On her 95th birthday, the Queen shared a message via the Royal Family Twitter account, thanking people for their kind messages following the death of her husband, Prince Philip.
Many people noticed that Queen Elizabeth signed the letter “Elizabeth R” and have begun to wonder what the letter “R” represents.
In her message, the Queen wrote: “I have, on the occasion of my 95th birthday today, received many messages of good wishes which I very much appreciate.”
Why does Queen Elizabeth sign her name Elizabeth R?
When Queen Elizabeth signs her name, she signs it “Elizabeth R.”
The letter “R” does not signify a last name, but stands for “regina” which means “queen” in Latin. If a king were signing, the “R” would stand for “rex,” instead.
Queen Elizabeth has signed official documents, guest books, and her first tweet with the “R,” though royal historian Marlene Koenig says that in letters to close family and friends, the Queen signs with the nickname “Lilibet.”
What does Elizabeth R mean?
Marlene Koenig told Harper’s Bazaar that the letter R “designates the authority of the sovereign.”
She said: “You will find the use of ‘R’ as far back as Henry I [who ruled in the early 12th century]. It is how they sign all official documents, as well as formal letters, etc.”
Some royal consorts have also included the “R” in their signature, such as Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, the wives of George V and George VI respectively, used the regal initial.
Queen Elizabeth thanks well-wishers on her 95th birthday
On her 95th birthday, Queen Elizabeth shared a message thanking people for their messages following the death of her husband, Prince Philip. She wrote:
“While as a family we are in a period of great sadness, it has been a comfort to us all to see and to hear the tributes paid to my husband, from those within the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and around the world.”
“My family and I would like to thank you all for the support and kindness shown to us in recent days. We have been deeply touched, and continue to be reminded that Philip had such an extraordinary impact on countless people throughout his life.”