I've always liked Annigoni's 1955 portrait of The Queen; reproductions of which are still to be seen in British Embassies, and Consulates throughout the world. It shows her as a powerful, yet caring young woman, who, as an accident of birth, was unwittingly thrown into one of the most demanding jobs on earth. I believe The Queen herself particularly likes it too.
She has always taken her position extremely seriously, she has never interfered in the workings of government, and she has never put a foot wrong when it came to international affairs of state. In fact (unlike her husband's) her career has been amazingly without incident, and her presence is always welcome wherever she goes. She is loved by millions, if not billions, the world over.
A 'figurehead' should be looked-up-to, admired, and respected. Elizabeth II has achieved all that. She never demeaned herself by appearing in 'common' TV games, or by giving scandalous interviews to presenters of documentary shows. For her entire reign she has kept an air of kindliness, grace, and decorum.
Of course she has her rather pathetic detractors; usually left-wingers, whose attitudes say far more about themselves, than about The Queen. These are people who would have the likes of Corbyn as head of state, which tells you even more about them.
Today is not The Queen's actual birthday (21st April); it's her 'Official Birthday'. The day when countries throughout the world (especially The Commonwealth) celebrate her reign.
Her Majesty has been on the throne since I was about 6 years old. She is 20 years older than me (that's a tad indiscreet Cro!), so we've grown-up together. Her oldest son, Prince Charles, is a good natural successor, who I've always viewed as our King in Waiting.
I'm not one of those crazy obsessed royalists who have her portrait around the house, and commemorative mugs on the mantelpiece. No, I simply see the royal family as constant figureheads on whom one can always depend. The Queen is our collective mouthpiece in times of disaster, and always leads by example. Her recent greeting of Trump can be viewed as a good example of her wise command of diplomacy; I hope he will have learned from it.
So, Ma'am, I wish you a very happy 'official' birthday, and may you celebrate many more. Time to put your feet up a bit more methinks; I'm certain that Charles, when he takes over, will prove to be a safe pair of hands.