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Elizabeth 11

Queen Elizabeth II has been the UK's head of state for longer than most of its citizens can remember.

 

For 60 years she has fulfilled the role of constitutional monarch, a figure separate from politics but always in touch with events.

 

The person who has embodied Britain to the wider world and been a focus for unity within the country's increasingly diverse communities.

 

For all of those reasons and others - not least her unflagging commitment to her role - there is perhaps a greater sense of personal regard for her than at any time since the early years of her reign back in the 1950s.

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Taken on May 26, 2012