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AIBU?

To wonder how much of the Queen and Prince Phillip's long lives were down to wealth

215 replies

Feofjwonxoaks · 26/09/2022 08:02

To both live to almost 100 without dementia and in relatively good health, until the very end.
Have worked in many care homes and we have a couple of ladies who are 99/100 who are in good spirits and mentally sharp, but this is rare.
It's rare to even make it to this age but most of our residents who are

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Feofjwonxoaks · 26/09/2022 08:03

Oops! Who are 92 or under are bedbound or suffering with Alzheimer's/dementia to some extent.
I just wonder to what extent the lifestyles they led would have played a part (even if they had a lot of stress in their final years).
Saying that, Princess Margaret passed away in her 70s.

OP posts:
toomuchlaundry · 26/09/2022 08:04

The Queen’s dad (George VI) died young

rubyslippers · 26/09/2022 08:05

Princess Margaret smoked a lot and drank

i am sure being hugely wealthy and access to amazing healthcare plus sensible lifestyle helped them both enormously

there are studies done which show life expectancy drops for men and women in areas of deprivation

MyLovelyPen · 26/09/2022 08:05

@toomuchlaundry he was a heavy smoker who died of lung cancer.

ClocksGoingBackwards · 26/09/2022 08:07

My grandmother and her siblings lived to around the same age as the Queen and they grew up in proper gruelling poverty and ended their lives on pension credit. While I’m sure the queens wealth had something some impact, I don’t think it’s the reason.

MyLovelyPen · 26/09/2022 08:07

OP, absolutely their wealth and access to the best medical care had a huge amount to do with it. And à life where they didn’t have to do housework, raise children, pay bills, cook food or go to work every day would also play a part. A life of unparalleled luxury is certainly not going to shorten your life unless you choose to make that happen!

DownNative · 26/09/2022 08:09

Margaret was 72 and had failing health in her last years.

King George VI had his entire left lung removed in 1951 when a malignant tumour was found. Died in 1952 aged 56.

On the other hand, I had a relative who lived in the Ardoyne area of Belfast where a lot of trouble occurred. Lived to 96 without dementia.

It's not always a simple correlation.

toomuchlaundry · 26/09/2022 08:09

@MyLovelyPen I thought he died of a heart attack, which I guess was linked to his heavy smoking

iekanda · 26/09/2022 08:10

genes and access to healthcare (which is a big problem for most of us now!).

the only thing I envy about the royals is that they can easily access healthcare.

Pottedpalm · 26/09/2022 08:12

My parents lived to 101 (DF) and 99. Both grew up in quite poor circumstances though with access to good nutrition, both worked well into their 70s and led active lives. No wealth. I put it down to good genes, no smoking, very little processed food, keeping active and a strong faith. Plus a bit of good luck. Both had all their marbles to the end.

Luredbyapomegranate · 26/09/2022 08:16

It would have a big impact - we know that on average people in poor areas die younger and have fewer healthy years, but they will also have good genes and they both had pretty healthy lifestyles.

The Queen’s mother lived to 103. Her father died in his 50s and her sister at 70, but they were both heavy smokers and she was a drinker - I think he died of lung cancer and her of a stroke - so that was lifestyle induced.

CherrySmiler · 26/09/2022 08:17

There will be plenty of anecdotes of examples of people without access to the unimaginable wealth who still lived a long life. But their wealth had everything to do with it. Compare Blackpool to Wokingham. Money makes the difference.

Luredbyapomegranate · 26/09/2022 08:18

MyLovelyPen · 26/09/2022 08:07

OP, absolutely their wealth and access to the best medical care had a huge amount to do with it. And à life where they didn’t have to do housework, raise children, pay bills, cook food or go to work every day would also play a part. A life of unparalleled luxury is certainly not going to shorten your life unless you choose to make that happen!

I think they did both work hard - whether you think it was useful work is of course another matter. Lots of leisure time as well of course.

AriettyHomily · 26/09/2022 08:18

My granny lived to 101 and was in really good health right until the end. Comfortable but not wealthy but she worked bloody hard all of her life. She was a farmers wife, and she was still making bread every day and milking the cows until a few weeks before she died.

She didn't smoke, liked a drink but being physically fit and continuing g to live on the farm when her son took it over meant that there was a constant stream of people so no loneliness, always someone to talk to etc.

Bunnycat101 · 26/09/2022 08:18

Good nutrition and healthcare will have played a part but I’d have thought there would be a big impact with the queen staying mentally and physically active. She was riding and walking into her old age and would have needed to be keeping her brain going by doing box work, having the chats with PMs etc. my granny was in a better state in her 80s than my parents are in their 70s. She had an amazing social life, did crosswords and played bridge. She was mentally sharp but died of cancer.

JanFeb · 26/09/2022 08:19

Definitely think access to healthcare and having the best produce used to make their meals would have contributed to their long lives.

PuttingDownRoots · 26/09/2022 08:19

Elizabeth was born pre NHS. She lived through the Second World War. She was definitely protected by wealth by both of these.

W0tnow · 26/09/2022 08:20

My grandparents lived until their mid 90s. They weren’t well off at all. But they ate normal food, and not much of it, drank little, and were active. I think that had a lot to do with it. Though my grandfather smoked for 60 years of his life and worked in a coal mine as a youngster! That he never got cancer was just pure luck.

CredibilityProblem · 26/09/2022 08:22

If you asked for medical consensus on what to do to maximise your chance of a long healthy life you'd get the following.

Don't smoke
Inherit good genes
Maintain a healthy weight throughout your life
Exercise, a lot but not to extremes, throughout your life
Get outdoors as much as possible
Drink in moderation at most
Eat your veg and don't live on junk food
Stay socially connected and active throughout your life
Keep up with recommended doctors, dentists, opticians and audiologists appointments and screening

AFAICS they probably ticked every single box apart from drinking more than the optimum amount when younger. And yes wealth helps with a lot of them. But it's not like they lived to be 110 or something really unusual. And it's not as if the super-rich are immune to cancer or dementia: look at Steve Jobs or Margaret Thatcher.

MrsCarson · 26/09/2022 08:22

I have family on both sides who lived very long into the 90's with no dementia. I think it's more a lifestyle thing, eating healthy, being fit and active.
Now days we eat too much, and move too little once we get a bit older.

OriginalUsername2 · 26/09/2022 08:24

I imagine her diet was very sensible, grass fed posh meats and all that. The slightest niggle in her body would have gotten instant attention and treatment.

ChiefPearlClutcher · 26/09/2022 08:27

It’s calorie restriction. Google the studies on calorie restriction in mice.

Penguinsaregreat · 26/09/2022 08:31

They did work though. Of course having access to good medical care helps but I also think it’s down to work ethic and lifestyle. My mum is in her 70s and yesterday we walked 30,000 steps. We don’t do that every day but many people just don’t stay fit. I see many people with the “I can’t” attitude and think that contributes to early demise.

CredibilityProblem · 26/09/2022 08:36

My great aunt is just starting to wind down and get worryingly frail at age 98 but two years ago she was living independently with a bit of support from friends and family and a cleaner: I'd say she was every bit as sprightly and compos mentis as the Queen at the same age.She outlived all her siblings by twenty years or more, through a combination of genetic good luck, and Scottish Country Dancing which ticks the physical and mental exercise and the social boxes.

Ahbisto · 26/09/2022 08:36

Rich folks get cancer, dementia, heart attacks, strokes just like everyone else. Illness doesn’t look at your Wallet first.

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