The secrets behind 94-year-old Queen Elizabeth’s longevity
At a handful of recent public events, diminutive Queen Elizabeth II, 94, has cut her usual poised figure.
There has been no disguising her relatively unwrinkled forehead, soft wavy hair and youthful gait — even under the face mask she wore to an appearance at Westminster Abbey.
“She has aged incredibly well and is the paradigm of health and wellness,” British-culture researcher Bryan Kozlowski told The Post. In his new book, “Long Live the Queen! 23 Rules for Living From Britain’s Longest-Reigning Monarch” (Turner), he explores the secrets to the royal’s enduring longevity.
One of her favorites? One-upmanship.
Kozlowski recalls a time when the queen out-performed “Iron Lady” Margaret Thatcher, who was just six months her senior. More than once in the hit Netflix series “The Crown,” the prime minister is portrayed as the sovereign’s rival.
In the 1980s, both women attended a hot, crowded annual reception at Buckingham Palace with 1,000 foreign dignitaries, spending hours pressing the flesh. At one point, Thatcher felt faint and had to sit down, just as she had at the previous year’s event.
“With hundreds of diplomats waiting in the wings, she collapsed in a pale, exhausted heap,” writes Kozlowski. “Glancing across the room, the queen simply noted: ‘Oh look! She’s keeled over again!’ before resuming her steady course around the assembled guests.”
Here, Kozlowski spills five more revelations about Elizabeth’s seemingly eternal resilience.
“To achieve longevity, [most people] tend to think you need to maintain a rigorous fitness regime,” said the author. Not the queen. She is a great believer in “sensible exercise,” such as brisk walks with her corgis and horseback riding. “Research says the types of exercise you keep up are the ones which give you pleasure,” added Kozlowski.
Diet — and alcohol
Like many of her generation — who experienced rationing during World War II — Elizabeth prefers simple meals. “For an extended period in Britain, it was almost borderline unpatriotic to be too much of what we call a foodie nowadays,” said Kozlowski.
The monarch’s favorite ritual is an afternoon tea of Darjeeling with sandwiches and scones. “She will also take the smallest sliver of cake,” he added. “As dietitians often advise, you should give yourself permission to have occasional treats.”
When it comes to alcohol, it’s previously been reported that she enjoys a gin cocktail in the morning, followed by a glass of wine or champagne with lunch, and another glass of champagne plus a dry martini in the evening.
Kozlowski explained, “Psychologists would call her a ‘self-transcendent drinker’ — she won’t let it interfere with her bigger purpose in life.”
When an aristocrat met the queen for the first time, he remarked to her husband, Prince Philip, “I never realized what lovely skin she has.” Philip — known for his inappropriateness — retorted: “She’s like that all over.”
As for her beauty regimen, Kozlowski claims no overly expensive brands bear the royal seal of approval and, for years, Elizabeth used reasonably-priced Cyclax products, including their Milk of Roses moisturizer.
The nonagenarian, who barely wears makeup, has kept out of the sun for decades — her vacation spot is far-from-tropical Scotland.
It’s a standing joke that Elizabeth asks subjects she meets little more than one question: “Have you come far?”
But Kozlowski disputes this, revealing the curious queen spends hours each day poring over documents. One of her favorite pastimes is to one-up prime ministers during briefing sessions at Buckingham Palace by mentioning a policy or constitutional matter they know nothing about.
Known for her stiff upper lip, the queen is on the opposite side of the spectrum from her granddaughter-in-law Meghan Markle, whom some see as embracing victimhood.
“[Elizabeth] comes from a dignity culture, where everyone was very responsible for their own emotions,” said Kozlowski. He believes the queen’s glass-half-full attitude gives her mental strength. “She practices what psychologists call ‘benefit-finding.’”
He even predicts that Elizabeth will live longer than her mother, who died at the age of 101 in 2002. “She has this willingness to adapt, which banishes the insidious stress you get from resisting change,” he said. “That contributes to longevity and a fulfilling existence for sure.”