Female Leaders

Below is a list of all current female leaders (presidents, prime ministers, queens, governor-generals and chancellors):

Dame Louise Lake-Tack, Governor General of Antigua and Barbuda

Dame Louise Lake-Tack is the Governor General of Antigua and Barbuda

Dame Louise Lake-Tack is the Governor General of Antigua and Barbuda

Born July 26, 1944. Louise Lake-Tack was born in St. Phillip’s Parish, Antigua. She was educated at Freetown Government School before attending the Antigua Girls High School in St. John’s. After graduating she emigrated to the United Kingdom where she studied nursing at Charing Cross Hospital. Following the completion of her studies, she worked first at the National Heart Hospital and later at the Harley Street Clinic.

She took office as Governor-General on July 17, 2007. She is the first female Governor-General of Antigua and Barbuda.

Lake-Tack later studied and graduated in law and subsequently served as a magistrate at both Marylebone and Horseferry Magistrate Courts. She also sat at Pocock Street Crown Court and Middlesex Crown Court to hear appeal cases from the lower courts.

Lake-Tack served as a member of the Antigua and Barbuda National Association (London) for the 24 years preceding her appointment as Governor-General.

Cristina de Kirchner, President of Argentina

Cristina Fernández, President of Argentina

Cristina Fernández, President of Argentina

Date of birth: 19th February 1953.
Place of birth: La Plata, Buenos Aires.
Profession: Lawyer
Marital Status: Married to Néstor Carlos Kirchner
Children: Máximo Kirchner – Florencia Kirchner

· Previous position: Senator for the Province of Buenos Aires, Chairwoman of the Constitutional Affairs Committee of the Honourable Senate of the Nation.
. 2001- 2005: National Senator for the Province of Santa Cruz.
. 1998: Member of the Provincial Constituent Assembly, Province of Santa Cruz
. 1997-2001: Congresswoman, representing the Province of Santa Cruz and Vice Chair of the Education Committee at the House of Representatives, Congress of the Nation.
. 2000: Second Vice Chair of the House of Representatives (Congress of the Nation) Special Investigation Committee  concerning illegal acts related to money laundering.

Julia Gillard, Prime Minister of Australia (since June 24, 2010)

Julia Gillard, Prime Minister of Australia

Julia Gillard, Prime Minister of Australia

Julia was born in Wales, migrating to Australia with her family in 1966. She studied arts and law at university in Adelaide before being elected as national education vice president of the Australian Union of Students in 1983. In 1983, Julia was national president of the AUS.

She began work as a solicitor with the law firm Slater and Gordon and became a partner in 1990. In May 1996, Julia was appointed chief of staff of the then Victorian Opposition leader, John Brumby. Julia worked with Mr Brumby until her election to Federal Parliament in 1998.

Following her election, she was a member of a number of parliamentary committees including the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Workplace Relations prior to entering Labor’s Shadow Ministry in 2001.

She subsequently served in a number of Shadow Ministerial portfolios including Population and Immigration, Reconciliation and Indigenous Affairs, Health, Employment and Industrial Relations, and Social Inclusion.

Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce, Governor General of Australia

Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce, Governor General of Australia

Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce, Governor General of Australia

Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce, AC Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia BA. LLB (Qld). Hon LLD (Macquarie). Hon DLitt (Charles Sturt). Hon DUniv (Griffith). Hon DU (QUT). Hon LLD (Qld) Quentin Bryce was born in Brisbane in 1942 and spent her early years in Ilfracombe, a small town in Central Western Queensland. In 1965, she graduated with the degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws from The University of Queensland and, in the same year, was admitted to the Queensland Bar. She has since enjoyed a rich and distinguished career as an academic, lawyer, community and human rights advocate, senior public officer, university college principal, and vice-regal representative in Queensland, and now Australia.

Ms Bryce’s former roles – some, among firsts for women in this country – include:

• Lecturer and Tutor in Law, The University of Queensland, 1968-1983
• Convenor, National Women’s Advisory Council, 1982-1984
• Inaugural Director, Queensland Women’s Information Service, Office of the Status of Women, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, 1984-1987

Dilma Vana Rousseff, President of Brazil (elected on Oct 31, 2010)

Dilma Vana Rousseff, President of Brazil

Dilma Vana Rousseff is 62 years old and an economist. She was born in Belo Horizonte, the state capital of Minas Gerais, to Bulgarian migrant Pedro Rousseff and teacher Dilma Jane da Silva. Divorced, she has one daughter and has built a life grounded in determination, competence and social sensitivity.

Her work became widely renowned under President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva´s administration. She served as the Minister of Mines and Energy and as the Chief of Staff within the Executive branch. She led key actions undertaken by the executive branch through programs such as the Growth Acceleration Program (PAC), “Light for All” and “My House, My Life”. She also set the rules for governing the exploration of the pre-salt layer oil deposits.

Michelle Bachelet Jeria, Former President of Chile

Michelle Bachelet Jeria, Former President of Chile

Michelle Bachelet Jeria, Former President of Chile

The President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet Jeria, was born on September 29, 1951. She is a trained pediatrician and public health specialist who also holds degrees in military science. A member of the Socialist Party and separated mother of three, Dr. Bachelet was the first woman in Chilean and Latin American history to hold the Health and Defense portfolios. On January 15, 2006 she became Chile’s first-ever woman president.

Michelle Bachelet graduated from Santiago’s Javiera Carrera Secondary School in 1969. A year later she enrolled at the University of Chile medical school and joined the Socialist Party.

Her father, Air Force General Alberto Bachelet, was arrested in the aftermath of the coup d’etat of September 1973 and died in prison in March 1974. In January 1975 both she and her mother, Ángela Jeria, were arrested and tortured. After their release they went into exile in Australia, then in Germany.

Laura Chinchilla Miranda, President of Costa Rica (since May 8, 2010)

Laura Chinchilla Miranda, President of Costa Rica since May 8,  2010
Laura Chinchilla Miranda, President of Costa Rica since May 8, 2010

Laura Chinchilla Miranda, current president of Costa Rica. Chinchilla ran from the Partido Liberación Nacional of Costa Rica for the general elections of 2010. Laura Chinchilla was born on March 28, 1959 in San Jose, Costa Rica, the daughter of Rafael Angel Chinchilla Fallas, Comptroller General of the Republic during two administrations (1972-1987) and Emilce Miranda Castillo. Since 2000 she has been married to Jose Maria Rico Cueto and they have a son, José María Rico Chinchilla.

First Vice President of the Republic of Costa Rica and Minister of Justice in the administration of Óscar Arias Sánchez (2006-2010). Although she left office on October 8, 2008, to pursue further her political career and created the Laura Chinchilla campaign for the presidency of Costa Rica with the Partido Liberación Nacional.

Since 1990 she has worked as a consultant in Latin America and Africa for various international agencies in the area of institutional reform, with special emphasis on judicial reform and public security reform. Some consultancy led her to conduct assessments of the justice sector for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the coordination of studies and projects on judicial reform for the United Nations Program for Development ( UNDP) and assessments and advice on police reform to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

Margrethe Alexandrine Þorhildur Ingrid, Queen of Denmark

Margrethe Alexandrine Þorhildur Ingrid, Queen of Denmark

Margrethe Alexandrine Þorhildur Ingrid, Queen of Denmark

Margrethe Alexandrine Þorhildur Ingrid, Her Majesty The Queen, became Queen of Denmark in 1972. HM Queen Margrethe II was born on 16 April 1940 at Amalienborg Palace as the daughter of King Frederik IX (d. 1972) and Queen Ingrid, born Princess of Sweden (d. 2000). The Queen’s motto is “God’s help, the love of The People, Denmark’s strength”.

Christened and confirmed

HM The Queen was christened on 14 May 1940 in Holmens Kirke (the naval church) and confirmed on 1 April 1955 at Fredensborg Palace.

The Act of Succession

The Act of Succession of 27 March 1953 gave women the right of succession to the Danish throne, but only secondarily. On the occasion of the accession to the throne on 14 January 1972, HM Queen Margrethe II became the first Danish Sovereign under the new Act of Succession.

A Seat on the State Council

On 16 April 1958, the Heir Apparent, Princess Margrethe, was given a seat on the State Council, and the Heir Apparent subsequently chaired the meetings of the State Council in the absence of King Frederik IX.

Mari Kiviniemi, Prime Minister of Finland (since June 22, 2010)

Mari Kiviniemi, Prime Minister of Finland

Mari Kiviniemi, Prime Minister of Finland

Mari Johanna Kiviniemi (born September 27, 1968 in Seinäjoki, Finland) is a Finnish politician and the Prime Minister of Finland. She was elected as the Prime Minister in 22nd of June 2010. Kiviniemi has previously been the Minister of Public Administration and Local Government in the Council of State of Finland 2007-2010. Previously she was the Minister of Foreign Trade and Development (2005–2006).

Her political party is the Centre Party. In June 2010, she was elected chairwoman of the Centre Party.

Kiviniemi grew up in rural Southern Ostrobothnia, the daughter of a chicken farmer, and went to school in Jalasjärvi. As a teenager during high school, she spent a year as an exchange student in Germany. She enrolled in the University of Helsinki in 1988 to study economics and married Juha Mikael Louhivuori, a businessman, in 1996. They have two children, Hanna and Antti. In addition to her native Finnish, she speaks Swedish and English.

Halonen, Tarja Kaarina, President of Finland

Halonen Tarja Kaarina, President of the Republic of Finland

Halonen Tarja Kaarina, President of the Republic of Finland

Born December 24, 1943

Married, one daughter, born 1978Master of Laws, University of Helsinki, 1968
Member of the Finnish Social Democratic Party 1971-2000
Minister for Foreign Affairs 1995-2000
Minister of Justice 1990-1991
Minister for Nordic Cooperation 1989-1991
Minister at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health 1987-1990
Member of Parliament 1979 – 2000
Chairman of the Parliamentary Grand Committee 1995 – 1995
Chairman of the Parliamentary Law Committee 1991 – 1994
Chairman of the Parliamentary Social Affairs Committee 1984 – 1986
Member of the Helsinki City Council 1977-1996
Prime Minister’s parliamentary secretary 1974-1975

Chancellor Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany

Chancellor Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany

Chancellor Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany

Angela Merkel was sworn in as Chancellor on November 22, 2005. She is the first woman and the first East German to hold this office. Her CV traces her rise from an academic to a political career.
Born on 17 July 1954 in Hamburg; Protestant, married

Since November 2005
Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany

2002 – 2005
Chairwoman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the German Bundestag

Pratibha Patil, President of India

Pratibha Patil, President of India

Pratibha Patil, President of India

Name : Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil
Father’s Name : Shri Narayan Rao
Date of Birth : 19th December, 1934
Place of Birth : Distt. Jalgaon (Maharashtra)

Marital Status : Married on 7th July, 1965

Spouse’s Name : Sh. Devisingh Ransingh Shekhawat

Children : One son & one daughter

Educational Qualifications : M.A., LL.B.Educated at M.J. College, Jalgaon (Maharashtra) & Govt. Law College, Bombay.

Profession : Social worker, practiced as Advocate at Jalgaon.

Mary McAleese, President of Ireland

Mary McAleese, President of Ireland

Mary McAleese, President of Ireland

On 11th November, 1997, Mary McAleese was inaugurated as the eighth President of Ireland. Mary McAleese was re-elected on Friday 1st October 2004 being the only validly-nominated candidate. She is a barrister and former Professor of Law. Born on June 27th 1951 in Belfast, she is the first President to come from Northern Ireland. She is married, since 1976, to Dr. Martin McAleese, an accountant and dentist. They have three children, Emma, born 1982 and twins Justin and SaraMai, born 1985.

The eldest of nine children, President McAleese grew up in Northern Ireland through the violent times that have come to be known as ‘The Troubles’. Her family was one of many adversely affected by the conflict. She graduated in Law from the Queen’s University of Belfast in 1973 and was called to the Northern Ireland Bar in 1974. In 1975, she was appointed Reid Professor of Criminal Law, Criminology and Penology at Trinity College Dublin and in 1987, she returned to her Alma Mater, Queen’s, to become Director of the Institute of Professional Legal Studies. In 1994, she became the first female Pro-Vice Chancellor of the Queen’s University of Belfast.

Portia Simpson Miller, Prime Minister of Jamaica

Portia Simpson Miller, Former Prime Minister of Jamaica

Portia Simpson Miller, Former Prime Minister of Jamaica

Portia Simpson Miller was born in Wood Hall, St. Catherine and attended the Marlie Hill Primary School , St. Martin’s High School and the Union Institute, Miami Florida where she read for a Bachelors Degree in Public Administration. While completing her degree she also completed a Diploma in Computing, Programming and Public Relations.

ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Elected President of the People’s National Party on February 25th, 2006 and Prime Minister designate
  • Minister of Local Government, Community Development & Sport
  • Former Minister of Tourism and Sport with responsibilities for Entertainment & Gender Issues
  • Acted in the capacity of Prime Minister on several occasions
  • Vice President of the People’s National Party since 1978
  • Participated in First Eleanor Roosevelt Caucus of Women Political Leaders
  • Participated in “Women in Leadership Conference” at the John F. Kennedy School , Harvard University , in 1997
  • Recipient of the Certificate for completion of the Executive Programme for Leaders in Development at the above institution in 1999
  • Holder of a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Public Administration from Union Institute in Miami , Certificates in Public Relations, Advanced Management

Atifete Jahjaga, President of Kosovo (since Apr 7, 2011)

Atifete Jahjaga, President of KosovoAtifete Jahjaga, born 20 April 1975, is the 4th and current President of Kosovo. She is the first female, the first non-partisan candidate, and the youngest to be elected to the office. She previously served as the Deputy Director of the Kosovo Police, holding the rank of Major General, the highest among women in Southeastern Europe.

Jahjaga was born in the southwestern town of Gjakova, where she attended primary and secondary school. She graduated from the University of Pristina Faculty of Law in 2000. In 2006/07, she attended a graduate certificate program in police management and criminal law at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom. She has also received extensive professional training at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Germany and the FBI National Academy in the United States.

Roza Otunbayeva, President of Kyrgyzstan (since May 19, 2010)

Roza Otunbayeva, President of Kyrgyzstan

Roza Otunbayeva, President of Kyrgyzstan

Roza Isakovna Otunbayeva (Kyrgyz: Роза Исаковна Отунбаева, Russian: Роза Исаковна Отунбаева; born August 23, 1950) is the President of Kyrgyzstan, following the 2010 revolution which led to the ousting of then President Kurmanbek Bakiyev. She is a former foreign minister and head of the parliamentary caucus for the Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan. Otunbayeva is the first female President of a CIS/SCO member state.

Otunbayeva was born in Osh, Kyrgyz SSR, USSR in a family of Isaac Otunbayev, a member of the Supreme Court of Kirgiz SSR. She graduated from the Philosophy Faculty of Moscow State University in 1972 and went on to teach as senior professor and head of the philosophy department at Kyrgyz State National University for six years. In 1975 she became Candidate of Sciences after defending dissertation named “Critique of falsification of Marxist-Leninist dialectic by the philosophers of Frankfurt school”. Otunbayeva is married and has two children. She is fluent in English and Russian in addition to Kyrgyz. Read more

Ellen Johnson, President of Liberia

Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, President of Liberia

Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, President of Liberia

Date of birth: 29 October 1938, Monrovia, Liberia.

Ellen Johnson was born in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, amongst the descendents of original colonists of Liberia (ex-African slaves from America, who promptly on arrival set about enslaving the indigenous people using the social system of their old American masters as a basis for their new society). These descendents are known in Liberia as Americo-Liberians.

Causes of Liberia’s Civil Conflict:
The social inequalities between indigenous Liberians and the Americo-Liberians has lead to much of the political and social strife in the country, as leadership bounced between dictators representing opposing groups (Samuel Doe replacing William Tolbert, Charles Taylor replacing Samuel Doe). Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf rejects the suggestion that she is one of the elite: “If such a class existed, it has been obliterated over the last few years from intermarriages and social integration.”

Dalia Grybauskaite, President of Lithuania

Dalia Grybauskaite, President of Lithuania

Born in Vilnius on March 1 1956, Dalia Grybauskaite attended the Secondary School of Salomeja Neris. At the age of 19 (in 1975-1976), she worked as an inspector at the personnel division of the National Philharmonic Society.

In 1976, she entered the Zhdanov University in the then Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) and graduated with a degree in political economic sciences in 1983. During her years in university, Grybauskaite worked at a fur factory Rot-Front.

Upon return to Lithuania in 1983, she worked as a secretary at the Academy of Sciences. She was a lecturer at the Department of Political Economy at the Vilnius Higher Party school in 1983-1990. In 1988, she received a doctoral degree of economic sciences at the Moscow Academy of Social Studies.

She completed a special course for leaders at the Georgetown University in Washington in 1991 and worked as a scientific secretary at the Institute of Economy in 1990-1991 before taking a position of director of programs at the government in 1991.

In 1991-1994, she headed departments at ministries of International Economic Relations and Foreign Affairs before working as deputy senior negotiator for the Treaty of Europe with the EU and envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary at the Lithuanian mission at the EU in 1994-1995.

Beatrix, Queen of Netherlands

Beatrix, Queen of Netherlands

Beatrix, Queen of Netherlands

Beatrix was born on january 31 1938 as the first child of Queen Juliana and Prince Bernard. She has 3 younger sister: Margriet, Irene and Christina.

She married Claus von Amsberg in 1966 and they have 3 sons: Willem Alexander, Johan Friso and Constantijn. Willem Alexander is crown-prince and will succeed his mother in time.

On April 30 1980 she was crowned Queen of the Netherlands.
She lives in the Hague at palace “Huis ten Bosch”

Constitutional status
The Government consists of the sovereign and the Cabinet ministers. Since 1848, the constitution has laid down that the King is inviolable and that the ministers bear responsibility for affairs of government, which means that they are answerable to parliament for all legislation.

Helen Clark, Prime Minister of New Zealand

Helen Clark, Former Prime Minister of New Zealand

Helen Clark, Former Prime Minister of New Zealand

Helen Clark was elected Prime Minister of New Zealand on 27 November 1999. Her rise to the top of New Zealand politics is the culmination of almost thirty years of involvement with the Labour Party, and the latest chapter in a remarkable story which began in New Zealand’s provincial, conservative heartland.

Helen Clark was born in 1950, in Hamilton, and spent her first twelve years on the family sheep and cattle farm to the west of the city. She is the oldest of four girls. Helen attended Te Pahu Primary School.

After five years of secondary schooling at Auckland’s Epsom Girls’ Grammar, where she was a boarder, Helen Clark entered the University of Auckland in 1968 to study politics. Later she lectured in political studies at the university.

It was during her time at university that Helen Clark’s active involvement in politics began, sparked by issues such as the civil war in Vietnam, apartheid in South Africa, and nuclear testing in the South Pacific.

Her Excellency Dame Pearlette Louisy, Governor-General of Saint Lucia

Her Excellency Dame Pearlette Louisy, Governor-General of Saint Lucia

Her Excellency Dame Pearlette Louisy, Governor-General of Saint Lucia

Her Excellency Dame Pearlette Louisy was born in the southern village of Laborie and attended the Laborie Girls’ Primary and Mixed Infants School, from which she proceeded on a Javouhey Scholarship to St Joseph’s Convent in January 1960. On completion of her secondary education, she joined the staff of St Joseph’s Convent in September 1965.

She began her university education in October 1966, having obtained a scholarship from the Canadian International Development Agency to read for a Bachelors’ Degree in English and French at the University of the West Indies at Cave Hill in Barbados. In 1972 she was awarded another scholarship under the Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan to read for a Masters Degree in Linguistics, in the field of Didactics at the University of Laval in Quebec City, Canada. In 1991, she took up studies at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom where she read for a PhD in Education. Her doctoral studies focused on the management and provision of tertiary education in small nation states.

Sarah Wescot-Williams, Prime Minister of Sint Maarten (St. Martin)

Sarah Wescot-Williams, Prime Minister of Sint Maarten (St. Martin)

Sarah Wescot-Williams, Prime Minister of Sint Maarten (St. Martin)

Netherlands Antilles was dissolved on 10 October 2010, resulting in two new constituent countries, Curaçao and Sint Maarten, with the other islands joining the Netherlands as special municipalities.

Sarah Wescot-Williams is the leader of the Democratic Party of Sint Maarten and the first Prime Minister of Sint Maarten. Even though her party only managed to secure two seats in the Sint Maarten general election of 2010, she was selected as Prime Minister in the coalition agreement between United People and the Democratic Party.

Commissioner of General Affairs and Education 1995-2009 and from 1999 also Deputy of Education, Social and Cultural Development, Finance, Juridical Affairs, Emergency Services, Information, Communication and Protocol, Strategic Policy, Planning and Development. She is also Leader of the St. Maarten Party. Prime Minister of the newly established entity within the Kingdom of the Netherlands from 2010. (b. 1956-).

Rosa Zafferani, Co-Head of State, San Marino

Rosa Zafferani, Co-Head of State, San Marino

Rosa Zafferani, Co-Head of State, San Marino

She served as Captain Regent for the term April – October 2008. As joint head of state according to the country’s constitution, she served together with Federico Pedini Amati.

Previously, she had served as Captain Regent for the April-October 1999 period prior to reassuming the role from April 2008.

Micheline Calmy-Rey, President of Switzerland

Micheline Calmy-Rey, President of the Swiss Confederation

Micheline Calmy-Rey, President of the Swiss Confederation

Micheline Calmy-Rey was born in Sion in Canton Valais on 8 July 1945 . She is married with two children and has a degree in political science from the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva.

For 20 years she ran a book distribution business. In 1979, she joined the Socialist Party of Geneva, which she later served as president for two terms. As a deputy in the Grand Conseil, or cantonal legislature, she took an interest in public finance, and when she became a member of the cantonal government in 1998, she took over as head of the Department of Finance. In four years, she achieved her goal through a thorough restructuring of the Department’s services. She also successfully oversaw the restructuring of the Cantonal Bank of Geneva which was burdened by a large volume of non-performing loans.

Micheline Calmy-Rey was elected to the Swiss Federal Council on 4 December 2002 and was appointed as head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). She pursues an active foreign policy marked by a commitment to promoting peace, respect for international law and human rights, and the fight against poverty. The aim of this policy is to ensure security and well-being for all Swiss citizens.

Yingluck Shinawatra, Prime Minister of Thailand

Yingluck Shinawatra, Prime Minister of Thailand

Yingluck Shinawatra (born 21 June 1967), or nickname Pu, is a Thai businesswoman and politician, member of the Pheu Thai Party, and the 28th Prime Minister of Thailand following the 2011 general election. Yingluck is Thailand’s first female Prime Minister.

Born in Chiang Mai province, Yingluck Shinawatra earned bachelor’s degree from Chiang Mai University and master’s degree from Kentucky State University, both in public administration. She became an executive in the businesses founded by her elder brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, and later became the president of property developer SC Asset and managing director of Advanced Info Service. Meanwhile, her brother Thaksin became Prime Minister, was overthrown in a military coup, and went into self-imposed exile after a tribunal convicted him of abuse of power.

 

 

Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom

Queen  Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom Queen of the United Kingdom (1952– ) and head of the Commonwealth, born in London, UK, the daughter of George VI. Formerly Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, she was proclaimed queen on 6 February 1952, and crowned on 2 June 1953. Her husband was created Duke of Edinburgh on the eve of their wedding (20 Nov 1947), and styled Prince Philip in 1957. They have three sons, Charles Philip Arthur George (14 Nov 1948), Andrew Albert Christian Edward (19 Feb 1960), and Edward Anthony Richard Louis (10 Mar 1964), and a daughter Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise (15 Aug 1950). Elizabeth’s long and mainly peaceful reign has been marked by vast changes in her people’s lives, in her country’s power, how Britain is viewed abroad, and how the monarchy is regarded and portrayed. When Elizabeth became queen, post-war Britain still had a substantial empire, dominions, and dependencies, most of which achieved independence in the 1950s–1960s. Her reign has seen a revolution in social behaviour and attitudes, and increased prosperity. The 1990s in particular were a problematic period for the royal family. The Windsor Castle fire and the divorces of Prince Charles from Diana, Princess of Wales, and of Prince Andrew from Sarah, Duchess of York, were followed by Diana’s death in a car crash in Paris in 1997. This particular tragedy brought to a head the debate about the monarchy’s role and continued formality. Overall, however, Elizabeth II has provided the nation’s main symbol of continuity, and her many visits to Commonwealth and other countries have won her wide respect. In 2006 she celebrated her 80th birthday with her family at Windsor Castle, and attended various public events to mark the occasion.

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