If you were ever in a spot of bother, you'd want the Queen to have your back because, frankly, she's tougher than the diamonds in her many tiaras.
Next month she will become Britain's longest reigning monarch and, as 'The Queen’s Speech: An Intimate Portrait Of The Queen In Her Own Words' by Ingrid Seward is released this week, we take a look at at the 14 reasons Queen Elizabeth is one of the world's biggest badasses of all time
1. She is utterly unfazed by gunfire
During the traditional Trooping the Colour ceremony in 1981 (below), the Queen was riding side saddle ahead of her mounted guards when 17-year-old Marcus Sarjeant fired six blanks from a replica gun straight at her. Not only did she keep her seat, but the first thing Her Majesty did was comfort her 19-year-old horse, Burmese, which she had ridden in parades since 1969. Then she just kept on going down Horseguards Parade for the ceremony. Afterwards, she got back on Burmese and returned to the Palace the way she had come. Fearless.
2. She's been riding since she was 4 years old - and still does
She's 90 now and way too badass for a helmet; she wears a silk scarf instead (below). Reportedly because of her hair. We totally get that.
3. She's got serious endurance skills
Mostly evidenced by the fact that from September 9 2015, she will become Britain's longest reigning monarch, overtaking her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria, who died in January 1901, having reigned for 63 years and seven months.
4. She has no need for an overspill bag
Which means she can fit all she needs for the day as leader of the Commonwealth into one tiny bag. Usually made by Launer, England's answer to Hermès. We suspect it contains the means to save the world, should it come to that.
5. She doesn't need a passport
At all. That's pretty major. According to the official website of the British monarchy, "As a British passport is issued in the name of Her Majesty, it is unnecessary for The Queen to possess one."
6. She can change a flat
She learned how to fix truck engines during World War II as a member of the Auxiliary Territorial Service, the women's branch of the British army (below). Years after the war, veterans commented that she was pretty good too, she always got stuck in, never grumbled and became one of the lads.
7. She drives a Land Rover like a boss
She's chauffeured in public but she always gets behind the wheel on her private estates. In 1998, in a tremendous show of girl power, she jumped behind the wheel to drive King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia (where women are banned from driving) around one of her Scottish estates. Which, of course, she's thoroughly qualified to do because...
8. The Queen drove an ambulance in WWII
She served as a Subaltern with the Number 1 'Beaufront' Company, Auxiliary Territorial Service (below). She saved lives.
9. She's not one to ever cry into her cuppa
On December 9 1992, when Prime Minister John Major told parliament that Princess Diana and Prince Charles had 'decided to separate', the Queen was at Wood Farm on the Sandringham estate. What did she do? She strapped on her Wellies and a headscarf and took the corgis out for a walk - twice.
10. She IS the stiff upper lip of Britain.
When she returned the second time that day, she responded to condolences from a senior member of her staff by curtly saying, ‘I think you will find it’s all for the best’, then stepped once more out into the November drizzle.
11. She's A Tiger Grand-Mama
Though she was criticised for not flying the flag at half mast over Buckingham Palace after Diana's death on August 31 1997, the reason was down to protocol - because she wasn't in residence. What she had done was keep her family at Balmoral in Scotland to protect her grandsons, William and Harry, and give them space to mourn in private.
11. She's a Bond Girl
When London hosted the 2012 Olympics, the Queen and James Bond (Daniel Craig) 'skydived' into the Opening Ceremony. So OK, she had a stunt person full off the actual dive but it showed a lot of gumption to even agree to the gag, which charmed everyone on the planet. That film is still one of the best things we've ever seen.
13. Because, well, this...
14. Her corgis are trained by experts to kill on command
No, just kidding. They're adorable.
Words by Julia Neel