Caroline Blakeney had only been back home a week after the trip of a lifetime to Egypt before she made a booking to go to India. The 62-year-old hadn’t been abroad for 23 years before she took the flight to Cairo, now there’s no holding her back.
“It’s all out there to be seen, you’ve got to go for it,” she says. “A couple of people I knew of a similar or younger age had died of heart attacks. I thought, ‘Come on Caroline. You’re never going to see the world unless you go’.”
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With eyes well and truly opened and new friendships forged, Caroline, from Thornbury near Bristol, is a prime example of a new kind of midlife woman dubbed the ‘Queenager’. Some like Caroline are still working, others are retired; they have grown-up children, fewer commitments, are confident and ready to make the most out of life.
According to research carried out by media consultancy Noon, the most in-depth study of ABC1
(middle-class) women aged 45-60 undertaken in Britain, Queenagers have spending power, authority over decision making, autonomy and years of wisdom and experience to put to good use. They’re interested in finance, politics, health and achieving joy in their lives.
In Britain there are 8.5 million in the ABC1 group aged 40-65. They spend £92 billion annually, make 95% of the household spending decisions and out-consume their 30-year-old friends by 250%. Yet they are often invisible in marketing and advertising.