Queen Elizabeth II

Only 25 years old when King George VI died, Queen Elizabeth began her reign in 1952. She ruled longer than any other British Monarch. Smithsonian collections reflect her influence on global history and culture, from portraits to numismatics (the study of coins, paper currency, and medals).

As part of her July 1976 visit to the U.S. to commemorate the Bicentennial of the American Revolution, she toured the Smithsonian with Secretary S. Dillon Ripley, viewing the Castle and the National Museum of Natural History's Hope Diamond and receiving the Smithson Medal.