30. Her Majesty is the monarch to 14 countries in addition to the U.K. She is also Head of Commonwealth, which consists of 54 countries.
31. But these aren’t her only roles. She also holds the titles of Head of State, Head of Nation, Head of Armed Forces, Sovereign of the Garter, Defender of the Faith and Supreme Governor of the Church of England among others.
32. As Head of State, Her Majesty must stay neutral on political matters. Therefore, she doesn’t vote or stand for election. Although, as the royal family’s website explains, the monarch does have ceremonial and formal roles relating to the U.K. government, like opening new sessions of Parliament and approving orders and proclamations through the Privy Council. She can also appoint a prime minster and meet with him or her regularly.
33. In May 2021, the queen opened Parliament for the 67th time—having opened it every year of her reign except 1959 and 1963 (when she was pregnant and expecting Prince Andrew and Prince Edward) and 2022 due to, as Buckingham Palace put it, “episodic mobility problems.”
34. Audiences, or one-on-one meetings, are part of Her Majesty’s job. According to the royal family’s website, there are more than 170 ambassadors and high commissioners in London at any given time, and the monarch will have an audience with each one shortly after the individual has assumed the role. She also has a weekly audience with the prime minister in which they discuss government matters.
35. By 2016, the queen had held more than 660 investitures (an event that awards honors to individuals for their achievements, bravery or services to the U.K. and British oversea territories).
36. Her Majesty has more than 600 patronages.
37. Her reign hasn’t been completely without criticism. After Princess Diana’s death in 1997, for instance, Her Majesty faced public criticism for initially staying at her Balmoral Castle in Scotland, instead of returning to London, and for originally not flying the British flag at half-mast, which didn’t happen until the day of Diana’s funeral. The monarch later addressed the Princess of Wales’ death in a televised statement.
“I admired and respected her for her energy and commitment to ot