Buzzfeed Sports have what I’m sure they thought would be a funny piece cataloguing the Queen’s sixteen most excited faces captured during the recent opening ceremony for the London 2012 Olympic Games. This is obviously in reference to the numerous remarks by commentators that Queen Elizabeth II seemed less than enthralled or impressed by many of the goings-on in the stadium.
However, as I started to look through the pictures I became more convinced that the bored and often distant facial expressions are much more a symptom of tiredness than boredom. And not just day-to-day tiredness, but a rather more profound one.
Take this, for example:
Here, the Queen is declaring the London 2012 Olympic Games officially open. This was a joyous moment, but I believe she spoke fewer than twelve words.
Or this one:
And compare these to this image of the Queen at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester, a decade ago:
Of course, she continues to fulfil all of her duties as head of state superbly, and beyond reproach. But, quite understandably, a decade older and with her husband in failing health, and fresh from an exhausting list of Diamond Jubilee commitments, she does appear to be slowing down markedly.
All of which is perfectly fine, but for the fact that more and more of her duties are likely to fall to her heir, the organic food-loving, modern architecture-hating, idiosyncratic Prince Charles.