The Queen may be 95, but she isn’t ready to accept an “Oldie” quite yet.
The queen gracefully declined Oldie magazine’s “The Oldie of the Year” award through a letter written by her assistant private secretary, Tom Laing-Baker, and shared on the publication’s Twitter account on Tuesday.
The humorous award and annual awards show (also known as TOOTY) celebrates older people who have made a significant contribution to public life.
In the letter, addressed to entertainer and awards chair Gyles Brandreth, Laing-Baker praised the awards and explained why the queen doesn’t quite fit “the relevant criteria”.
“Dear Mr Brandreth, thank you for your letter of 30th July, addressed to Sir Edward Young, asking if The Queen would accept The Oldie of the Year award,” said the note, dated August 21.
“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 letter continued. “This message comes to you with Her Majesty’s warmest best wishes.”
The queen’s response is the perfect fit for Oldie magazine, which is intended as “a free-thinking, funny magazine” and “a light-hearted alternative to a press obsessed with youth and celebrity”, according to editor Harry Mount.
The queen’s husband, the late Prince Philip, was jokingly recognised as Consort of the Year by the magazine back in 2011. He had an equally funny response to “winning”.
“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,” the Duke of Edinburgh quipped at the time, according to the Guardian. “But it is nice to be remembered at all.”
Philip added that he would not be “conveniently in reach of London at the time” in order to accept the award.
Despite the royals’ reluctance to accept their Oldies, the queen’s daughter-in-law, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, attended the magazine’s awards on Tuesday.
She presented Dame Delia Smith with the Truly Scrumptious Oldie of the Year award at the ceremony, which was held at The Savoy Hotel in London.