Elizabeth II is the Queen regnant of sixteen independent states and their overseas territories and dependencies. She ascended the thrones of seven countries in February 6, 1952.
In addition to the United Kingdom, Elizabeth II is also Queen of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, and Saint Kitts and Nevis, in each of which she is represented by a Governor-General.
The 16 countries of which she is Queen are known as Commonwealth Realms, and their combined population, including dependencies is over 129 million. In theory her powers are vast; in practice (and in accordance with convention) she herself never intervenes in political matters.
Elizabeth II holds a variety of other positions, among them Head of the Commonwealth, Supreme Governor of the Church of England, Duke of Normandy, Lord of Mann, and Paramount Chief of Fiji. Her long reign has seen sweeping changes in her realms and the world at large, perhaps most notably the dissolution of the British Empire (a process that began in the last years of her father’s reign) and the consequent evolution of the modern Commonwealth of Nations.