Thursday, 21 April 2016

Long lives the Queen

Claire Bates, writing for the BBC, has posed a question:
The Queen is celebrating her 90th birthday this week yet there are few signs that she is slowing down. Last year alone she carried out 306 engagements in the UK and 35 abroad. What does the Queen's good health tell us about longevity?
The answer, she says, is that the queen's longevity is down to a rather boring combination of good luck and being sensible: having good genes, avoiding bad habits, sensible eating and enjoying a happy marriage (yes, to Prince Philip - I guess there's no accounting for taste).

Which is all very good, as far as it goes, but it does seem to miss one blindingly obvious probability. Namely, that the old girl's grimly hanging on to breath in the single-minded hope that her eccentric, loose-lipped son never gets the chance to inherit the family firm for long enough to run it into the ground.*

Sadly it's not the kind of thing she can admit to in an interview. Sadly, because if she did, it'd be the best royal interview ever ("If that goddam hippie thinks he's man enough to take my sceptre, he can come right here and pry it from my cold, dead hands.  I'd like to see him try." snarled the Queen, as she oiled her shotgun, pausing only to spit defiantly into a priceless Ming vase). Eat you heart out, Diana.

After all, there's nothing like having a definite purpose in life to keep you getting up in the morning.

*A hope apparently shared by her loyal subjects at the BBC, who obsequiously treat William as if he, rather than his unfashionable and slightly odd father, was next in line to the throne. When Charles III finally ascends the throne, they might as well present him with a ceremonial caretaker's mop, just to drive the point home.