3. Queen Elizabeth II
Regardless of one’s opinions regarding the Royals in Great Britain, one must rank the reign of Elizabeth II as one of the most momentous in British history. When Elizabeth ascended to the throne following the death of her father, Winston Churchill was Prime Minister. Since then, as of this writing, there were 13 more. Among the events which occurred during her reign can be found the Suez Crisis, the Falklands War, the end of the Cold War, the IRA terrorism in the United Kingdom, and the end of the British Empire. The United Kingdom changed to a decimalized monetary system in 1971, much to the chagrin of traditionalists. The monarchy and royal family endured criticism at times for a variety of reasons, but Elizabeth’s popularity with her subjects seldom wavered.
In 2014, a poll conducted by YouGov listed Elizabeth as the most admired person in the United Kingdom, and the 17th most admired in the world. Perhaps one reason is her avoidance of controversy. During her long reign, she never granted a formal interview, or publicly aired her political views. She has been portrayed on television and in films by scores of actresses, about all of which she meticulously maintained a discreet silence. She has also been portrayed by male actors, including on Saturday Night Live, and on the Canadian sketch program, The Kids in the Hall. Queen Elizabeth appears in mystery novels, children’s books, plays, and documentaries, which for the most part express the esteem in which she is held by her subjects.