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article imageOp-Ed: The Queen gets her travel pass at last, now should she retire?

By Alexander Baron     Mar 21, 2013 in Politics
London - Yesterday, the Queen visited Baker Street Station to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the London Underground. Should she still be doing this sort of thing at her age?
If someone calls you bone idle and a scrounger, it doesn't take ESP to realise he's not a member of your fan club. That was how one of Her Majesty's not-so-loyal subjects described her two years ago. Leaving aside the socialist rhetoric, one phrase that could never be applied to the Queen in all honesty is "bone idle". Earlier this month, Her Majesty was hospitalised with a stomach infection. And was back at work the following day. Not bad going for a woman of 86. That is EIGHTY-SIX to you Mr Champion of the working class. Not.
So why does she do it? As the comrades never tire of pointing out, she certainly doesn't need the money, but most of the Queen's wealth is held by her symbolically. Police officers in the UK keep the Queen's peace, and prosecutions are brought in her name, but she doesn't own the deeds to the local police station or Exeter Crown Court.
The London Underground was 150 years old earlier this year, and the Queen visited Baker Street Station to view the latest rolling stock, and some vintage stock too. Prince Philip was at her side, and her granddaughter-in-law was with them. According to the BBC, the Queen had visited the London Underground only five times before this. So when she was presented with a free travel pass, we can assume that was more symbolic than practical.
She's been doing this sort of thing since before most of us were born, which together with her recent ill-health begs the question, why doesn't she retire?
The simple answer is duty, but she is now not only a grandmother but a great-grandmother, and although many older people like to keep active, surely it is time HM took a back seat and allowed the younger generation to do the lion's share? Kate is clearly up to it, and although Prince Charles may never be king, he still maintains a hectic schedule.
No, the Queen should not abdicate, but who would object if she were to substitute a couple of half days a week for her busy schedule? Not that she should sit at home in the Palace and fade away, but having served us for over sixty years, who apart from the comrades would object if for the rest of her life - hopefully at least another twenty years - she were to put her family first?
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about London underground, baker street station, Queen elizabeth II, Kate Middleton
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