Royals’ Lifespan on Average Much Longer Than That of Ordinary People, Study Shows
Members of the UK’s Royal family have lived long lives, including the Queen’s mother, who died at the age of 101, and her husband, who died just two months before celebrating his 100th birthday.
Members of royal families live 26 percent longer than their subjects, according to a study by Professor Les Mayhew at the International Longevity Centre and the Bayes Business School.
The 95-year-old British Queen Elizabeth II is older than nearly all Britons, with only 100,000 people in the country living longer, and 85 percent of the population cannot remember another monarch, as she ascended the throne at the age of 25. The research found that for every 100-year-old royal, the average person could expect to live to the age of 74 years.
“The Windsors have, like any monarchy, quite a cocooned existence and can shield themselves from the ravages of poverty and living in slums, which was much more typical and common back in the early 20th and late 19th century, which set the tone,” he said as cited by The Telegraph.
The scientist noted that that the British population is gradually narrowing the gap, but there is still “a gulf, which partly speaks to wider inequalities in wider society.”
Mayhew started his research with King George V, who was born in 1865 and lived 70 years, while half of the population born in 1880 died at the age of 60. On the other hand, only a quarter of those who were born in 1930 died at the same age.
George’s grandmother, Queen Victoria, was born in 1819 and died at the age of 81, despite the fact that women of her time had an average life expectancy of 41 years.
Significant medical improvements, including vaccination of children that reduced mortality among those under five years old, and slum clearances have contributed to the increase in life expectancy
, according to the professor.
He said that the Queen’s long reign has helped the country to overcome decades of profound changes.
“The longer you are there - as long as you behave yourself - the more respect you get. She has deserved that respect,” he noted. “It has definitely brought a continuity and stability to the country through some pretty awful times, when you look back at the 50s, 60s, 70s and the things which have happened, especially the industrial disputes and economic transformations.”
Mayhew, who watched the Queen’s coronation as a child, added that Britons “will find it very very odd when she dies, because it will feel like everything we have ever known has been thrown out the window.”
An earlier study, published in Lancet
, showed that the global life expectancy would increase by 4.4 years by 2040. The forecast varies from country to country. Most significant improvements are expected in Japan, Singapore, Spain, and Switzerland, which have forecasted life expectancies exceeding 85 years for both sexes, while “59 countries including China were projected to surpass a life expectancy of 80 years by 2040.”