Queen Elizabeth looks remarkably well for a woman who just turned 90 and continues to live a demanding and hectic life in the public eye. Most 90 year olds are winding down, perhaps going out two or three times a week for a light lunch, and more than likely, indulging in well-earned nana-naps. Most have been retired from their working lives for 15-20 years, and enjoy visits from their children and grandchildren as the highlight of their week. Not so for Her Majesty, so what’s her secret?
Five things that keep the Queen well
To be fair she enjoys a standard of living that most of us wouldn’t dare dream of, but even so, she’s managed to keep it all in perspective, and aside from not being troubled by the humdrum details of an ordinary citizen’s life, there are some things that she does which are achievable for everyone.
- She has a healthy lifestyle. She has never smoked and drinks only in moderation – the odd sherry to toast a visiting Head of State, or a G&T before dinner are just about her limit. She also enjoys a healthy range of foods – she is known to enjoy a plate of kippers for breakfast, and devilled eggs for lunch, not to mention the market-fresh fruit and veg that she eats every day. She doesn’t have a particularly sweet tooth so isn’t plagued by urges to eat cake and biscuits, but she will enjoy the dessert that is served during a state banquet – just to be polite. She is also physically very active – there’s nothing she enjoys more than a brisk walk with her pet corgis, and the fresh Highland air at Balmoral has a restorative effect on her health.
- The Queen’s brain has never been allowed to rest, and while there was talk of Prince Charles taking over some of her duties a couple of years ago, she continues to be invested in the goings-on of her realm and insists on daily updates and briefings. Remaining cognitively stimulated is a known factor in slowing or preventing the onset of many types of dementia.
- A supportive extended family have played a critical role in the Queen’s mental and physical well-being. A long and happy marriage to Prince Philip, who, for all his faux-pas, has been her rock throughout the years, loving children and grandchildren, and the presence of many lively great-grandchildren have all played a part in promoting good health in the Queen.
- Being at home of course – surrounded by great support, enabling her to enjoy her familiar and comfortable surroundings – is as good for the Queen as it is for any older person who may be struggling with increasing frailty.
- Access to great health care. Of course the Queen is fortunate enough to have her own private physician in attendance at a moment’s notice. But it’s fair to say that most Western people have access to excellent medical care, and many of our best health and medical professionals work in the public health sector.
To Her Majesty’s good health
So here’s to another decade of healthy ageing for Queen Elizabeth. If the Queen Mother is anything to go by, she has another eleven years of healthy living to enjoy, at least. She may even go for a lot longer, but the big question now is, will she ever hand over the “reigns” to her son?