The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh: time to slow down?

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The burden of endless public engagements must be exhausting yet they have fulfilled them for 57 years with dignity and without complaint. Their stamina, workload, and composure are remarkable.

There was only a slight drop in the number of engagements last year from 440 to 417 carried out by the Queen even though at 82, she is at an age when most women would have been retired for 20 years. The Duchess of Cornwall, 61, carried out 220 compared to the Duke of Edinburgh, who at 87, performed 354 engagements.

In December 2007, at the age of 81 and 244 days, the Queen became the oldest, or as her courtiers would prefer it, the longest-lived monarch in the history of the country, beating the record held by Queen Victoria.

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