People live much longer than they used to. When I was a child, just before the beginning of the 2nd Punic War, it was rare indeed to have a grandparent even in their seventies. The last time British people had so many people in their eighties still dominating them was late in the 19th century; I do not know why . . . something to do with Victorian stickability I suspect.
An article in a leading English periodical inspired the following few words about the still influential over-80s. I do realise that other European countries also have many shining examples of elderly winners, but this article is about Britain, so there.
The Queen: Elizabeth, Queen of Great Britain and Canada, is 84. She has reigned since her father’s death in 1952, was crowned in 1953. This formidable woman still undergoes slightly more than 500 official enagements per annum. She has survived a difficult but loving marriage with a difficult but engaging man. She has survived the eccentricities of her difficult but entertaining children. She has one of the most acute senses of humour even seen in a British monarch, at least since Henry II. Like him, she has needed it, and the British should cherish it (the sense of humour), and her. It is hard to see where she has put a foot wrong in nearly sixty years. (more…)