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Queen Elizabeth Was A Mechanic During World War II

Princess Elizabeth learning car maintenance in 1945. Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images


Queen Elizabeth Was A Mechanic During World War II


President Donald Trump mentioned the upcoming 75th anniversary of D-Day and the British royal family’s perseverance and commitment during World War II at a sumptuous dinner at Buckingham Palace on Monday.

“Through it all, the royal family was the resolute face of the commonwealth’s unwavering solidarity,” Trump said, referring to the bombs that rocked London during the war, including the 16 that hit Buckingham Palace. “In April 1945, newspapers featured a picture of the Queen Mother visiting the women’s branch of the Army, watching a young woman repair a military truck engine,” he continued. “That young mechanic was the future Queen, a great, great woman. Her Majesty inspired her compatriots in that fight to support the troops, defend her homeland, and defeat the enemy at all costs.”

According to the BBC, the queen is a skilled mechanic who served in the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service during WWII. She learnt how to repair equipment and operate a military vehicle.

The move came as a surprise, as the future Queen had pushed to serve her country alongside her peers after turning 18, but her father and his councilors initially refused her entry, ruling that “her training as a princess outweighed the nation’s increasing manpower problems and that ‘Betts’ should not join any of the women’s auxiliaries, nor work in a factory,” according to a 1944 Time report.

During the Blitz of 1940 and 1941, the Nazi war machine launched hundreds of bombs on Britain, many of them on London.

Trump’s statements aren’t always true, as Washington Post Fact Checker Glenn Kessler can testify. But with this one, he’s dead on.


Of course, the Queen wasn’t the only member of the royal family to fight in WWII, as Trump pointed out, adding, “We also pay tribute to Prince Philip’s distinguished and valiant service in the Royal Navy during the second world war.”

According to the BBC, Queen Elizabeth II is the only female member of the royal family to have served in the military, but her male descendants did, including Prince Harry, who served in the British Army for ten years until retiring in 2015.

According to the BBC, she is also the last living head of state who served in the war.

There’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it allusion in the first episode of ‘The Crown.’ A stalled vehicle engine plagues Elizabeth and Philip’s entourage while on a vacation to Kenya. The princess, portrayed by Claire Foy, is irritated and jumps out of the vehicle to instruct them how to repair it.

She says, “It’s all right, I was a mechanic during the war.”

Trump ended by paying tribute to George VI’s historic address before D-Day and the numerous lives lost by both American and British soldiers throughout the fight. The 75th anniversary of D-Day, the opening battle of the Allied liberation of France and, ultimately, the whole of Europe, is on Thursday, June 6th. During his trip overseas, Trump will attend memorial ceremonies in the United Kingdom and France.

This week, President Trump will visit Portsmouth, England, and Normandy, France, to mark the D-Day landing, which occurred when the queen was just 18 years old.

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