Queen Elizabeth II has ruled for longer than any other Monarch in British history, & has become a much loved & respected figure across the globe. Her extraordinary reign has seen her travel more widely than any other monarch, undertaking many historic overseas visits, such as becoming the first reigning monarch of Australia & New Zealand to visit those nations. The Queen is well known for her sense of duty & her devotion to a life of service, she has been an important figurehead for the UK & the Commonwealth during times of enormous social change.
Her Majesty continues to carry out a full programme of engagements, from visits to charities & schools, to hosting visiting Heads of State, to leading the nation in Remembrance & celebratory events - all supported by other members of the Royal Family.
The Queen views public & voluntary service as one of the most important elements of her work. The Queen has links - as Royal Patron or President - with over 600 charities, military associations, professional bodies & public service organisations. These vary from well-established international charities to smaller bodies working in a specialist area or on a local basis only.
Her patronages & charities cover a wide range of issues, from opportunities for young people, to the preservation of wildlife & the environment. Having Her Majesty as Royal patron or president provides vital publicity for the work of these organisations, & allows their enormous achievements & contributions to society to be recognised.
The Queen supports & encourages achievement in all walks of life through the annual programme of Investitures (at which she presents members of the general public with their honours), Garden Parties, receptions & other awards given in her name (such as MBE's; OBE's etc), which allow her to say ‘thank you’ to all those who have contributed to the life of the nation & the Commonwealth.
The Queen carries out all of her duties against the backdrop of a full personal life which has seen her raise four children & welcome grandchildren, & now great-grandchildren to the Royal Family.
The Duke of Edinburgh has been in her own words her ‘strength & stay’ during her reign, whilst other members of the Royal Family continue to offer vital support through their work in the UK & overseas.