After reigning for more than six decades, Queen Elizabeth II’s popularity is already well-entrenched with a recent survey saying that she is surpassed by her grandson Prince Harry only in the ratings. As expected of a public figure, however, there will always be detractors who would point out that Her Majesty has her shortcomings in one particular area.

She’s Not Too Close To Her Children

While the Queen performed her role as a monarch to perfection, one area that many feel Her Majesty’s performance is less than stellar is in rearing her children, Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward. “Utterly, utterly lacking, I'm afraid,” one retired courtier quipped, adding that the Queen did nothing to guide her children when they faced crucial moments in their lives while growing up.

In fact, even Queen Elizabeth II was aware that she is lacking in that area. “I was once with the Queen and Prince Philip when they spoke very frankly of the desperation they felt about their children,” a retired senior courtier revealed. “‘Where did we go wrong?’ the Queen asked Philip, ‘and what can I do now? Charles is already in his forties.’”

But The Reasons Were Never Intentional

Most likely, ending up emotionally distant from her children was not intentional on the Queen’s part. One reason is that Her Majesty was thrust into the throne at such a young age that she was simply unprepared for it.

“At the beginning, she was learning the job and simply had too much on her plate to enjoy Charles and Anne,” former private secretary Lord Charteris explained. “She went off on a six-month tour just 18 months after her accession in 1952, leaving the children behind.”

Another reason was that she was brought up in an “old-fashioned, upper-class upbringing” where, unless absolutely necessary, one is expected to solve one’s own problems rather than seek help from one’s parents. “As children, I don't think they felt they could talk to her,” another former private secretary said. “She's so strong, so stiff-upper-lip, so afraid of her emotions. They got the message that they were expected to overcome their difficulties for themselves and get on with it.”

She’s A Perfect Host To Guests

However, all her dedication to doing work for the throne is now without its rewards. After hobnobbing with the world’s elite for decades, she has mastered the art of being the perfect host to her guests.

“She loves receiving guests, and knows how to put people at ease,” explained Reinaldo Herrera, a long-time royal family friend. “At Buckingham Palace, she stands at the top of the stairs, welcoming everyone. She is wonderful at mixing old and new friends. The Queen loved dancing to her favorite tunes by Lester Lanin, whose orchestra played at some of her parties.”

Queen Elizabeth Queen Elizabeth II smiles as she is congratulated on the news of Prince William's engagement to Kate Middleton. Lewis Whyld - WPA Pool/Getty Images