The Queen Mother (gawd bless 'er), as anybody within 100 mile radius of an English tabloid or airwave will know, has approached her 100th birthday.

Now, I do not begrudge her longevity aided as it has been by swathes of royal jelly and a personal fleet of medical aides of outstanding quality, but I do object to the number of times I have seen in print or heard over the airwaves how 'Proud' we all are of her in the UK.


Finding a cure for cancer is something to be proud of as, to a lesser extent, is getting good grades, getting a job, having a child, getting married or even staying married - but getting very old?

I'm not being ageist and fully intend to be old myself one day but being proud of someone for getting old infers that one should be ashamed about dying young. For instance, my grandmother died in her late 50's, am I therefore to expect; "I hear your grandma died, how old was she? 58? oooh, you musn't be very proud of her"

I realise that we in Britain have very little to be proud of at the moment - our sportsmen are in the doldrums, our politicians are unpopular, the Millennium Dome is an embarassment and the weather is miserable and I don't think that inventing the format for 'who wants to be a millionaire?' really counts but let's try a little harder than holding up the Queen Mother (gawd bless 'er)'s age as a beacon of national pride.

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