The Real Reason the Queen Signs Her Name as “Elizabeth R” – HarpersBAZAAR.com

The Real Reason the Queen Signs Her Name as “Elizabeth R” – HarpersBAZAAR.com

Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II has done some incredible things in her lifetime, but last week marked a surprising debut: She posted her first Instagram ever. The caption wasn't as informal as we had hoped—this is still the Queen of England after all (no song lyrics or hashtags to see here)—but it was a touching post nonetheless, showing a letter from Charles Babbage, "the world's first computer pioneer, " written to her great-great-grandfather, Prince Albert. She even included a signature: Elizabeth R.
The "R" doesn't signify a secret royal last name; instead, it stands for "regina, " which means "queen" in Latin. If a king were signing, the "R" would stand for "rex." The monarch has signed official documents (like the instrument of consent for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding), to guest books, to her first-ever tweet with "Elizabeth R." A note on Winston Churchill’s grave signed by the Queen as "Elizabeth R." McCabeGetty Images The tradition of signing with the initial R goes back centuries for English monarchs, and later British monarchs (after Great Britain was formed following the Act of Union combining the kingdoms of England and Scotland in 1707), according to royal ....


It is how they sign all official documents, as well as formal letters, etc." But when the Queen writes to family and friends, she signs with the endearing nickname "Lilibet, " Koenig adds. A portrait of Queen Victoria with her signature, circa 1838, Print CollectorGetty Images However, there were some exceptions. "When Victoria became Empress of India, she signed as 'Victoria RI' (Rex Imperator) and the British sovereign used this until India became independent after the second World War, " Marlene adds. Sometimes consorts, spouses of the sovereign, have also incorporated "R" into their signatures, according to Koenig. For example, Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, the wives of George V and George VI respectively, used the regal initial. King George VI, Queen Elizabeth, and Eleanor Roosevelt’s signatures in a guest book from 1939. Getty Images However, Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, has been known to simply sign with his first name. The Queen and Prince Philip’s signatures in the guest book of Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne from October 2011. POOLGetty Images When Prince Charles, the ....

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