A Woman's Work is Never Done

ANDY CLARK / REUTERS-CORBIS

Long haul: She has made 256 overseas trips, including her 23rd visit to Canada last year

In February, the English cricket team—virtual demigods in their country after defeating Australia last summer—were attending a reception amid the Rembrandts and Rubenses in the Picture Gallery of Buckingham Palace. Queen Elizabeth had just pinned medals on the athletes' chests signifying their new status as Members of the Order of the British Empire, and was strolling among them, chatting and laughing with their proud families. She was the star of the show, making people grin—indeed, sometimes erupt with laughter—her own face switching between that studied placidity that is her trademark and a really dazzling smile. After the Queen moved on to...

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