The New Elizabethans: Queen Elizabeth II who celebrates her Diamond Jubilee this year.
As the longest-lived and second-longest-reigning monarch of the United Kingdom after Queen Victoria, she has been served by a total of twelve different Prime Ministers and has witnessed tremendous social, political and cultural changes, including the transformation of the British Empire into the Commonwealth of Nations.
The Queen and her family have adapted to increased public scrutiny and media interest during that time, allowing cameras to film behind the scenes at Buckingham Palace, meeting ordinary people during the first walkabout in 1970 and even in 2012 participating in the opening ceremony of the Olympics where The Queen met her most famous spy, James Bond.
Despite criticism after the death of Diana, The Queen's position has not weakened but strengthened. In an address to Parliament in 2012, she paid a rare public tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh, her "constant strength and guide" and in her Diamond Jubilee message said she hoped "this Jubilee year will be a time to give thanks for the great advances that have been made since 1952 and to look forward to the future with clear head and warm heart."
The New Elizabethans have been chosen by a panel of leading historians, chaired by Lord (Tony) Hall, Chief Executive of London's Royal Opera House. The panellists were Dominic Sandbrook, Bamber Gascoigne, Sally Alexander, Jonathan Agar, Maria Misra and Sir Max Hastings.
They were asked to choose: "Men and women whose actions during the reign of Elizabeth II have had a significant impact on lives in these islands and/or given the age its character, for better or worse.".