Our devoted Queen

The 89-year-old Queen is showing no sign of letting up.

Her capacity for work is astounding, especially when you consider she’s at an age where many people find a weekly trip to the supermarket exhausting. At 89, the Queen is one of the hardest working members of the royal family, carrying out almost 400 official engagements a year. She recently carried out eight engagements in seven days, and although some of them involved attending events she enjoys – like Royal Ascot – they are still work because she has to spend a lot of time making small talk with strangers.\n\nOther events she went to included the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta and Trooping the Colour. She also took the train to Wales for the day to attend a parade and reception in honour of the Royal Welsh army regiment.\n\nAlthough she has scaled down her commitments in the last five years, a large part of Her Majesty’s week is spent hosting receptions, meeting dignitaries and members of the public, and visiting schools, businesses, hospitals and other facilities.\n\nLast year, she carried out 393 official engagements, 18 of them overseas – including a day trip to Rome to see the Pope. Only her children Prince Charles (533 engagements), Princess Anne (528) and Prince Edward (426) did more than the Queen.\n\nBut her workload doesn’t end there – there’s so much more. She allocates part of every day (except Christmas and Easter Sunday) to going through a box of papers sent to her from government ministers and her representatives in Commonwealth and foreign countries. They include policy papers and cabinet documents and she has to read them all, signing those that are part of the law-making process.\n\nEvery evening that parliament is in session, she is sent a report of the day’s proceedings, which she reads by the end of the day.\n\nThere is also a mountain of correspondence to deal with – the Queen goes through a selection of them herself before instructing her staff to respond. She also holds private audiences with people like ambassadors and heads of military services, and meets with the British Prime Minister every Wednesday if they are both in the country. Somehow, she also finds time to fit in meetings with various people who work for her, such as the staff who train her racehorses.\n\nThe Queen is frequently accompanied by Prince Philip on engagements, and he carries out others on his own. His tally of engagements totalled 273 last year – not bad for a 94-year-old!

June 15\n\nWith British Prime Minister David Cameron at the 800th anniversary of the signing of\nthe Magna Carta.

June 16\n\nAttending the first day of Royal Ascot.

June 17\n\nHer Majesty at Ascot Racecourse for the second day.

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