Q: Does the Earl of Snowdon actually have anything to do with Snowdon? Does he chair council meetings or anything like that? And what and where is Snowdon, anyway?
A: Snowdon is actually a mountain in Wales. The first Lord Snowdon was Tony Armstrong-Jones, who was given the title upon his marriage to the Queen’s sister, Princess Margaret. It was a nod to his Welsh heritage.
He personally didn’t have any official connection to the area, though the title itself has ancient connections to Welsh royalty (this is dating way back, to roughly around the time of the Magna Carta!). Professionally, Tony was a photographer and had a seat in the House of Lords (link). He retired in March 2016. Lord Snowdon passed away January 13, 2017. His son, David, is now the 2nd Earl of Snowdon.
The “R” after the Elizabeth’s signature stands for Regina (Reh-JINE-ah), the Latin word for queen.
India became a part of the British Empire during the reign of Queen Victoria. As the Empress of India, Queen Victoria signed her name Victoria R-I, or Victoria Regina-Imperiatrix. Her predecessors, all kings, signed their names with a male version: Rex-Imperator.
What kind of car does the Queen drive?
Her Majesty usually rides in a specialized chauffeured Bentley for public occasions. On her own time, the Queen drives a Land Rover. It rides well in the rougher terrain of Balmoral in Scotland. Land Rover is the only car company to hold three Royal Warrants: one from the Queen, one from HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, and Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales.
When does the Trooping the Colour parade take place?
The Trooping the Colour ceremony marks the official birthday of the monarch. The first or second Saturday in June is chosen for the mild weather.
Her Majesty the Queen takes the salute from hundreds of officers and bands as they march along The Mall to Whitehall. The pageantry is spectacular and the ceremony draws many tourists from around the world.
The Queen’s personal birthday is April 21.
What are the small jeweled portraits pinned to Her Majesty’s sash?
These are royal family orders. Female members of the family receive them from the monarch. The Queen wears the orders of her father and grandfather, while the rest of the royal family wears her order. The Queen’s order is her likeness, surrounded by diamonds and nestled on a yellow ribbon.
The family order of King George VI is pinned with a pink ribbon; King George V is blue.