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Elizabeth II (British Royalty)
Date of Birth:
21 April 1926
Elizabeth II is the Queen regnant of sixteen independent states and their overseas territories and dependencies. Though she holds each crown and title separately and equally, she is resident in and most directly involved with the United Kingdom, her oldest realm, over parts of whose territories her ancestors have reigned for more than a thousand years. She ascended the thrones of seven countries in February 1952 on the death of her father King George VI.
In addition to the United Kingdom, Elizabeth II is also Queen of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Kitts and Nevis, in each of which she is represented by a Governor-General. The 16 countries of which she is Queen are known as Commonwealth realms, and their combined population, including dependencies, is over 129 million. In theory her powers are vast; in practice she herself rarely intervenes in political matters. In the United Kingdom at least, however, she is known to take an active behind-the-scenes interest in the affairs of state, meeting regularly to establish a working relationship with her government ministers.