Queen Elizabeth at 85 — still working

Stephen Beard Feb 2, 2012

Tess Vigeland: On Monday, the good people of Britain — Her Majesty’s loyal subjects — will start a series of national celebrations to mark 60 years on the throne. But as the country embarks on this Diamond Jubilee, there’s quite a bit of talk about Queen Elizabeth II’s, um, advancing years. Her grandson Prince Harry recently said that her arduous range of duties means she’s doing things she shouldn’t be doing at her age.

From London, Marketplace’s Stephen Beard reports.

Stephen Beard: Deafened by trumpets on a daily basis. Rattling around in a gilded horse-drawn carriage.

Queen Elizabeth II: I name this lifeboat Richard Cox Scott. May God bless her and all who sail her.

Launching ships, hosting banquets, and waving from balconies. Yup, it’s a hard life being a queen. In fact, says Ingrid Seward, editor of Majesty Magazine, it’s a grueling existence.

Ingrid Seward: Well, the queen is extraordinarily hard working. And she always has been. But I mean it is pretty full on. I mean for somebody of 85, very exhausting.

Meeting ambassadors, opening hospitals, knighting people and pinning on medals. Last year, the queen clocked up 370 official engagements. There’ll be even more in this Diamond Jubilee year.

Stephen Haseler: We’re having a jubilee. I think we ought to cancel the jubilee.

Professor Stephen Haseler thinks the queen should cut her workload completely. In fact, to abdicate. He wants a republic. And he thinks the Diamond Jubilee celebrations at a time of austerity are an insult.

Haseler: I think the jubilee ought to be canceled this year just as a mark of respect for the people of Britain who are going through a difficult time.

The jubilee won’t be canceled, of course. For the Royal Family — which likes to call itself “The Firm” — this year will be business as usual.

In London, I’m Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.