Posted on 22/04/2016

The Queen’s birthday: changing views of growing older


Crowds of people across the UK joined together as one yesterday as they gathered to celebrate the Queen’s birthday.

Dressed in a spring green ensemble, the Queen looked the picture of health and elegance as she greeted public well-wishers along the streets of Windsor – and although that sentence wouldn’t look out of place in a popular celebrity magazine, it actually holds a great deal more significance than simply appearing fashionable.

An example to older people everywhere

With the nation’s media documenting her every move, this proved to be an excellent chance for Queen Elizabeth to firmly prove that age really is just a number…and she did it in style!

In her 64 years as Queen, she has continued to build a strong bond with the British public – appearing at numerous events and evolving with the times to better communicate with her subjects. In 1997, she launched Buckingham Palace’s official website and sent her first tweet from the @BritishMonarchy account in 2014.

As you might imagine, #QueenAt90 was a hot topic on social media yesterday – particularly with Twitter users who were all eager to pass on their congratulations to HRH. But something even more wonderful came from the Queen’s 90th birthday – an appreciation and understanding that growing older doesn’t mean growing more insignificant. Positive comments on ageing flooded in from around the world:

Positive old age 1

Positive old age 5

Positive old age 4

Positive old age 2

Positive old age 3

Positive old age 6

Positive old age 7

Kicking ageism to the curb

Too many still cling to the outdated belief that growing older means ‘slowing down’ or even ‘giving up’. In a recent interview with BBC Radio 5 Live, Director of the charity Age UK, Caroline Abrahams commented that the traditional stereotype of older people being “incapable, out-of-touch and a burden” remains commonplace throughout our society.

It’s difficult to define when ageism begins, although much of it often happens behind closed doors. In an effort to speak about it in the open and highlight the effect it can have on those targeted, the American Association for Retired Persons (AARP) set up a donut stand with a fake age-limit and secretly filmed their customers’ reactions.

Celebrating in style

When all’s said and done, age is just a state of mind and the Queen’s birthday really did help others around the world to see that yesterday. It also gave many older people a reason to celebrate their own achievements. Here are some of our favourite celebration photos taken yesterday:

Celebration of older people 1 Celebration of older people 2 Celebration of older people 3 Celebration of older people 4 Celebration of older people 5

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