16. The queen's official visits have ranged from the Cocos Islands, 5.4 square miles with a population of 655, to The Peoples' Republic of China, 3.7 million square miles with a population of 1.25 billion.
17. Unusual live gifts given to the queen on foreign tours include: two tortoises given to the queen in the Seychelles in 1972; a seven-year-old bull elephant called "Jumbo" given to her majesty by the president of Cameroon in 1972 to mark the queen's Silver Wedding, and a canary given to the queen after the state visit to Germany in 1965.
18. The queen has sent almost 100,000 telegrams to centenarians in the U.K. and the Commonwealth.
19. The queen has sent more than 280,000 telegrams to couples in the U.K. and the Commonwealth celebrating their diamond wedding (60 years) anniversary.
20. The queen's real birthday is on April 21, but it is celebrated officially in June.
21. The queen has attended 31 Royal Variety performances.
22. The queen has given 88 state banquets during her reign.
23. The queen has launched 17 ships during her reign.
24. The queen and the duke of Edinburgh have sent about 37,500 Christmas cards during the queen's reign.
25. The queen has given out about 75,000 Christmas puddings to staff continuing the custom of King George V and King George VI.
26. The queen learned to drive in 1945.
27. The queen was born at 17 Bruton St, London W1 on the 21st April, 1926, was christened on the 29th May, 1926 in the Private Chapel at Buckingham Palace and was confirmed on the 28th March, 1942 in the Private Chapel at Windsor Castle.
28. With the birth of Prince Andrew in 1960, The queen became the first reigning Sovereign to have a child since Queen Victoria, who had her youngest child, Princess Beatrice, in 1857.
29. The queen has 30 godchildren.
30. The first football match the queen attended was the 1953 FA Cup Final.
31. The queen has been at the saluting base of her troops in every Trooping the Colour ceremony since the start of her reign, with the exception of 1955, when a national rail strike forced the cancellation of the parade.
32. The queen has sat for over 120 portraits during her reign. The most recent was painted in 2001 by Lucian Freud.
33. The first "royal walkabout" took place during the visit by the queen and the duke of Edinburgh to Australia and New Zealand in 1970. The practice was introduced to allow them to meet as many people as possible, not simply officials and dignitaries.
34. In 1969 the first television film about the family life of the royal family was made, and shown on the eve of the Investiture of Prince Charles as Prince of Wales.
35. An important innovation during the queen's reign was the opening in 1962 of a new gallery at Buckingham Palace to display items from the Royal Collection. The brainchild of the duke of Edinburgh, the new Queen's Gallery occupied the space of the palace's bomb-damaged private chapel. It was the first time that parts of the palace had been opened to the general public. The new Queen's Gallery is currently being redeveloped and will re-open in May, 2002 for the Golden Jubilee.
36. The only time the queen has had to interrupt an overseas tour was in 1974 during a tour of Australia and Indonesia. The queen was called back from Australia when a general election was called suddenly. The duke of Edinburgh continued the program in Australia, and the queen re-joined the tour in Indonesia.