London – at 73, King Charles III Starting their dream job at an age most men are long retired and resting in a comfortable chair – not sitting on a throne.
But the new king has something that many of his British subjects don’t—namely the remarkable genes he inherited from his parents, gerontologists say.
,king charles long-lived genes,” said Dr. June McCoy, professor of medicine in geriatrics. Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, “Both parents lived long. That’s because they have long telomeres, protective caps at the ends of chromosomes. Charles could live into his 90s, and the emperor usually served until he died.”
A Northwestern colleague, Dr. Sarah Bradley, agreed, noting that Charles’ mother, Queen Elizabeth II, was 96 when she died Last Thursday, and his father, Prince PhilipHe was about 100 years old when he died the previous year.
“Seventy-three is too young,” Bradley said. “He had a mother who could work in his older age. He probably has good genes and will be around for a while.”
That hope was expressed by several British retirees in the crowd entering Buckingham Palace on Sunday to pay respects to Britain’s longest-serving monarch, Elizabeth.
“He’s spent his whole life training for this job,” said Dave Thompson, 72, of Croydon, a retired auto electrician, holding the hand of his 3-year-old granddaughter, Ivy Rees. “I’m sure his aches and pains are like mine. But you just have to get up and move on, right.”
Unlike the average Briton, Charles bears the burden of maintaining the monarchy – and tolerates the praise and criticism that come with the institution. But he has many people on hand to keep him in top form.
“He’s got a lot of support,” said Joe Halton, 78, a retired financial advisor who lives in Dorset, south of London.
Not only does Charles have the country’s top doctors watching over his health, he also has a small army of assistants, aides and domestic workers to help him through the day.
“Her entire education from the age of 5 has been prepared for this moment,” said Halton’s 79-year-old husband, Les, a retired architect. “He is very fit, very fast. I think he is ready to take over for his mother.”
But Charles is also showing his age, said Northwestern’s McCoy, who is originally from Manchester, England.
“He stays fit; He still rides horses and walks his vast estate,” McCoy said in an email. “But there are age-related changes that he won’t have control over. His posture is sloping which makes him think he may have osteoporosis. When bones become weak, people lose some height, usually two inches.”
Furthermore, as with many 73-year-olds, “he will take longer to obtain information than someone younger than him,” McCoy said. “He may try to remember something historical; he knows it’s there, but it’s giving him away.”
Rogers Williams is a year older than Charles, lives in Hastings and still manages a nursing home.
“Yeah, I think he’s up for the job,” Williams said of the new king. “I’m 74 and in principle, I’m in charge.”
“But not the country,” said his partner, Wendy Leigh, with a laugh. She is 60 years old and is a retired kitchen and bathroom design consultant.
“But I agree that King Charles is ready to be king,” Leigh said. “Seventy-three are not that old anymore.”
Asked if he had any advice for the new king, Williams said, “Don’t put things off.”
“That’s what the queen did,” he said. “Get it done, you’ll fall asleep easily.”
It’s excellent advice, McCoy said.
“She has to be as fast as the Queen’s routine was,” McCoy said. “Queens always wake up early. Following a routine when you grow up gives that person a sense of cognitive security, but it also maintains their mood levels and keeps them focused. When you have a routine So you don’t get worried.”
And there’s a lot to be worried about, she said.
“He’s coming to England, which has just elected a new prime minister, who has a lot on his plate,” McCoy said, referring to Liz Truss. “The country is in trouble financially. The situation with Russia is tough. What the king does is going to be more important than ever because England needs a strong, stable man.”
Also, when Shakespeare wrote “The head who wears the crown has restlessness in his head“He was writing about King Henry IV, who was only 45 years old at the time of his death in 1413.
“He needs to get enough sleep at night and eat a balanced diet,” McCoy said of Charles. “His program shouldn’t be too heavy. King may need a 30-minute break to cognitively regenerate and reset his internal cognitive compass.”
Bradley said that Charles was lucky to have his mother as a role model.
“There’s research showing how your perception of aging affects your age,” Bradley said. “People who have age-positive perceptions tend to be better. People who think you can do a lot as they get older have less cognitive decline. The same applies to them. They have their mother’s role model, who is a highly active older adult. His perception of being able to do a lot as he gets older is protective of his own cognitive function.”