By Ethan Shea
On September 8, 2022, the world learned Queen Elizabeth II had passed away at the age of 96. The death of the Queen marks the end of a 70-year reign that stretched from the era of Winston Churchill to Liz Truss, two British Prime Ministers who were born over 100 years apart.
Here at Falvey Library, there are countless resources that contain an abundance of information on the life of Queen Elizabeth II, and there are a lot more than just dates and statistics.
For example, here are a few interesting facts about the Queen that I was able to find through a quick online search…
- Did you know that Queen Elizabeth II was actually never expected to become the Queen of England? When Elizabeth was ten years old, her grandfather King George V passed away, leaving the throne to her uncle, Edward VIII. While he was King, Edward fell in love with an American woman named Wallis Simpson, who had already been married twice. As the King of England, Edward was also the head of the Church of England, which did not approve of remarriage. Edward chose Simpson over the crown and abdicated as King of England, handing the title to King George VI, Elizabeth’s father. Suddenly, Elizabeth was next in line to become Queen, and sixteen years later, she ascended to the throne.
- Queen Elizabeth II was the only head of state to serve during the Second World War. At the age of eighteen she worked as a mechanic for the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service.
- Elizabeth received an honorary award from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) for her role in a short film created for the 2012 Summer Olympic opening ceremonies in London. In the film, Elizabeth plays herself alongside Daniel Craig, who takes on the role of James Bond. Elizabeth (definitely not a stunt double…) even skydives out of a helicopter in this action packed scene!
- It is a well-known fact that Queen Elizabeth was fond of corgis. In fact, she had over 30 of them during her reign. This New York Times article reports that the royal pups will remain in the family.
Here are a few of the resources on Queen Elizabeth II you can find at Falvey!
- Fifty Years the Queen: A Tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on Her Golden Jubilee (Bousfield) *eBook
- Queen Elizabeth II (Academic Video Online)
- Queen Elizabeth II: Modern Monarch (Doeden, 2020) *eBook
- Queen Elizabeth II: The World’s Longest-Reigning Monarch (Hansen, 2017) *eBook
- Queen Elizabeth II: The Silver Jubilee book 1952-1977 (Brown, 1977)
- Queen Elizabeth II: Diamond Jubilee: 60 Years a Queen (Arscott, 2012)
- The Queen’s Coronation: Behind Palace Doors (Academic Video Online)
- Queen Elizabeth’s death and funeral (CNN) *Live updates
- For many people, Queen Elizabeth was the face of a historically oppressive empire (NPR)
Ethan Shea is a graduate student in the English Department at Villanova University and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Memorial Library.