Want to age as healthily as the UK’s Queen Elizabeth? We all do. Queen Elizabeth II is a lifelong symbol of resilience and longevity for admirers worldwide. Her health and physical stamina are legendary. Now the longest-reigning monarch in British history, she has spent over half a century on the throne, rarely taking a sick day off and in her ninth decade remaining amazingly comfortable in her own skin.
Queen Elizabeth’s daily routine was unknown for decades, until lifestyle and British-culture researcher Bryan Kozlowski stepped behind palace doors to unlock the little-known secrets behind her remarkable self-preservation and continued radiance.
In his book Long Live the Queen: 23 Rules for Living from Britain’s Longest-Reigning Monarch, Kozlowski has taken a dive into the monarch’s day-to-day living and what has helped her lead such a long and healthy life.
Here are some secrets that can help you live a longer and more regal life.
Queen Elizabeth II has never worked out in her life, yet her physical stamina is iconic. Kozlowski notes that despite her busy schedule, she has always found time for light and pleasurable exercise. She prefers brisk walks with her corgis and horseback riding.
A balanced diet:
Though having chefs on staff to cook your favourite meals can be tempting, the queen maintains a balanced diet, while still allowing for the occasional treats. She does cherish her teatime routine – a sacred break when she pushes work aside and indulges in something sweet.
No-fuss beauty regimen:
The youthful complexion of the queen is attributed mostly to moderately priced British brands of skincare rather than fancy beauty products. She has also avoided excessive sun exposure and barely worn makeup most of her life. Her favourite vacation spot in Scotland is also anything but tropical.
The willingness to adapt banishes the stress one can experience from resisting change, contributing to longevity and a fulfilling existence. Evolving with ever-changing circumstances is a key factor in living a long and meaningful life. The queen views life with a “glass half full” attitude and practises what psychologists call “benefit-finding.” She often uses her sense of humour to make a joke and lighten the mood during royal events.
Stay mentally sharp:
Anything that challenges your mind through puzzles, strategy games, reading, dance or music classes, debate and conversation will keep you mentally in shape as the years go by. Queen Elizabeth II is still a functioning head of state involved in high-level meetings that keep her mentally acute.
People who are connected to those around them through marriage, friends, a spiritual community or other networks tend to live longer than those without strong ties. The queen has a rich social life, and like her you can improve your emotional health by staying in touch with friends, family and the wider community.
Even at 95 years of age, the queen is still curious about the world and is open to learning about new things. Kozlowski writes in his book that she spends hours searching for new knowledge every day.
Volunteering and sharing with others can be gratifying and meaningful. Charity work is important to Queen Elizabeth, the patron of more than 600 organisations.
Get regular medical screenings:
Preventive screenings for both men and women should include measurements of blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar. The results can catch deadly yet avoidable diseases such as heart attacks, strokes and diabetes. Men may also be advised to have an annual prostate check, and women a regular breast examination, mammogram, pelvic exam and pap test.
Honour your purposes:
A sense of purpose has kept the queen consistently upright, as it does for many who continue to embrace their true calling long after normal retirement age. She has a very powerful sense of duty as the monarch, but your purpose could be to anything that means something to you, be it your family, friends, work or hobbies that you are passionate about.
Like her long-lived mother before her, who reached the age of 101, Elizabeth II seems born for old age, becoming warmer and more adaptable as the decades go by. As the late Queen Mother often said, “things are much more fun past 80.” Looking at the queen today, it’s great to know that aging often means more fun, less pressure and a chance to indulge your passions.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 23 September, 2021 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly