"When life seems hard, the courageous do not lie down and accept defeat; instead, they are all the more determined to struggle for a better future."
Her Britannic Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, 2008
Her Britannic Majesty, Queen Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Mountbatten-Windsor (Elizabeth II to you, Brenda to readers of Private Eye, Mrs Windsor in Stroke Country, Lilibet as a child, Gertie to her friends, Cabbage to her husband, and Betty to Alucard) of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Also Queen of fifteen other countries, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Jamaica. She was born in 1926 and acceded to the throne on February 6, 1952 on the death of her father, George VI. That's right, she has spent 62 years on the throne and is still going strong. Two of her three mostrecent Prime Ministers weren't even born when she became Queen. Should she still occupy the throne on September 10, 2015, she will become the longest-reigning monarch in the history of the United Kingdom or its predecessor states, surpassing the record currently held by Queen Victoria.
Since the Queen is the best-known monarch in the world, she's turned up quite a lot in fiction, usually as an Anonymous Ringer or Invisible President, in part due to her function as a constitutional monarch. Despite a wobble in the early nineties, Elizabeth II is highly popular in the UK.
Apparently a big Doctor Whofannote hence why Michael Grade, who screwed the show over in the late '80s, is the only BBC Controller never to be knighted. A huge technophile, quite tech-savvy; she was the one who insisted on televising her coronation. President Barack Obama's gift of an iPod to her was not a gaffe, as commonly believed: she did, in fact, already have one, but had mentioned it was a generation or two out of date and she would really like a new one. Plus, the royal family now has a YouTubeaccount. This was also Her Majesty's idea.
In a highly surprising, hilarious, and touching display of sportsmanship, she made her acting debut in a scene opposite Daniel Craig as James Bond for the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games. After greeting him at Buckingham Palace, they travel to the stadium via helicopter and (with the help of a stunt double, naturally) parachute into the arena. Cool Old Lady indeed.
Has had a famous ocean liner (commonly abbreviated QE2), a steam locomotive, and a road bridge (part of the Dartford River Crossing) named after her.
See also: British Royal Family (for the current members), The House of Windsor (for the more historical members)
HM, the Queen provides examples of:
Canine Companion: Her famous brood of Welsh Corgis. She currently owns 17 of them.
Cool Crown: Although she doesn't show off her tiaras as much any more.
She is the one responsible for the Royal Family having a websiteand a YouTube channel.
At Balmoral Castle, has one living room decorated with a cushion proclaiming "It's Good to be Queen".
Stephen Fry reports that at Prince Charles' wedding to Camilla, the Queen got up on the table and made a hilarious speech, and a few minutes after getting down nudged him hard with her elbow and asked, "Isn't anybody going to get me cake?"
Deadpan Snarker: Known for her subversive humour, for all her decorum being put in a silly or embarrassing situation will bring out the snark.
Diary: She's known to write in hers every single day.
Happily Married: Prince Philip may have a raging case of foot-in-mouth disease, but she seems to love him. Rather a lot, actually. And it's mutual.
Hidden Depths: Skilled mechanic and a life-long Doctor Who fan. Also a brilliant political adviser. British PMs from Harold Wilson to current David Cameron have openly stated her role as adviser has been crucially helpful to their administrations, especially in regards to foreign policy.note This should surprise no-one; her great-grandfather Edward VII realized that the monarch needed a role in order to justify the continued existence of the monarch. Being a personable fellow, closely related by blood or marriage to half the monarchs of Europe, and a huge Francophile in an era when France was the lone large republic on the continent, he made his role by travelling and keeping reasonably good relations with everyone. Subsequent monarchs followed suit.
Nice Hat: Known for her fondness for decorative hats. Her outfits are often coloured to match whatever hat she happens to be wearing.
Opera Gloves: From the late 1940's through the 1960's, she, as well as her sister Princess Margaret, habitually wore over-the-elbow (usually white) gloves with both (short-sleeved) daytime and evening outfits. She doesn't wear short sleeves anymore, but she still frequently turns out in public with properly gloved hands.
Pimped-Out Dress: Although she's often known for frumpy outfits, for grand occasions, she likes to wear dresses loaded with lace or other decorations. This was especially true in the 50s and 60s.
Her coronation gown was even Gem-Encrusted, although the gems are so finely added, it blends into the designs on the dress.
Pretty in Mink: She had a number of furs she wore in public,such as a mink coat, a white ermine coat, a white mink wrap, and a white fox wrap (the latter she wears most often now). Her sister Margaret had similar furs she wore.
Wrench Wench: She served as a military mechanic◊ in WWII, in addition to driving transport trucks. Although she wasn't given that many assignments to either, she made it clear since then that she still liked to drive her family around.
Two Weeks with the Queen by Morris Gleitzman. Colin never actually meets her Majesty face-to-face, but he talks about her at length, attempts to break into Buckingham Palace to meet her, and he watches a TV broadcast of her on Christmas Day.
Roald Dahl's The BFG. She's only ever referred to as The Queen or Her Majesty, but the illustrations unmistakably depict "Her Majesty" with Elizabeth's face.
The Windsors provide a rallying point for a chaotic UK after the Change renders modern technology and guns inoperable, in S.M. Stirling's Emberverse. Elizabeth II is described as dying of "heartbreak and overwork" a year after the Change, and is succeeded by Charles, who is eventually driven mad from the stress. His successor, William, is referred to as "the Great."
In the final book of Jo Walton's Small Change trilogy, it is the young Queen Elizabeth II was is finally able to break the back of the fascist regime controlling the country and save the day.
Sewer, Gas & Electric features her as a total badass who defends herself from the IRA with an old vickers machine gun and in general foils the plans of people who have annoyed her.
The Royal Canadian Air Farce often had Luba Goy impersonate Her Majesty, beginning every speech with a high-pitched "hem-hem-hem".
She is played in the Mr. Bean episode "Meeting Royalty". Preparing for a bow, Bean accidentally headbutts her.
In one Monty Python's Flying Circus episode (called "Royal Episode 13 or: The Queen Will Be Watching"), it's announced at the beginning that Her Majesty will be watching part of the show. She tunes in in the middle of a sketch, but to everyone's disappointment, she switches over after a few seconds.
Spitting Image featured the Queen as a reoccurring character, depicted as the rather level-headed matriarch of an extraordinarily dysfunctional (and weirdly lower-middle class) family.
Played by Fred Armisen with Bill Hader as Phillip in a few Saturday Night Livesketchs. The first with Anne Hathaway playing Kate Middleton. Apparently, in private the royal couple are Cockney gangsters.
She appears in The Simpsons episode "The Regina Monologues", where the family visits the UK. Homer crashes into her carriage as she was out to go buy some light bulbs for the palace.
She also briefly appears in the episode "To Surveil with Love", voiced by Eddie Izzard.
She also makes very brief appearances in the episodes "Mom and Pop Art", and "Behind the Laughter".
She also appears in an episode of Animaniacs, 'Windsor Hassle', (voiced by Tress MacNeille) as well as versions of the rest of the family. Set after the 1992 fire in Windsor Castle, she's trying to get the banquet hall finished. She ends up left with the Warners.
She appears in the Family Guy episode "Family Guy Viewer Mail 2", in a segment that shows a British version of the series. Neville (Peter's equivalent) wants to get a lock of hair from her to prove that they're related, and he ends up chasing her to her death in a tunnel. She's voiced by Cate Blanchett.