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How many people in the UK are older than The Queen?

As she approaches a milestone in her already historic reign, another claim to fame has been made for The Queen. New research has pinpointed how many of her subjects have actually lived longer than her.

Her Majesty was born in April 1926 and will celebrate her 96th birthday in just a few months’ time. According to Professor Les Mayhew, from International Longevity Centre and the Bayes Business School, just 100,000 people in the UK are older than their Monarch. In fact, over 85% of the 66 million strong population of the UK can only remember The Queen as their Head of State.

Professor Mayhew was looking at life expectancy for royals and for the general population. He found that, on average, for members of the House of Windsor live 26% longer than their fellow citizens.

He began his research with King George V, who changed the royal dynasty’s name to Windsor in 1917. George was born in 1865 and lived to the age of 70. On average, around half of those born in 1880 died by the age of 60. Professor Mayhew says that general life expectancy has since gone up but several members of the House of Windsor have reached very old age, including Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, who was 101 at the time of her death, and Prince Philip, who was 99 when he passed away in 2021. His research concludes that for every royal who lives to be 100, the average person could live to be 74.

Professor Mayhew told The Daily Telegraph ”what has happened is….that they have continued to live a little bit longer, but the general population has been catching up. There is still a gulf, which partly speaks to wider inequalities in wider society.”

Speaking of The Queen, he said that the length of her reign had brought ”stability” as well as continuity and added ”The longer you are there – as long as you behave yourself – the more respect you get. She has deserved that respect.”

According to the Office of National Statistics, the number of people living longer than 90 years more than doubled between 1987 and 2017.

The Queen is the longest lived Monarch in British history as well as the longest ruling.

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About author

Lydia Starbuck is Jubilee and Associate Editor at Royal Central and the main producer and presenter of the Royal Central Podcast and Royal Central Extra. Lydia is also a pen name of June Woolerton who is a journalist and writer with over twenty years experience in TV, radio, print and online. Her latest book, A History of British Royal Jubilees, is out now. Her new book, The Mysterious Death of Katherine Parr, will be published in March 2024. June is an award winning reporter, producer and editor. She's appeared on outlets including BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Local Radio and has also helped set up a commercial radio station. June is also an accomplished writer with a wide range of material published online and in print. She is the author of two novels, published as e-books. She is also a marriage registrar and ceremony celebrant.