Queen Elizabeth is still 'the boss' as she approaches 90th birthday

Thu Apr 14, 2016 6:06am EDT
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By Michael Holden

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Queen Elizabeth, the world's oldest monarch, turns 90 next Thursday showing no sign she will be retiring from the stage anytime soon.

Her birthday comes months after she surpassed the 23,226 days her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria spent on the throne to become Britain's longest-reigning monarch.

Since turning 65 in 1991, the nation has speculated about whether she would step aside in favor of her eldest son, Prince Charles. But aides and commentators say there is no prospect of her giving up her job.

"The queen has a phenomenal drive and energy and I think the fact that she still works is what keeps her going," Ingrid Seward, editor in chief of "Majesty" magazine, told Reuters.

"The queen doesn't want to put her feet up. This is what she wants to do, and this is what she's going to do for as long as she's fit and able to do so."

Born on April 21, 1926 in central London, Elizabeth still hosts state visits, presides over the annual state opening of parliament and holds a weekly audience with the prime minister.

While she has cut back on her once demanding schedule of foreign trips, those close to her say only incapacity would stop her from performing her royal duties. Last year she carried out 341 official engagements.

"As she turns 90, she's a remarkably energetic and guiding force for her family," her grandson Prince William said in a speech in India this week. "She maybe my grandmother, but she's also very much the boss."   Continued...

Britain's Queen Elizabeth wears the Imperial State Crown during the State Opening of Parliament, London, Britain, in this November 6, 2007 file photo.    REUTERS/Alistair Grant/Pool/Files