A belated happy birthday wish from us here at TKM to HRM Queen Elizabeth II. Fifty-four years ago the 26-year old Princess ascended the throne of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland after the death of her father, King George VI, the accidental king (his elder brother abdicated) who stood steadfast during the Blitz in World War II.
Since her ascension to the most visible throne in the world, Queen Elizabeth has been a paradigm of monarchical dignity despite the antics and idiocies of her offspring, heirs of the body (read: grandson #2), in-laws and siblings. She is the fourth-longest serving monarch in the British Empire (behind Victoria [64 years], George III [60 years] and Henry III [56 years]) and the best argument for Britain retaining its constitutional monarchy.
So happy 80th birthday to Her Royal Majesty. Here's hoping she retains the vibrancy and longevity she seems to have obtained from her mother, the late Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother (1900-2001).