jpg Over the years Elizabeth was to become president or patron of 312 bodies. To motivate herself she placed a note on her desk - "Do It Now" - which she cheerfully admitted she usually ignored. Her key motivational inspiration was the Bowes-Lyon belief in putting the welfare of others before one's own. "If one loves one's country," she told her biographer Dorothy Laird in the 1960s, "such service is something one is proud to do and give."

Unlike other royals, she never sought to reduce the number of charities she headed. She fulfilled three engagements a week at 80, and in her early 90s still averaged 120 a year. Retirement was not a word that sat easily with this royal matriarch.
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