Royal Facts

With the anticipation and excitement of two Royal Weddings this year, we're going to take a look at some Royal Facts you might not know!

1.  Buckingham Palace's garden has the national collection of mulberry trees, with  one of the first planted by King James I in the 1600s.

2. When the Queen hosts her banquets for visiting heads of State, the lavish affair involves a 4,000 piece dinner service, with each guest having six glasses and eleven pieces of cutlery.

3. Clarence House was built in 1827 according to the designs of John Nash as the new London home of George III's third son, Prince William Henry, Duke of Clarence and his wife Adelaide. The final cost was £22,232, more than double the original quote!

4. In the State Apartments of St James's Palace there is a fireplace that was built during Henry VIII's reign. On one side there are initials 'HA' for 'Henry & Anne (Boleyn)'. But by the time the fireplace was complete, the other side of the fireplace only has the initial 'H' as Anne was now dead!

5. There is a network of secret tunnels and passages that passes under Whitehall which link Government buildings and carry communication cables so the Government can still run during national emergencies. 

6. The Palace of Whitehall which today only has the Banqueting House, due to a fire which destroyed most of the palace, was built by Henry VIII and incorporated a bowling green, indoor tennis court and jousting yard. In 1611 the palace hosted the first known performance of Shakespeare's 'The Tempest'.

7.  Apart from Madame Tussauds, Westminster Abbey's museum is one of London's best-known waxwork galleries as a result of it being home to many monarchy wax figures.

8.  Queen Elizabeth II married her third cousin — she and Prince Philip share the same great-great-grandparents. 

9. The Crown Estate belongs to the monarch "in right of The Crown" (currently Queen Elizabeth II), and the property is currently valued at £6 billion. 

10. Queen Elizabeth II isn't legally required to own a driving licence, or a passport.

11. Before 1917 the Royal Family didn't have a surname, but George V changed the family's name from the German Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to the House of Windsor. 

12. If Kate becomes queen, she'll be the sixth Queen Catherine.

13. If you're ever lucky enough to meet the Queen, you should first call her "Your Majesty," and from there you can refer to her as "ma'am."

14. The Royals should be the ones guiding conversation, and people who are set to meet members of the Royal Family are typically told not to ask direct questions.

15. The Queen celebrates 2 birthdays. Her official birthday is celebrated on a range of dates in the different countries of the Commonwealth of Nations. The second is her actual birthday, the 21st April.