New site "Keeping Up with the Queen" shows what the Queen of England was doing at your age
While the internet may spend the other 364 days of the year (and 365 on leap years!) keeping up with the Kardashians, in honor of the Queen’s 90th birthday, the interweb is collectively shifting its focus to the longest reigning British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II.
While Her Majesty the Queen ushers in a new year, someone out there had the genius idea of creating an interactive timeline that allows the user to input their age, and see what Elizabeth was up to at that same point in her own life.
Seeing as she’s a member of arguably the most well-known royal family in history and has been enormously wealthy and famous since the actual day she was born, scrolling through the Queen’s past 90 years is a fun, if slightly humbling, experience. The site is really informative and contains all kinds of facts that you probably didn’t know about the life of Her Majesty, a few of which are surprisingly relatable. Here’s what the Queen was up to at the following ages.
While you celebrated your super sweet 16 with a blowout bash and a neon-pink Lexus (or, y’know, your regular-sized sweet 16 — a casual shindig with a few close friends and maybe a giant cupcake), back in 1942, the then-Princess made her first public appearance. She inspected the Grenadier Guards, an infantry regiment of the British Army.
The Queen is probably known for nothing so much as her deep and abiding love of corgis. Her very specific preference for them even has its own Wikipedia page. And can you blame her?
On her 19th birthday, in 1944, the young Elizabeth was given her very first corgi, a pup named Susan (who also has her own Wikipedia page). You can spot Sue in the picture below:
That milestone in particular is pretty relatable — getting your first dog is a significant moment in anyone’s life, regardless of whether you’re royalty or just an ordinary human person. On the other hand, Susan was the first of a whopping 30+ corgis that Elizabeth would go on to own during her lifetime.
That same year, she also launched her first ship, the first of 23 that the Queen has launched to date. Note: slightly fewer ship launches than corgis. Corgis more important than ships: confirmed.
Apparently, the future monarch didn’t learn how to drive until the age of 19 — which makes me feel very slightly better about being a 24-year-old subway-dependent non-driver.
1947 was a big year for Her Majesty. While you likely celebrated the milestone of reaching the legal drinking age, Elizabeth II married Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten after keeping their engagement secret from the public for a year. Their marriage, a love match, was something of a controversy. But clearly, they’re doing something right, because it’s 2016 and they’re still happily together, nearing a whopping 70 total years married.
In 1950, the soon-to-be Queen gave birth to her second child (and only daughter), Princess Anne. Her first child, Prince Charles (future father of Prince William and father-in-law of Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge and style icon of our dreams), was born several years earlier, when she was 22. Queen Elizabeth had two children by the time she was the age that I am currently, and like I said already, I still can’t even drive. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
While Elizabeth and Philip were on an official tour of Kenya in 1952, tragedy struck; Elizabeth’s father, the reigning King George VI, passed away after a period of declining health, transforming Elizabeth into Queen Elizabeth II, the Queen of the United Kingdom and British Commonwealth.
Elizabeth only became the heir to the throne after her uncle Edward VIII abdicated the throne years earlier, after less than a year of ruling, in order to marry Wallis Simpson, a two-time divorcee. Abdicating the throne voluntarily was a huge, noteworthy deal. Before that, she was third in the line of succession and no one actually expected her to become Queen at all (let alone the longest-reigning one of all time).
While you spend your 27th year adjusting to no longer being in your mid-20s, maybe starting to feel kind of like a grown-up, and noticing your alcohol tolerance dwindling; in 1953 Queen Elizabeth was being formally coronated in a televised ceremony. She and her husband Philip left for a months-long tour of the Commonwealth, and Elizabeth became the very first British monarch to actually visit Australia and New Zealand during their reign. At that age, most of us could only hope to be as well-traveled as Her Majesty was only a little over a year into her reign. Talk about wanderlust life goals.
When the Queen turned the big 3-0, she and her husband started a tradition of throwing formal lunch parties at Buckingham Palace, and inviting other illustrious people over (like Marilyn Monroe) so that they could all sit around being super fancy and noshing on perfectly triangular tea sandwiches together.
By age 30, we might be throwing lunch parties of our own. Or dinner parties. Yeah, probably dinner parties, because we have that annoying having-to-work-a-9-to-5-during-the-day thing to deal with.
For more facts about Elizabeth II, head on over to Keeping Up With The Queen and have fun clicking around!