Raise a glass to Her Majesty

Sixty years at the helm has not only proven the Queen’s commitment to her public, but gives us a chance to get the bunting out and the fizz on ice. Cheers!

This bank holiday, millions of us will be icing a Victoria sponge or three, swathing ourselves in bunting and preparing to raise a glass to Her Majesty to celebrate her diamond jubilee.

I know this is what we will be doing as it is what is happening in The Archers, so to me it is truth.

The Queen is 86 and has been in the same job for six decades. Perhaps we overlook the fact she could opt to retire at any time, put her feet up on a royal footstool at Sandringham and watch horse racing all day.

But Elizabeth II has a humbling commitment to public service. By the end of July, on of top usual business, she will have completed a 27-day tour of the UK from Walthamstow and Merthyr Tydfil to Corby and Cowes to thank the nation for its loyal support. That’s an awful lot of posies received, ribbons cut and hands shaken, even if you do have a cosy palace to return to at the end of the day (actually it may not be as cosy as all that, if Hunter Davies’ observations are anything to go by, on p16).

She regards it as a duty but staying active is also probably one of the things helping the Queen to extend her lifespan: experts tell us repeatedly that keeping your body moving as you age is vital.

It’s a principle that superfit Fauja Singh, who features on our health page this month (p8), also embodies. Mr Singh is 101 years old and has just run his eighth – yes eighth – London Marathon.

Longevity runs in the family, he says, though he also prizes his fitness and “avoids negative people”.

There, at least, he has the advantage over the Queen . . .

Julie Nightingale


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