Queen Elizabeth Turns Down Oldie Award Because ‘You Are as Old as You Feel'
Queen Elizabeth II is clearly leaning into the whole “age is a state of mind” mantra: She turned down an award honoring her as Oldie of the Year this week.
The 95-year-old "politely but firmly" declined the award bestowed upon her by none other than The Oldie, a British monthly magazine written for older people that touts itself as a “free-thinking, funny magazine, a light-hearted alternative to a press obsessed with youth and celebrity,” according to its website.
The Oldie reported on Tuesday that it wrote to Britain’s longest-reigning monarch to offer the honor for 2021 and received a letter in response. The letter, penned by the Queen’s assistant private secretary, Tom Laing-Baker, read: "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.”
It also emphasized that the Queen sent her “warmest best wishes,” which is presumably why when The Oldie wrote about their correspondence with her, they called her pushback on the award “the most polite non-acceptance in history.”
The refusal for the award is notable because the Queen’s late husband, Prince Philip, was Oldie of the Year in 2011. At 90, when Philip won the award, he responded to The Oldie from Sandringham, saying, “I much appreciate your invitation to receive an Oldie of the Year award. 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.”
The Oldie of the Year Awards have been doled out for 29 years and have included the likes of Eileen Atkins, Glenda Jackson, Peter Blake, David Hockney, and many more.