Queen Elizabeth has politely turned down the Oldie of the Year Award
The 95-year-old monarch - who still keeps to a busy schedule including meetings with world leaders, days at the races and and much more - urged Oldie magazine to "find a more worthy recipient" for the prize
22 October 2021
In a letter published in the magazine's November issue, the Queen's assistant private secretary Tom Laing-Baker wrote: "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 will find a more worthy recipient."
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Gyles Brandreth - the chairman of the awards - had written to the Queen's private secretary Sir Edward Young to ask if she'd accept the prize, which has celebrated the achievements of older people making special contributions to public life.
Actress Dame Maureen Lipman - who is one of the judges for the prize - suggested the British monarch as an honouree due to her work during the pandemic, and in recognition of her Platinum Jubilee in 2022, which marks 70 years on the throne.
Brandreth described the response as "lovely", and added: "Perhaps in the future we will sound out Her Majesty once more."
The Queen's late husband Prince Philip, who died in April, accepted the Oldie of the Year prize in 2011 as he celebrated his 90th birthday.
In a letter at the time, he quipped: "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.
"But it is nice to be remembered at all."
Instead of the Queen, the main award went to actress and dancer Leslie Caron, 90, while former England footballer Sir Geoff Hurst, 79, won the Oldie Golden Boost, with 80-year-old cook Delia Smith getting the Truly Scrumptious Oldie Award.