Monday, 30 November -0001

How the Queen can make you happy

It’s not just about her smile – following the Queen’s example can improve your life in so many different ways…

Written by Mary Killen

Why are we surprised to see Her Majesty the Queen looking so relaxed and happy in her recent public appearances? Of course, she is only human, but that does not mean she would be suggestible or insecure enough to be dependent on the approval ratings of her public – the latest poll shows she has a positive rating of over 80 per cent.

On the contrary, the difference between the Queen and the late Diana, Princess of Wales, is that the former never takes the shifting sands of public opinion personally. As the writer Tina Brown has noted, the Queen’s public appearances are not personal appearances – ‘they are acts of state, symbolic assertions of national identity, ex officio rituals, having nothing to do with individual characteristics and everything to do with impersonal roles assigned by tradition and that essence could not be affected by compliments or criticisms.’

We are certainly undergoing a monarchy boom – these days, we all love the Queen – because trust is a commodity in short supply these days and it has dawned on us that she has done exactly what she said she would do 60 years ago when she pronounced that she did not know whether her life would be long or short but she promised she would spend it in the service of her people. It’s exactly what she has done and even Peter Tatchell could not deny it.

Serving others is one of the reasons why the Queen can be, if not ecstatically happy, day by day, at least confident that she has done what she can for the best possible motives – the wellbeing of her people. She is aware that life has its vagaries, that she has had more than one annus horribilis, and that none of us can be happy all the time. But at least by putting her people first and trying to do the best for us, she can be sure that, whatever goes wrong, there will at least be a continuous sense of duty discharged for her to look forward to. And her conscience is clear.

We could all upgrade our own happiness quotient by studying the Queen’s modus vivendi. I have written about her recently and have seen some of the secrets of her success. There are no mysteries there – it is very obvious why the Queen is as happy as she can be on any given day. She takes exercise each day by walking the corgis for 90 minutes after lunch in the palace gardens whenever she is in London. She still, at 86, rides about four times a week. At her age, if you don’t use it, you lose it. If you do use it, you keep your flexibility.

She eats sensibly and she sits up straight while eating, something that all schoolchildren were once forced to do – and for good reason. Digestion is paramount to wellbeing and sitting hunched over a laptop does not allow for the food to be processed as nature intended. She also has a healthy mind in her healthy body – and her religious faith sustains her in every circumstance. As Prince Philip has remarked, ‘Religious conviction is the strongest and probably the only factor in sustaining the dignity and integrity of the individual.’

In fact, the Queen’s smile is one we may all hope to emulate.

How The Queen Can Make You Happy by Mary Killen is published by Elliott & Thompson, priced £8.99.

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