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Philip had very different reaction to ‘Oldie of the Year’ award as Queen rejects title

'Oldie of the Year' spokesperson responds to Queen's rejection

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The chairman of the Oldie Magazine awards has revealed that the judges’ committee decided to offer the ‘Oldie of the Year’ award to the Queen due to the leadership she had demonstrated during the pandemic. Gyles Brandreth, a friend of the Queen’s late husband Prince Philip, said that after both the Queen Mother and the Duke of Edinburgh accepted the award, they felt the “time was ripe” for Her Majesty’s nomination. 

The 95-year-old monarch politely declined the award, saying “you are only as old as you feel”.

Her name as a potential candidate had been discussed by the judges’ committee following her appearance on the set of Coronation Street earlier in the summer. 

Author and broadcaster Gyles Brandreth told BBC Breakfast: “Well it came about because Maureen Lipman, newly Dame Maureen Lipman, had just met the Queen who had been to visit the set of Coronation Street, and Maureen Lipman came back and we were having the judges meeting and said ‘the Queen is on such marvellous form’.

“We’ve just had the pandemic and she’s out and about again, she’s clearly got snap in her celery, and there was that wonderful speech ‘we will meet again’ – the Queen is the ideal person.

“Her mother, the late Elizabeth Queen Mother had accepted one of these awards about 20 years ago, the Duke of Edinburgh took it as a bit of a back-handed compliment when he got the award when he was about 90, saying ‘I suppose it’s nice to be remembered, thank you for reminding me that bits are beginning to fall off’.

“Anyway, he accepted it so we thought the time was ripe. 

Oldie Magazine recognises the achievements of the older generations, and has previously awarded veterans, the artist David Hockney and important community care workers. 

Prince Philip had received the award in 2011 and had 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.”

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Speaking of the Queen’s rejection of the award, Brandreth noted that due to her busy schedule and commitments, it was unsurprising that she had declined their offer. 

He continued: “So rather boldly, I wrote off to the Queen at Balmoral Castle and then received this reply.

“I have to say, when you look at the papers today, there are pictures of the Queen at Windsor Castle meeting a whole crowd of international business people, you see her diary for the autumn, she’s going to be at the COP26 meeting in Glasgow.

“With all the things that she’s got going coming, including the Platinum Jubilee next year, obviously she doesn’t feel she has time.

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In her response, the Queen’s assistant private secretary 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.”

The Queen has a busy schedule ahead of her in upcoming months, as she prepares to attend the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow in November, alongside other senior working royals. 

She will also participate in a number of celebrations ahead of her Platinum Jubilee, which is due to take place over a four-day Bank Holiday in June 2022. 

After ascending the throne in 1952, the Queen is the longest-serving monarch in British history. 

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