« Last post by Canuck on November 27, 2014, 10:06:00 PM »
Whatever your views on Diana, it's hard to defend that placement.
Elizabeth I ruled for 45 years, bringing stability to the country after immense upheaval in the prior decades, solidifying the protestant church's position in England, presided over one of England's greatest military victories (against the Spanish), was notable among English monarchs of the time for her consultation and cooperation with government, and did all of that in a time when women were far less equal than they are today. More than 400 years later, she remains a very well known figure in England and abroad, which speaks to how important and unique she was in her time.
Elizabeth II will in all likelihood become the longest reigning monarch in English history next year, presided over decolonization of much of the British empire, reshaped the monarchy for the modern age, has consulted with the British government on an enormous range of issues (including, early in her reign, actually appointing Prime Ministers on more than one occasion), and has been at the centre of a ton of important diplomatic efforts (as a recent example, her work to heal rifts with Ireland and particularly in relation to Northern Ireland/the IRA).
Diana of course did some important and meaningful work in, for example, combating prejudice against HIV and drawing attention to landmines. But I don't think it can seriously be claimed that she was more important or had a bigger impact than either of the Elizabeths, or a host of other women for that matter.
(As an aside: I love this topic/discussion, but I second the suggestion to move it to a general board as this is no longer really about Kate.)