As many of you may know then the Queen’s birthday is celebrated on 8th of June this year. To celebrate it with you we decided to put together a list of 25 facts you most likely did not know about the UK
. What are you waiting for? Read on to quench your thirst for new knowledge!
- The Queen celebrates 2 birthdays every year, mostly because you can’t count on British weather as it’s just too unpredictable. Her actual birthday is on 21st of April, but she also has an official birthday that is celebrated every year on the second Saturday of June. Last year it was 9th of June, this year it’s 8th of June and next year it’s 13th of June.
- The British drink more tea than most cultures in the world, even more than the Japanese. The exact number is unknown, but to give you an idea then it can be up to 165 million cups of tea per day. According to Statista.com one third of the population drinks 2-3 cups of tea daily.
- When you travel around the UK then you can notice the accents changing about every 40 km. To be honest then a single "British accent" simply does not exist, but you can have an English, Scottish, Welsh or Irish accent, although they also have several subtypes.
- Queen Elizabeth II doesn’t have a passport, but she has visited more than 100 countries. According to the British monarchy, “As a British passport is issued in the name of Her Majesty, it is unnecessary for The Queen to possess one.” She just has to do an identity check which means giving her full name, age, place of birth, address and nationality to immigration officials.
- The UK has the shortest scheduled passenger flight in the world. The flight that connects Westray and Papa Westray islands lasts only one and a half minutes, the record for the fastest flight is 53 seconds.
- The UK has many urban legend “laws” that some people still believe to be true. For example going to jail when placing a postage stamp with the Queen’s head upside down, or being afraid of dying in Parliament because it’s illegal, and thinking it’s ok to shoot a Welsh person with a longbow on a Sunday in Chester… Really guys? Sorry to disappoint you but these are all legends.
- About 25% of all women born in the UK in 1811 were named Mary. It has been the most popular name over the last 500 years.
- Kate Middleton is an 8th cousin to the first president of the US, George Washington, and a 13th cousin to an American World War II hero, General George S. Patton.
- London is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world. More than a third of the population is born outside of the UK and over 300 languages are spoken in London.
- The British Empire was the largest empire in the world. In 1922 when it was at its peak, about a quarter of the world's population and a quarter of Earth's total land area was under its rule.
- You probably won’t find light switches inside a bathroom in the UK, because of the fear of electrocution.
- London Eye used to be the tallest Ferris wheel in the world until 2006, now it’s world’s fourth tallest one. It is 135 meters tall and one rotation takes about 30 minutes.
- You probably won’t believe it, but chicken tikka masala is now one of the British national dishes. It’s originally from India, but shows beautifully how Britain absorbs external influences.
- London has had many different names in the past. During the Roman times it was called Londinium, in the Anglo-Saxon period it was called Lundenwic, and eventually it was named London.
- Big Ben is usually used to refer to both the clock and the tower. But it isn’t actually a clock, it is the nickname of the bell that’s inside the clock. Big Ben is the largest of the tower's five bells and weighs 13,7 tonnes. The actual tower is called Elizabeth Tower.
- According to the Research Alliance there are around 30,000 John Smiths living in the UK.
- There are 426 escalators in the London Underground, and they cover a distance every week which equals to two trips around the globe.
- There are few trash bins in London, because they have been used as bomb drop locations. The city is afraid of bomb threats, so they’ve removed lots of bins from the streets.
- The Queen is the only person in the United Kingdom who does not need a driving licence in order to drive. The 93-year-old loves driving, but after Prince Philip’s recent traffic accident she’s agreed to stop driving as well.
- For the British two weeks is a fortnight, elevator is a lift, thrash can is a rubbish bin, sidewalk is a pavement and cart is a trolley.
- You can never be more than 113 km from the coastal waters. Coton in the Elms is a village that is the furthest place in the UK from the sea, exactly 113 km from the coast.
- England’s most popular dishes include Spotted Dick, Bangers and Mash and Toad in a Hole. Or in other words a steamed sponge dessert, mashed potatoes & sausages, and pork sausages baked in a dough.
- Elizabeth II is the world's largest landowner with her 6.6 billion acres. Which makes her the owner of one-sixth of the Earth's land surface.
- Prince Charles and Prince William can never travel on the same airplane. In order to protect the royal lineage, British Royal protocol says that two heirs should never fly on the same flight together.
- The pound sterling is 1200 years old, which makes it the world's oldest currency still in use.
Bloody fantastic, you made it here! You can now use all this information to amuse or impress your friends/family/co-workers and from now on there will never be a dull moment with you. Share these fun facts and go celebrate the Queen’s birthday with your mates!