In just a few short weeks, Queen Elizabeth the Second will become the longest reigning British Monarch. The 89 year old great grandmother ascended the throne when her father died in February 1952, and has reigned for close to seven decades. What you may not know about Queen Elizabeth II is that she is also a certified mechanic! This makes the only female member of the royal family to have entered the armed forces and is only living head of state who served in World War II.
When she was just 19 she enlisted in the Auxiliary Territorial Service based at the Mechanical Transport Training Section in Camberley, Surrey. She was an auto mechanic and driver known as Honorary Second Subaltern, No. 230873. She worked every day from ten until five, learning how to how to change a wheel, deconstruct and rebuild engines, and drive ambulances and other vehicles.
When it came time for Elizabeth to complete her final exam, her parents decided that she should not participate, as it would involve her driving a truck from the Camp through a heavily congested central London. However before they even had a chance to tell her the learnt that she has secretly completed the test from Camberley to London in heavy traffic, moving twice around Piccadilly Circus – even bringing her truck to the gates of the palace.
Within five months she was promoted to Honorary Junior Commander. While she may no longer use her skills as part of a war effort, Queen Elizabeth II can certainly serve to inspire all women who think that becoming a mechanic is at odds with society – after all, if the Queen can do it, anyone can!