during its 43-year career. Her "floating palace" was designed with room for a handful of luxury cars, living quarters for the crew, laundry facilities, and a private hospital. While traveling on the Britannia, the Queen enjoyed posh interiors similar to those in her other residences, such as fancy living spaces, golden door handles, and silver cutlery.


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Photo Courtesy: [Tim Graham/Tim Graham Photo Library/Getty Images]


In the photo above, Elizabeth II and her late husband were greeted in San Diego, California, during a trip to the United States. British Royal Navy officers were appointed for up to two years' service onboard the Britannia. The volunteer crew from the Royal Navy's general service were eligible for a promotion after one year. Once a person was admitted to the Permanent Royal Yacht Service as Royal Yachtsmen, they could serve until they chose to leave or were dismissed. A detachment of Royal Marines also protected Her Majesty and her yacht.


The Front Row Seat at Wimbledon


The Queen's seating in the Royal Box at Wimbledon is valued at $222,000. Front row seats at the arena typically sell for $3,000. The spot has belonged to the Royal Family since 1922. There are 74 chairs in her private area, and guests are welcomed into the Royal Box by invitation only. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Construction Photography/Avalon/Hulton Archive/Getty Images]


Wimbledon is the oldest and most prestigious tennis tournament in the world and one of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments. Since 1877, the event has been held at the All England Club in Wimbledon, London. As of 2019, fans could enjoy watching tennis stars play on two outdoor grass courts protected by a retractable roof. The Australian Open, the French Open, and the U.S. Open no longer use the traditional grass playing surface.


25,000 Acres of Forest


Out of all the land Elizabeth II owns, 25,000 acres is forested. That accounts for roughly eight percent of the quarter of a million acres of rural land the Crown Estate owns across the United Kingdom. One of the most extensive remaining tracts of unenclosed pasture land is called the "New Forest." William the Conqueror's claim on the grounds, covering southwest Hampshire and southeast Wiltshire, is registered in the Domesday Book. The manuscript record of the "Great Survey" of areas in England and Wales was completed for him in 1086.


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Photo Courtesy: [Tim Graham/Getty Images News/Getty Images]


Around 12,000 years ago, the once-deciduous New Forest was repopulated by birch, beech, and oak trees as the ice sheets melted. A portion of the land was cleared during the Bronze Age for cultivation. However, the poor-quality soil turned those spots into a wasteland, or "heathland." Around the end of the Middle Iron Age, roughly 250–100 B.C., the British woodland was reduced again. Plantations were created in the New Forest during the 18th century to collect timber for the Royal Navy. In 1698, the common rights were established and are enforced by official verderers and agisters to this day.


Her Personal Flag


A sovereign's heraldic flag is usually their nation's coat of arms. England has a flag that represents the nation as a whole, but Queen Elizabeth II also commissioned the College of Arms to create a personal one. In 1960, a navy blue flag was released, topped with a crown surrounded by a circle of flowers, with a gold "E" in the center. Since then, Her Majesty's unique banner has been used to signal her presence in one of her residences, replacing the Royal Standard.


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Photo Courtesy: [daboost/Stock Photo/Elizabeth II/iStock]


Before her coronation, then-Princess Elizabeth's standard was her coat of arms in banner form. Four quarters consisted of three lions passant for England, a lion rampant for Scotland, and a Gaelic harp for Ireland. Unlike the King's, Elizabeth II's first flag also depicted a white label of three points, the outer ones bearing a cross of St. George and the center point containing a Tudor rose. The Royal Standard inherited from her father represents the Queen in the U.K. and lands overseas while she attends state visits.


The Continental Shelf of the United Kingdom


The Royal Family owns the subsoil and minerals in the United Kingdom's marine shelf, while the government possesses the rights to the coal, oil, and gas deposits. The U.K. Continental Shelf (UKCS) is the region of waters containing those subsoil and mineral rights. The Continental Shelf Act of 1964 extended Queen Elizabeth II's ownership of the seabeds to cover the United Kingdom's continental shelf by up to 200 nautical miles in some areas. Portions of the North Sea, the North Atlantic, the Irish Sea, and the English Channel contribute to Her Majesty's Continental Shelf. Norway, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, and the Republic of Ireland border it.


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Photo Courtesy: [Mike St Maur Sheil/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images]


In the photo above, a gas production platform is being installed using a crane barge. Over three-quarters of the U.K.'s total primary energy needs are met by oil and gas. Up to 97 percent of fuel for transport is supplied by oil, with gas playing a significant role in heat generation. In 1999, the Queen's U.K. Continental Shelf production reached its peak. By 2016, nearly two million barrels of oil and gas were obtained, and experts believe an additional 20 billion barrels remain in the U.K.'s offshore fields.


A Collection of Fine China


John H. Wedgwood presented Queen Elizabeth II with a 64-piece, Appledore-patterned bone china tea service on November 2, 1955. She visited the showroom of the Wedgwood china factory in Barlaston, England, during a tour of the Midlands. The company was founded in 1759 when Josiah Wedgwood I was an independent potter in Burslem, England. More than 260 years later, Wedgwood continues to manufacture several of the materials its founder invented. Queen's Ware, Black Basalt, and Jasper are among the most popular of the assortments.


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Photo Courtesy: [Reg Speller/Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images]


In 1748, Thomas Frye made the first development in what would become bone china, or "English porcelain," in East London. Frye used up to 45% bone ash to make what he called "fine porcelain." Bone china was mostly produced in England until the end of the 20th century. Then, its popularity grew in Russia, China, and Japan. Today, China is the world's largest manufacturer of fine porcelain.


 A Gold Blue Peter Badge


Since 1958, the BBC children's TV show, "Blue Peter," has aired nearly every week. The program is the longest-running children's show in the world to date and a "cornerstone in British culture." Content for the nautical titled and themed show includes viewer and presenter challenges, competitions, celebrity interviews, popular culture, and segments on how to make DIY arts and crafts using household items. Summer outdoor activities are hosted in London and Salford at their Blue Peter Gardens.


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Photo Courtesy: [PA Images/PA Images/Getty Images]


In 2002, presenter Simon Thomas honored Queen Elizabeth II with a golden Blue Peter badge to celebrate her 50 years of sovereignty. Blue Peter award badges, featuring the show's sailboat logo, are received for fundraising activities, sporting achievements, conservationism, societal contributions, and viewer competitions. A golden badge is the highest rank attainable. Honorees including J.K. Rowling, Steven Spielberg, Sir David Attenborough, and both the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also received golden Blue Peter awards.


14 Luxury Watches


Queen Elizabeth II loves her luxury watch collection. One of her favorite brands is Manufacture Jaeger-LeCoultre SA, or "Jaeger-LeCoultre." Since 1833, the top-tier Richemont brand added more than 1,000 wristwatches, clocks, inventions, and patents to its name. Three of their most impressive innovations are the world's tiniest movement, a timepiece of near-perpetual movement, and one of the most complicated workings in existence.


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Photo Courtesy: [Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images]


As you can probably guess, Her Majesty owns several luxury watches, but she primarily wears a few favorites. Since her coronation, Elizabeth II has been photographed countless times with a Jaeger-LeCoultre 101 on her wrist. In 2012, Jaeger-LeCoultre gave the Queen a new version of the 101 for her diamond jubilee celebration. Patek Philippe SA is another of the monarch's beloved brands, producing pieces worth upwards of $45,000 each. The Swiss company is one of the oldest watch and clock creators globally, with continuous manufacturing since 1839. Cartier International SNC, shortened to "Cartier," was founded in 1847 and is still considered one of the world's most prestigious jewelry manufacturers. In total, Queen Elizabeth II has 14 luxury watches and counting.


Additional Royal Residences


When Elizabeth II was a child, she and her sister were given a house of their own. The Royal Welsh House is a miniature cottage within the grounds of Windsor Castle. In 1931, the people of Wales presented Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret with the residence. The girls were ages five and one, respectively. In 1935, the Royal Family was photographed sitting outside of the Royal Welsh House, surrounded by four of their cherished dogs.


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Photo Courtesy: [Lisa Sheridan/Stringer/Hulton Royals Collection/Getty Images]


The Queen has seven residences that include castles, palaces, and houses. The headquarters for the current British sovereign has traditionally been Buckingham Palace, in the City of Westminster, since 1837. Windsor Castle, the location the Princesses were evacuated to during WWII, serves as her country home. Elizabeth II's Scottish residence, Holyrood Palace, served as a monastery in 1128. Balmoral Castle, another Scottish home, is believed to be Her Majesty's favorite, and she stays there during the summer months. Norfolk, England, is the location of Sandringham Castle and hosts the Royals' yearly walk to Christmas Day services at St. Mary Magdalene Church. Finally, Hillsborough Castle, located in Ireland, was constructed in the 1770s and holds 100 acres of green gardens.
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