Queen declines Prince Philip’s former title believing she’s not ‘worthy’ of the honor

The Queen was offered this prestigious title ten years after the Duke of Edinburgh received it

Queen Elizabeth attends the opening ceremony of the sixth session of the Senedd at The Senedd
(Image credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

The Queen has turned down the same title Prince Philip once received after believing she doesn’t “meet the criteria” and there would be a more “worthy” recipient for this huge honor.  

The Queen might already have multiple titles and honors to her royal name, but it seems there’s one she felt she wasn’t “worthy” of accepting, despite her late husband Prince Philip receiving the same award in 2011. Her Majesty has now resumed royal engagements after her summer break at Balmoral Castle and new photos of the Queen with her walking stick on an outing with Princess Anne were met with praise by impressed fans. Many were quick to express their delight at seeing the 95-year-old Queen beaming as she made her way over the cobbled streets, with her only having used a stick a handful of times in her 69 year reign. 

And regardless of her age the monarch certainly appears to feel young at heart, as she turned down the Oldie of the Year Award this year, sending a letter of explanation to the chairman, Gyles Brandreth. These prestigious annual awards celebrate the achievements of the older generation who have made a significant impact and special contribution to public life.

Queen Elizabeth II attends a service of Thanksgiving to mark the centenary of The Royal British Legion at Westminster Abbey on October 12, 2021

(Image credit: Photo by Frank Augstein - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

With her Platinum Jubilee set to be celebrated next year, for which a four day bank holiday has already been confirmed in the UK, it was thought that the Queen would be a brilliant recipient in tribute to her leadership during the pandemic. The suggestion is understood to have been made by Maureen Lipman, one of the judges, before Gyles wrote to her private secretary Sir Edward Young, to ask if she would accept this title.

Her Majesty's assistant private secretary, Tom Laing-Baker then sent a polite letter in response. This was published in the Oldie magazine’s latest issue and declared, “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. This message comes to you with Her Majesty’s warmest best wishes.” 

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Describing the Queen’s letter as “lovely”, Gyles reportedly said, “Perhaps in the future we will sound out Her Majesty once more”. Whilst the main Oldie of the Year award was instead given to actor and dancer Leslie Caron and past winners have included the likes of artist David Hockney and actor Dame Olivia de Havilland.

The Queen’s decision to turn down the Oldie of the Year title comes ten years after her late husband of 73 years, the Duke of Edinburgh received it.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh re-visit Broadlands, to mark their Diamond Wedding Anniversary

(Image credit: Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)

Prince Philip sadly passed away at Windsor Castle in April this year aged 99 and throughout his life he was known for his humorous quips, something that shone through as he replied to accept his 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," he hilariously replied.

What is Queen Elizabeth’s age?

The Queen’s age might perhaps come as a surprise to some royal fans who are used to seeing her out and about at a huge amount of royal engagements in recent weeks, as Her Majesty turned a milestone age of 95 earlier this year. Whilst the Queen has two birthdays, her real birthday and official birthday, she was born on April 21st 1926. 

This sadly meant that this year she marked her big day whilst still in mourning for Prince Philip, whose funeral service was held just days earlier. 

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Instead, the monarch took to social media and rather than remark upon her age or her birthday wishes, she shared a heartfelt birthday message that gave thanks for the “support and kindness” following her husband’s passing.

“My family and I would like to thank you for all the support and kindness shown to us in recent days. We have been deeply touched, and continue to be reminded that Philip had such an extraordinary impact on countless people throughout his life. - Elizabeth R”, she poignantly declared.

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!