BBC News:- The Queen has declined a magazine’s award of Oldie of the Year, saying “you are only as old as you feel”.
The 95-year-old “politely but firmly” turned down the award, but sent the Oldie magazine a message with her “warmest best wishes”.
The nation’s longest-reigning monarch, she is due to mark her Platinum Jubilee next year after 70 years as Queen.
Her late husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, was Oldie of the Year in 2011.
Author and broadcaster Gyles Brandreth, chairman of the awards, wrote to the Queen’s private secretary, Sir Edward Young, to ask if she would accept the title.
In a reply published in the magazine’s latest issue, her assistant private secretary, Tom Laing-Baker, said: “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.”
Mr Brandreth described the letter as “lovely”, saying: “Perhaps in the future we will sound out Her Majesty once more.”
The Oldie of the Year Awards have celebrated the achievements of the older generation for 29 years, with previous winners including community care nurses, veteran athletes, and well-known figures such as the late actress Dame Olivia de Havilland and the artist David Hockney.
Dame Maureen Lipman, one of the judges, had suggested the Queen for the award for her leadership during the pandemic and in anticipation of the jubilee, Mr Brandreth said.
When Prince Philip won the award in the year of his 90th birthday, he responded: “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.”
The Queen’s husband of 73 years died in April aged 99.