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Now in their 90s — though with the mental alertness and physical fitness of a couple many years younger — the Queen and Prince Philip are in uncharted waters.
As they prepare to celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary on November 20, they know they have rewritten the record books. The 91-year-old Queen is now the longest reigning British monarch in history, and her husband is the oldest-ever male member of the Royal Family.
Age - Philip - Duties - August - Decision
At the age of 96, Philip finally retired from royal duties in August. Shortly after his decision was announced, 88-year-old mathematician Michael Atiyah said to him at a lunch: 'I'm sorry to hear you're standing down.'
'Well, I can't stand up much longer,' said the Prince. It was the type of dry and humorous response we've learned to expect from Philip.
Queen - Part - Lives
Indeed, he and the Queen have been part of our lives for so long that we imagine we know them. But do we really?
After many years of writing about the Royal Family — I've met both the Queen and Philip on many occasions — I feel I've had a unique insight into their lives: and what I've discovered is that there's a great deal more to them than their popular image suggests.
Instance - Queen - Duties - Gravity - Dedication
In public, for instance, the Queen is often unsmiling; it's as if her royal duties, which she's always undertaken with the utmost gravity and dedication, preclude her ever seeing the lighter side of life. In private, however, she can be quite different.
Unexpectedly, she has a well-developed sense of humour. This surfaced during an early trip to America, when she hilariously mimicked the U.S. photographers who were ever-present.
Filming - Camera - Philip - Voice - 'Hey
Deciding to do some filming of her own, she pointed her camera at Philip and cried out in a nasal American voice: 'Hey! You there! Hey, Dook! Look this way a sec! Dat's...
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