Today, our late and much-loved Queen Elizabeth will be laid to rest. And I feel, as part of our farewell to her, it would be fitting to look at the extraordinary death she had. A death that was only possible because of the way she lived.

I have mentioned the term “compressed morbidity” in this column before. It means, simply, that the period when someone is sick or disabled is reduced, and the process of actual dying is short.

I once went to a lecture about this – around about 2006 – and I was so persuaded by what I learned that day that I wrote a book on positive ageing afterwards, and have been an advocate for it ever since.

The Harvard professor who gave that lecture, Andrew Weil, maintained that in the Western world far too many people had a prolonged period of dying in that they were immobile, demented, poorly and often miserable for years.

His view was that of course some illnesses come out of the blue and cause a very long decline, but that by living differently, many of us could avoid the conditions we now associate with old age, and live more completely and vibrantly for longer, after which we would die – and die swiftly.

In our late monarch, we have seen an example of compressed morbidity at its absolute best. On Tuesday, September 6, she bade farewell to one prime minister and welcomed another.

She was photographed looking elderly and quite frail, but smiling and full of spirit and energy. By teatime on the Thursday, September 8, she had departed this world. You can’t compress your morbidity much more than that, can you? And how many of us have said over the past few days: “that’s the way I’d like to go”? I know I have.

But if we are to give ourselves a chance of dying in a similar way to her, we probably need to live more like her too.

Now, I can imagine many readers will want to point out that Queen Elizabeth was privileged, with no money worries, and had people sorting out her health throughout her life whenever there was the merest hint of anything going awry.

All that is true. She never had to hang on the phone to the local health centre at eight in the morning, hoping and praying that somehow she might be seen by a doctor that day, or even that week. Neither was she ever going to lie on a trolley in A&E for 10 hours.

But she did have to cope with a lot of stress that we can barely imagine. Stress that might well have caused severe health problems if she had handled it differently. Every day of her life she had to be wary about what she said. Every day of her life she had to live with constant scrutiny, always making sure she did her best to do the right thing.

Every day she worked – right up 48 hours before her death. That may well have been what kept her young, but how many of us would manage to stay on top of such a demanding job and keep doing it till the age she was?

So how did she do it? Clearly, good genes come into it; though she lost her father when he was only 56, her mother lived to be 101. She also had a full and rewarding social network, which is something many scientists believe is a major component in keeping us well and youthful.

There were trusted staff, good friends and family, many of whom, I’m sure, increased her pleasure in life, which in turn may well have kept her healthy. Happy people do tend to live longer.

And of course, famously, she had very close contact with dogs and horses. And they seem to have been huge sources of joy in her life.

But there must have been some behind the scenes effort at keeping fit through exercise, eating sensibly and well. It’s easy when you’re widowed to take refuge in alcohol, tubs of ice cream or boxes of chocolates but I can’t imagine she would have allowed herself to indulge in that kind of comfort-behaviour.

From what we are learning of her, she was funny and had fun – but she must also have been hugely disciplined to keep going in the way she did and to maintain amazingly good health.

Are there lessons here for us?

Is there something – eating more healthily, giving up smoking, exercising more regularly, keeping busy even if retired – that you could do that might make a big difference to how well you age?

We will always remember where we were and what we were doing when we heard that our Queen had died.

I can’t help feeling that it would be a great tribute to her if every one of us marked her passing by adopting a good health habit or abandoning a bad one.

That would be something we could all do, and might mean that we come nearer to living, and dying, as wonderfully as she did