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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Conn chapter.

Queen Elizabeth II died at her Balmoral estate in Scotland on Thursday, September 8th at 96 years old.

Her reign as constitutional monarch of the UK spanned over 70 years, marking the longest rule of a monarch in British history. As a result, Queen Elizabeth II was the only British monarch that many people experienced.

Check out eight fascinating facts about the life and legacy of the late queen below.

1) She loved corgis

Queen Elizabeth II was famous for her life-long love of animals and has been pictured many times riding horses.

However, her heart lay with Pembroke Welsh Corgis. It is believed that Elizabeth owned more than 30 corgis in her lifetime. She had such a strong bond with one corgi, Susan, that she snuck the dog on her honeymoon in 1947.

2) She was active in World War II

At only fourteen years old, (then Princess) Elizabeth gave regular radio broadcasts to boost the spirits of young child listeners. She once told listening children that “in the end, all will be well; for God will care for us and give us victory and peace.”

A few years later, Elizabeth volunteered alongside other British women in the Auxiliary Territorial Service to help the war effort. She worked as a driver and mechanic.

3) She dedicated her life to service

On April 21st, 1947 (Elizabeth’s twenty-first birthday) she gave a speech on a radio broadcast from Cape Town, South Africa.

She said, “I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.”

4) She was crowned on June 2, 1953

Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation ceremony was the first to be broadcast on live television. Over 27 million people tuned in to watch, granting the public intimate access into the lives of the royal family.

Elizabeth was 25 years old when she became queen and 27 during the official coronation.

5) She created the “walkabout”

In 1970, during a royal tour of Australia and New England, Elizabeth ignored centuries of royal tradition.

Instead of waving to crowds of onlookers from afar, she decided to greet people in person. The “walkabout” changed how royals interacted with people and has now become common protocol.

6) she survived multiple assassination attempts

Life as a queen did not come without danger and violence for Elizabeth. In 1970, an attempt was made to derail the train the queen rode in.

A decade later, in 1981, a 17-year old-fired six blank shots at the queen during an annual ceremony called Trooping the Color. She was riding on horseback at the time and remained calm as police took control of the situation.

Four months later, another 17-year-old fired at the queen— this time, with a rifle.

7) She helped pass the Crown act of 2013

Before the Succession to the Crown Act (2013), a younger son could displace an elder daughter in the line of succession.

The Crown Act ended the system of male bias in the royal family and most directly affects Elizabeth’s great-grandchildren: Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis.

8) She kept busy in her Later years

Queen Elizabeth II’s life-long dedication to her role through sickness and health is evident. The royal family’s Instagram (@theroyalfamily), features Elizabeth in recent years attending parades and ceremonies, greeting visitors, giving public broadcasts, and hosting Zoom chats. She received the new prime minister, Liz Truss, just two days before her death.

As the monarchy moves into a new era — originally sparked by Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s decision to step down from their royal roles —it will be interesting to see what Elizabeth’s death means for the UK. The monarchy has a long, unaddressed history of racism, colonialism, and wealth inequality. Many people are hoping for progress.

But without a doubt, Queen Elizabeth II’s life was both extraordinary and fascinating. She will live on as a beloved figurehead for the British monarchy and a symbol of grace and commitment.

Chloé Hummel was the 2023-2024 President and Editor-in-Chief of Her Campus UConn, after previously serving as Vice President and Contributing Writer. She graduated from the University of Connecticut in May 2024 with a dual Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She is also a certified yoga instructor.