|April 21, 2010|
Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary; born 21 April 1926) is the queen regnant of sixteen independent states known informally as the Commonwealth realms: the United Kingdom, 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. She holds each crown separately and equally in a shared monarchy, and carries out duties for each state of which she is sovereign, as well as acting as Head of the Commonwealth, Supreme Governor of the Church of England, Duke of Normandy, Lord of Mann, and Paramount Chief of Fiji. In theory her powers are vast; however, in practice, and in accordance with convention, she rarely intervenes in political matters.
Elizabeth became Queen of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon upon the death of her father, George VI, on 6 February 1952. Her reign of 57 years has seen sweeping changes, including the continued evolution of the British Empire into the modern Commonwealth of Nations. As colonies gained independence from the United Kingdom, she became queen of 25 newly independent countries. She is one of the longest-reigning British monarchs, and has been the sovereign of 32 individual nations, but half of them later became republics.
Elizabeth married Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh in 1947. The couple have four children and eight grandchildren.
All at Fun Kids wish her Majesty a very Happy Birthday