As the Queen came to the throne the same year I was born (l952) and was crowned the same year as I was Christened (l953) it never occurred to me that I would have my biggest birthday so far – 70th – without her on the throne.
That said, although I wept all through the long day of the funeral, in my heart of hearts, I wasn’t sad. She had given us 70 years of devoted service, she didn’t suffer a long illness (or if she did, we didn’t know about it) and died very quickly. I felt far sadder when Prince Philip died, as it left our Queen on her own. The site of her, a tiny figure in black, at Westminster Abbey, with no one to put an arm round her was truly heart-breaking.
So how do I feel about being seventy? Pretty good, actually. I started my day at about 2 in the morning when I woke up in the night, by listening to my favourite podcast. This is one my daughter put me onto. It’s Parenting Hell by Rob Beckett and Josh Widdicome. It’s very funny, full of bad language and is about small children. What’s not to love? I prefer it to other podcasts designed for older, Radio 4 listening women. I don’t always get to hear the end before I doze off, but that’s ok. I can catch up.
I think, while you have your health, which, apart from a minor heart issue, I do have, old age has a lot to recommend it. For example, if you’re sharing lifts, I can claim to front passenger seat as I am the oldest and fattest. You are quite good at quizzes as you’ve picked up a lot of knowledge over the years. While it’s very likely you are unable to retrieve the information, if you’re with others, this can turn into an amusing parlour game. During Pointless my husband and I (I have turned into the Queen!) share the question answering. I know the answer but can’t get it out. He interprets what I mean from the clues I give him. That’s what 50 years of marriage gets you.
I’m not retiring yet. I don’t know how I’d fill my days if I didn’t write, and ‘time off’ would be no fun if you didn’t feel slightly guilty for skiving.
So my plans for the future include, getting far brighter frames for my glasses, wearing brighter colours and generally having even more fun than I have up to now.
My advice for younger readers of this – don’t dread the big birthdays, there’s still lots of fun to be had, even if you do find yourself listening to podcasts not designed for your delicate ears.
Mary Hudson says...
Darling Katie, I am 84 and my husband died 4 years ago but I still love your books , I have a kindle as its lighter to hold than your beautiful books ( I do prefer a book though) Although born in crisis week so older than you my family were all ardent Royalists so always had to stand for the National anthem. My husband had died just before Prince Philip so after 59 years of marriage myself I suffered with her all through the funeral. When she died I felt sad but as she was now with her love it wasn’t so gut wrenching. Belated birthday wishes but thank you for giving me many hours of enjoyment and laughter. Lotsaluv from Mary xx
November 28, 2022
Nadine Leader says...
Hi Katie happy belated 70th Birthday, I love every book you have written and also your stationary, I have to say I would set struggle to name my favourite one as they are all unique, I love reading your news letters and your cake looks delicious.
I am looking forward to your next book.
October 16, 2022
Emma Walters says...
I Love this! what a happy and uplifting read, I can definitely see you in the Prue Leith style glasses and necklaces, they would suit you very well :)
Thank goodness you have no plans to give up writing, I must be on my 3 read of ALL your books by now, so need some more juciy fodder :)
Hi Katie! Igot my first book from yours called SUMMER OF LOVE. I bought it for 1dollar here in the Philippines.
I’m gonna read and hope to find another books from you. I wish you a long and happy life. God bless!
October 03, 2022
Diane Klena says...
Congratulations on your 70th birthday! I, too, watched the Queen’s funeral in it’s entirety which for me started at 5a.m, and finished at noon. I had my Sadler Edinburgh Castle teapot, thistle cup, Scottish tea and of course a scone. I was particularly impressed with the pallbearers who carried the coffin up those steps at Windsor! I was holding my breath. I can’t help but wonder if their shoulders have recovered!