She has broken the record for the longest-reigning1) British monarch in history, and for Queen Elizabeth, it's all about2) consistency.
The woman who came to the throne as a mother of two at age 25 in 1952 keeps her life just so in a routine that has remained amazingly unchanged through the 65 years that she has served as monarch.
Waking at 7:30 a.m., she listens to her vintage3) Roberts radio4) tuned5) to BBC Radio 4's Today6) program. "She loves to hear British politicians being questioned by the presenters7)," Brian Hoey, author of At Home With The Queen says.
A male servant carries a tray of Twinings'8) English breakfast tea in a bone china cup and saucer, served with milk (no sugar) and some Marie cookies, which a maid brings into her room.
After a bath, she will sit with her husband of 70 years, Prince Philip, 96, for cereal (she likes cornflakes), which is kept in Tupperware containers. She reads newspapers, but first to catch her eye is the Racing Post, which covers her favorite pastime9) of horse racing.
She then pores10) through the documents from the government in her so-called "red boxes"—scarlet leather cases with legal and other papers. The only days she doesn't do so are Christmas and Easter, quiet non-working days for the devoutly11) religious woman. (She is head of the Church of England.)
If she has an official arrangement, she will be seen in public later, coming in from Windsor Castle on Tuesdays for the week12). Many of her other official roles are to meet with diplomats or the British Prime Minister. It is something she has become immensely experienced at over a period when she has met 12 American presidents.
She manages to keep completely neutral, to outside eyes and ears in any case. "I have worked for her 48 years, and have never heard her say anything to let anyone think she favored one political party over another or a political personality over another," her former stud13) manager Sir Michael Oswald says. "She has never made a mistake."
And giving up—as her uncle Edward VIII did by abdicating14) in 1936—is not an option. "As long as she is able to carry out her duties she will continue," Oswald says.
But she has become good at keeping her work life separate from her domestic15) one.
Sometimes she will host a lunch, helping her and Philip stay informed as they meet a cross-section of people from public life, politics and the celebrity world, as race car driver Lewis Hamilton recounted.
Her cousin Margaret Rhodes says she expertly juggles16) family with work, from attending to the concerns of a servants' family or the tasks of hosting a party at Balmoral Castle17) in Scotland. "She has this ability to compartmentalize18) her brain," says Rhodes, "and if she has a worry about something, she can shut the door on that compartment and be totally outgoing and happy with other people."
In the evenings, she might watch classic British comedies or mysteries and detectives stories like Inspector Morse.
And then there are the horses. "If it's during the racing season and she's been busy during the day, then somebody will put together a recording of the races that day," says Hoey. "Particularly, if one of her horses has been running."
One of those keeping a check on how her horses are getting on is Oswald, 83, who says, "She not only loves them but she understands them in every aspect. Horse psychology is not the right word but she understands how they feel and how they react."
Of course, the Queen is in an extraordinary position, but if things were different, she would be like many other aristocrats. Her cousin Rhodes adds, "She is a country person, and if she had not been who she was she would be living in the country with horses and lots of dogs."
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