She was never destined to become Queen until the abdication of her uncle King Edward VIII changed the course of her life forever. But Her Majesty the Queen has taken her role incredibly seriously, devoting her life to public service.
Her 69 years on the throne has made her the longest-serving monarch in British history and while her workload has decreased in recent years, the Queen still has links – as Royal Patron or President – with over 600 charities, military associations, professional bodies and public service organisations.
"On our own, we cannot end wars or wipe out injustice, but the cumulative impact of thousands of small acts of goodness can be bigger than we imagine" - Her Majesty the Queen
She never fails to smile sweetly as she steps out for an engagement, making sure her guests or hosts feel at ease in her company, even occasionally cracking a joke. And while she's seen enormous social, political and economic change during her extraordinary life, the sovereign has proved to be a constant throughout difficult times, the pandemic included.
Her patronages and charities cover a wide range of issues, from opportunities for young people, to the preservation of wildlife and the environment. As Head of the Commonwealth, she is sovereign of 15 commonwealth realms in addition to the UK.
In 2016, the Queen's kind-hearted nature was reflected in her speech as she said: "It's understandable that we sometimes think the world's problems are so big that we can do little to help. On our own, we cannot end wars or wipe out injustice, but the cumulative impact of thousands of small acts of goodness can be bigger than we imagine."
These words inspired the creation of the Queen's Commonwealth Trust – a charity that was established in honour of Her Majesty's lifetime of service to the commonwealth, and her belief in young people as a force for good in the world today.
See the full Kind List here
Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.