Fiona Duff: Long live our gracious Queen... but in retirement

Picture: John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images
Picture: John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images
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SO that Queen Elizabeth II had a big birthday last week. Everyone was very excited and there were pages and pages of photographs in the newspapers, most of which I probably saw on her 80th birthday. Apart from those taken in the last decade.

And as she hit the big 9-0, commentators turned to the fact that she is now an old lady, with an even older husband and an heir who got his bus pass several years ago. How long can she go on? How long is a piece of string?

I know that there are some who are unsure as to what sort of monarch Charles would make. Personally, I think it rather good that he has strong opinions.

There’s no doubt that the Queen is in fine fettle. As far as we know she still has her marbles, although as she rarely says a word in public that isn’t rehearsed or written down we can’t be 100 per cent certain. She looks marvellous (Clarins, apparently) and frankly looks happier now than she often did in the past.

However, the point is that she is at an age that few others attain, yet cannot give up her job. It is all really a bit silly, this abdication malarkey. People throw up their hands in horror at the very thought of her stepping down in favour of her eldest child, but how many other people in their tenth decade would still want to work, especially as she doesn’t have to worry about where her next meal is coming from. Goodness knows how many chefs are employed at Buckingham Palace, but she ain’t going to go hungry, that’s for sure.

The royal family call themselves “the Firm”; they look upon their position as employment, so why on earth can’t they retire like most normal people? Would the world come crashing down if the Queen jacked it all in and spent her remaining years watching Cash In The Attic and feeding the corgis? Of course it wouldn’t.

I know that there are some who are unsure as to what sort of monarch Charles would make. Personally, I think it rather good that he has strong opinions.

Some I may not agree with, but I bet that the Queen has beliefs with which I would not concur and that doesn’t make her a bad person in my book. Poor Prince Charles must wonder if he’ll be able to walk down the aisle of Westminster Abbey without the help of a zimmer frame and at this rate he’s likely to be at least 10 years older than the

previous holder of the title of oldest-monarch-to-be-crowned prize (Edward Vll was 59 when he finally got around to sitting on the throne). So give the lady a break – let her have some time on the sofa. In the meantime, I’m off to buy some of that face cream...

I won’t be mooning anyone for charity

There is one thing that really makes me realise it is finally spring.

Not the beautiful blossom on the trees nor gambolling lambs in the fields. No, it’s the legions of ladies pounding every path in town, water bottle in one hand, sweatshirt tied around their waist and always in groups, gossiping as they wear out their shoes.

They are training for the Moonwalk – a 26-mile meander through the city starting at midnight.

It raises shedloads of money for the fight against breast cancer, but if you think I’ll be joining them you’ll be well and truly wrong.

Come the starting time on June 11, I shall be tucked up in my bed.

Limmy’s my top tip for a funnier Fringe

Do you know how many Fringe shows are already on sale? No, neither do I, but there are pages and pages of them on the official website.

It’s hard to know what to book, but I like to buy as many as possible for the first Monday and Tuesday when you get two tickets for the price of one. It’s a no-brainer.

One show that caught my eye is only on for four nights, in the middle of the whole jamboree. That’s Limmy and his Daft Wee Stories.

Now, there are a lot of people my age who haven’t heard of him, but I have a twentysomething daughter who thinks he’s the funniest thing since I slipped on that banana skin.

We went to see him at the SECC in January and I can confirm that Limmy is hilarious, with a natural charm that warmed the whole audience.

So if you have the chance, go and see him at the EICC – you may have to fight your way past the young ‘uns but it’ll be worth it.

I think my daughter should hit the roof

If you live in an old house you probably do so because you love its character and quirkiness. However, there is a downside, and that’s the cost of the upkeep. There’s a leak in my upstairs neighbour’s roof. We all chipped in for some guy to come round a couple of years ago to try and sort this out but it seems as though he didn’t really do a good job as the poor lady’s bedroom walls are extremely damp again. Another roofer came round, grimaced a bit, stuck a meter into the roof and informed us that it was right off the scale.

But he’s a tad busy just now. In fact he doubts that he will even be able to get around to getting a quote to us for over a week; Lord knows when he will be able to start work and no doubt there will be a few more rainy days in between.

So when my daughter starts to look into what Highers she might take, I think I might advise her not to bother with going to university – she’ll rack up a big heap of debt with no guarantee of a job at the end. What she needs to do is find out what qualifications she needs to mend a roof.