Great Britain's longest reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, has become a symbol of stability, tradition, and continuity in her country.
Elizabeth, born in 1926 and queen since 1952, is not a great visionary, preferring horse and dogs to statecraft and politics. Nonetheless, she has been a diligent and faithful servant to the state she heads.
Married and with four children, the queen is noted for her remarkable adherence to duty during her many decades of rule. She is content, as few people might be, to adhere to the same traditional round of events that she has been participating in since her youth.
The queen is not only head of the country, but of the British Commonwealth of nations and the Church of England.
Her reign has weathered upheavals in her royal family, including the highly publicized divorce of her son and heir, Prince Charles. Republicanism, the idea that there should not be a monarchy, has also been an ongoing threat. Elizabeth is often credited with holding the monarchy together due to her unwavering dedication to its ways and traditions.