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‘You are as old as you feel’: Queen turns down Oldie of the Year award

Queen Elizabeth, 95, who has reigned over her nation for almost seven decades, says she feels too young at heart to be awarded the title "Oldie of the Year", an aide has revealed.

‘You are as old as you feel’: Queen turns down Oldie of the Year award

Organisers of the annual tongue-in-cheek awards – whose previous recipients include Oscar-winning actors, Nobel laureates, and the Queen’s own mother who died aged 101 in 2002 – had approached the monarch to see if she would consider accepting the honour herself.

But broadcaster Gyles Brandreth, the chairman of the awards run by the Oldie Magazine, said they had received a “lovely letter” sending her warmest best wishes but declining the offer.

“Her Majesty believes you are as old as you feel, as such the Queen does not believe she meets the relevant criteria to be able to accept and hopes you find a more worthy recipient,” said the letter from Tom Laing-Baker, the monarch’s assistant private secretary.

Elizabeth follows in the footsteps of her late husband Prince Philip, who died in April aged 99. A decade ago he turned down the chance of winning the award, which has been running for 29 years to celebrate the contributions to public life from the older generation.

“There is nothing like it for morale to be reminded that the years are passing – ever more quickly – and that bits are beginning to drop off the ancient frame,” Philip said according to Brandreth. “But it is nice to be remembered at all.”

Britain’s Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, presents Whispering Bob Harris with the Poptastic Oldie of the Year award at the Oldie Of The Year Awards 2021 at The Savoy Hotel in London, Britain, October 19, 2021. Chris Jackson/Pool via REUTERS

This year’s ceremony still had a royal seal of approval though, as Camilla, the wife of the Queen’s son and heir Prince Charles, was there to present the awards.

“Long live the Queen! Perhaps in the future we will sound out Her Majesty once more,” Brandreth wrote on the magazine’s website.

Britain’s Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Dame Delia Smith, ‘Whispering’ Bob Harris, Barry Humphries, Margaret Seaman, Roger McGough, Dr Saroj Datta, Dr Mridul Kumar Datta and Sir Geoff Hurst attend the Oldie Of The Year Awards 2021 at The Savoy Hotel on October 19, 2021 in London, Britain. Chris Jackson/Pool via REUTERS

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