Our most gracious sovereign lady. Queen Elizabeth II …
… is 94 years old today. For many, many Canadians (and Australians and Brits and Kiwis, too) she is the only monarch they have ever known. Her face has been on our coins and bills for as long as most of us can remember. (I, and others who are over 70, will remember when her father, King George VI reigned, but …)
She was barely old enough to enlist in the British Army (the Auxiliary Territorial Service, a sort of volunteer reserve branch of the Woman’s Royal Army Corps) during the Second World War (as a driver-mechanic, I think) and she has served her country and her empire and her commonwealth ever since.
(For foreign readers: Queen Elizabeth is the Queen of Canada in her own right, quite separately from being the Queen of the United Kingdom and its colonies and quite separately from being Head of the Commonwealth. She is, also, and again quite separately, the Queen of Australia, too. It is one of the interesting bits of the unwritten but very powerful parts of our Constitution that allows her to have these separate roles.)
Long to reign over us!