Yep, that may sound strange and surprising, but they were indeed. Not just actors like Audrey Hepburn and Christopher Lee, a Queen can also prove her worth in aiding the soldiers in times of war. And an inventor, too. Almost forgot, a magician as well. See, I told you, you must be surprised to hear about those names.
1. Queen Elizabeth II Herself Was A WWII Mechanic
You’d think that since members of the royal family are very important people to be protected, safeguarded and kept alive, thus they wouldn’t be allowed to take part in any combat operations.
This, however, is far from the truth because several Royals, including Queen Elizabeth II, served in the military throughout their time in office. She was Princess Elizabeth at the time, and she enlisted in the military in 1942 at the age of 16.
She quickly joined the British Army’s women’s section, the Auxiliary Territorial Service, at age 18, and started her ascent through the ranks after receiving the honorary colonel title for her work reviewing military regiments.
She eventually rose to the position of Junior Commander of the ATS, thereby becoming the Big Kahuna to whom everyone is required to submit.
Additionally, it didn’t end there. She quickly enrolled in car repair classes and became a certified British army mechanic, garnering the nickname “Princess Auto Mechanic,” as she was not content with leading a group of ladies her age.
Don’t be deceived; this was still a risky work; 335 women are estimated to have died on the job. By the time the war was over, Princess Elizabeth had spent the most of her time fixing military vehicles for the troops and had returned home to her people as a hero.
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to skip the formalities and ask the Queen to help fixing your engine anymore, as she passed away 2 months ago. My condolences.
2. Marie Curie Revolutionized First World War Medical Care
Marie Curie is widely acknowledged as the inventor of radiation, which had several immediate applications (beyond making her a victim of matricide). With the X-ray devices she created for World War I, she ultimately helped save the lives of numerous soldiers.
Source: Ève Curie
The X-ray machine, one of the most helpful inventions ever, was created by Wilhelm Roentgen in 1895, although it wasn’t widely adopted.
The only places where X-ray machines were used were hospitals, which is pretty much the only place you’d think we’d need them. When World War I broke out, numerous battlefield wounds required on-site medical care.
Herein lies Curie’s contribution. She developed what she called “radiological cars,” which were essentially X-ray equipment mounted on automobiles and powered by electrical dynamos connected to the motor of the vehicle.
This has a significant impact on war medicine. Now, injured soldiers could receive considerably better assessments and care right away, wherever they were. This innovation was essential to the Allies’ victory, and happily the technology was kept out of the hands of Dutch Nazi anti-dance robots in the future.
3. Being A WWI Spy, Harry Houdini Trained The Army Survival Skills
Houdini is arguably the most well-known magician in history, and his name is often used to refer to magic. He was skilled at survival techniques and chose to create full courses on risky scenarios, which benefited him in the war as well.
Source: Hulton Archive/Getty Images
The magician, who had a lifetime fascination for things like aviation and mechanics, was well versed in all things considered manly, such as how to escape shackles, survive sinking ships, and other underwater scenarios, all of which were passed down to the soldiers on the battlefield.
Houdini, who ranks among the coolest people to have ever lived, was also a real-life James Bond during the war, working as a spy for both the US and the UK and gathering vital intelligence that aided war operations in his day.
Harry Houdini was the god of magic and a walking Swiss army knife who could do everything but survive a burst appendix. Well, one cannot win all the time.