We have spent the weekend reflecting on our Queen’s 70 years of service as monarch. An achievement that none of us will see repeated, barring the awful prospect of life being extended dramatically by new medication. HRH Prince Charles is 71; a reign of 70 years would make him 141. HRH Prince William is 40 later this month and so would have to live until at least 110 and would need to become King immediately (for the maths to work).
It is an achievement of longevity. The ONS data for England implies that the average life expectancy of a female aged 96 is another 2.8 years. A male now 71 has an average 16.23 years, whereas a male age 40 has an average 43 years remaining. Mortality statistics are most definitely all about survivors and it may strike you as a little odd that someone aged 40 appears likely to not live as long as someone aged 84. This has the really awful description of ‘mortality drag’ – the statistical reality of “the older you are, the longer you live”. Evidently the Windsor family have some above average advantage of longevity, with HRH Prince Philip living to age 99.
THREE FUTURE KINGS
You probably saw images of the balcony at Buckingham Palace of future monarchs ranging from age 8 to 71. I paused to reflect on the reality of this … most of us have not been in the same ‘job’ for 70 years, and none of us have been waiting for it to start for 71 years! Most of our clients are eager to retire and thereby determine how they set the agenda for each day rather than being held to account for a daily commute, however brief. Imagine having been in training for a role for 71 years.
Irrespective of views about monarchy in 2022, I think it fair to say that we have been witness to a unique milestone, a theme that we discussed in the latest edition of Spotlight (let us know if you have not received your copy yet). In theory we know who the next three Kings will be, whether they all eventually become King is another matter entirely. As much as I like to plan and help you to do so, I am glad of uncertainty and not having a life mapped out from the cradle, with rather limiting choices.
70 years of public service is an enormously big deal. The only people that I suspect may achieve similar lengths of service in their ‘career’ are those in religious orders; and however much the State Pension is mucked around with by politicians, it’s worth noting that working for precisely half that time would entitle you to a full State Pension. You would obviously require rather more than the State Pension to run a Palace, but mercifully we don’t have to worry about that problem – although your most recent energy bill may have you wondering if you are.
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