|Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary; born 21 April 1926) 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. (see Context below).|
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, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, 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 (and in accordance with convention) 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.
Elizabeth II holds a variety of other positions, among them Head of the Commonwealth, Supreme Governor of the Church of England, Duke of Normandy, Lord of Mann, and Paramount Chief of Fiji. Her long reign has seen sweeping changes in her realms and the world at large, perhaps most notably the dissolution of the British Empire (a process that began in the last years of her father's reign) and the consequent evolution of the modern Commonwealth of Nations.
Since 1947, the Queen has been married to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, born a prince of Greece and Denmark but after naturalisation known as Philip Mountbatten and subsequently created Duke of Edinburgh. To date the couple have four children and eight grandchildren; the eighth (Viscount Severn) was born on 17 December 2007 to Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex.
Elizabeth became Queen of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) upon the death of her father, George VI, on 6 February 1952. As other colonies of the British Empire attained independence from the UK during her reign, she acceded to the newly created thrones as Queen of each respective realm so that throughout her 56 years on the throne she has been the sovereign of 32 nations, half of which subsequently became republics. She is currently the only monarch of more than one independent state.
Further information: States headed by Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II is currently the second longest reigning monarch of the United Kingdom ranking behind Victoria (who reigned over the UK for 63 years). She is also one of the longest-reigning monarchs of any of its predecessor states, ranking behind George III (who reigned over Great Britain and subsequently the UK for 59) and James VI (who reigned over Scotland for 57). In March 2008 she surpassed Henry III of England.
Following tradition, she is also styled Duke of Lancaster and Duke of Normandy. She is also Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces of many of her realms (and Lord Admiral of the United Kingdom), and is styled Defender of the Faith in various realms for differing reasons.
Notice that the Queen is dressed in darker colors while the Pope is dressed in lighter colors, thus symbolizing the submissiveness of the former to the latter.
by Harold Meij, H.P.
Tokyo Chapter #1, R.A.M.
Queen Elizabeth II in the robes of Sovereign Head of the Order in Great Britain
http://www.themasonictrowel.com/Articles/Hi...ta/knights_of_malta.htm (Proof Positive)
Coat of Arms of the House of Windsor
Queen Elizabeth II in Garter Robes
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