The Queen turns 91 this year, twice in fact: her actual birthday is today, April 21, and then she has her official birthday this weekend, with events taking place across three days, June 10-12.

But how did the resilient monarch survive nine decades, and how can the rest of us do the same?

1. Keep working

As the longest-reigning UK monarch to date, the Queen has been performing official duties for 64 years and counting.

Retirement isn’t looking like an option any time soon either, not even for her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, who turned 95 last summer.

Have a goal, a focus, and a commitment to other people – whether you’re paid for it or not – and it’ll give you something to work toward, which in turn will help keep your mind and body active and healthy.

2. Don’t smoke

Studies have found that non-smokers are twice as likely to make it to the grand old age of 90 than smokers.

3. Exercise regularly

Between walking her corgis and taking care of her horses, the Queen has become a nonagenarian. And it’s not a coincidence.

Living a sedentary lifestyle has been shown to cut the average person’s lifespan by four years, while inactivity is a sure-fire way to increase your chances of heart disease and stroke. 

[Read more: 6 ways to prevent high blood pressure]

4. Take care of your blood pressure

High blood pressure is often called the “silent killer” because it’s unlikely you’ll notice any symptoms. But keeping an eye on your blood pressure and keeping it low can cut the risk of stroke by up to 40% and heart attack by up to 25%.

5. Eat well

Have the odd treat, but eating a well-balanced diet is vital for a long and healthy life

Although the Queen has a team of chefs carefully monitoring what she eats and when, she still has afternoon tea daily, and apparently loves a gin and Dubonnet in the evening. So you can still have the odd treat, but eating a well-balanced diet filled with a range of fruit, vegetables, fish and meat – keeping sugar levels and cholesterol down – is vital for a long and healthy life.

[Read more: From cooking to playing a musical instrument - 9 hobbies that will help you live longer]

6. Maintain a healthy weight

Obesity is a major killer in the UK, while yoyo dieting and fluctuating weight can be just as damaging to your overall health. If you’re not sure what your target weight is – based on your height and age – visit your GP.





7. Being female helps

Women live an average of five to seven years longer than men. This is partly because they are better at managing stress, more likely to visit their doctor if they’re worried about their health, and less likely to take physical, dangerous risks.

8. Manage diabetes

We’re currently facing a global epidemic of diabetes and, by 2030, it has been predicted that diabetes will be the seventh leading cause of death worldwide, with many of those deaths due to cardiovascular disease. Type-2 diabetes is preventable though by managing blood sugar levels.

9. Have a hobby

Taking up a hobby you love can extend the quality and length of your life dramatically through decreasing stress, combating dementia, increasing sociability and boosting mood and health. So go pick up a book or start playing the piano!

Are you or someone you love approaching 90? What are your top tips on getting there? Share your thoughts below