The Queen’s new video casts doubt on Her Majesty’s reason for not attending a key Platinum Jubilee event.
Usually one of the things that is so charming about watching the royal family in their natural habitat is the amazingly normal details that can be seen in the background.
Snap countless pictures showing the Queen prefers cheap bar heaters to keep her Windsor Castle apartments warm (One worries about his bills). Or that she, at the age of 96, seems to have developed a ferocious sweet tooth with a box of $8 mints and a sample of $380 Fortnum and Mason sweets, which are regularly seen in the background of shots of her greeting dignitaries in the Castle’s Oak Room. .
But now we have the reverse with a 17-second video of Her Majesty raising questions about how direct Buckingham Palace is about her health after the shocking news that she won’t be attending a Friday Thanksgiving service at St Paul’s Cathedral after experiencing ” some discomfort” during Trooping the Color.
“Discomfort” suggests a slight tingling or maybe a mild pain here and there: Nothing like baby Panadol and boiled eggs on your knees in front of Songs of Praise restart could not figure it out. (Actually, this should be an exciting police drama. Job responsibilities which Her Majesty drank during the pandemic.)
Whatever the indomitable monarch actually suffered from, it certainly is not “discomfort”.
In less than a year, we’ve watched a ninety-year-old woman go from looking handsome to being hospitalized for some mysterious reason, having to constantly rely on a cane to deploy Maj-Mobile, her $107,000 luxury golf cart, while walking around town. . The Chelsea Flower Show, missing the State Opening of Parliament for the first time in almost 60 years and missing the Horse Guards Parade for the first time to salute during Trooping the Colour.
We had anxiety after anxiety as Buckingham Palace vigorously tried to sell the notion that all that was wrong was “episodic mobility problems”.
Right. And the Titanic preemptively docked in the middle of the voyage.
Early Friday morning, a new video posted to Twitter showed her becoming increasingly frail and wobbly, casting doubt on Palace’s “discomfort” line.
That’s how things were in London.
On Thursday evening, after all the excitement that Trouping and her four-year-old great-grandson Prince Louis put on a memo-tastic display on the balcony of the Palace during the RAF overflight, she returned to Windsor Castle, where she lit a candle. the first of 3,500 Platinum Jubilee lighthouses around the world.
The royal press dutifully waited for her to press a huge ball-shaped button with a gaudy crown decoration.
Videos posted by said credible reporters show her walking confidently, if not very quickly, towards the Castle quadrangle for the ceremony, using a cane, while a small gathered crowd waits. As long as it’s so calm.
But then comes the important moment, a reminder that much of royal life involves little curtains, shovels, and the occasional bottle of Waitrose champagne meeting the hull of a frigate.
The clip shows Her Majesty walking heavily on her cane while standing in front of the “button” and then awkwardly jabbing her cane forward and beginning to sway slightly as Peter McGouran, Chief Yeoman Warden of the Tower of London, turns and begins to march away. Then for a good two or three seconds, the Queen appears to be standing there, looking slightly unsure, before looking up at the medal-winning aide to her right. He steps forward quickly, his concern clear, and he’s ready to help her take the two-TWO-small steps needed to get to the switch before she staggers the short distance on her pair.
This very shaky performance will only fuel fears about how beautiful Her Majesty can be.
So far, the strategy that the Palace has ruthlessly pursued has been to not reveal absolutely no details about her health, which in turn only exacerbated the fears.
It is clear that something mechanical is going wrong with the sovereign. She underwent knee surgery in 2003 and is known to have hip problems. In February, when she received two senior military ranks at Windsor, she remarked somewhat dryly: “Well, as you can see, I can’t move.” She tested positive for Covid that same month.
There were also rumors elsewhere that she had some kind of heart problem, which would hardly come as a surprise given her very advanced age.
Videos with the beacon turned on only make her unsteadiness on her feet painfully obvious, and should certainly call into question how long she can continue to do work that requires a certain amount of personal presence.
Her refusal to serve at St. Paul’s Hospital only emphasizes this twice and thrice.
While prolonged sitting in a drafty church is hardly what a sane doctor would recommend, Her Majesty is a woman dedicated to her faith. Leading up to the anniversary celebrations, this service has always been an event seemingly written down in red pen in her diary; on one walk, it seemed like we were guaranteed to see her presence. This is not something she would like to miss, or a choice she would make lightly.
(A number of considerations and amendments have already been made, as was the case at Westminster Abbey in March for Prince Philip’s thanksgiving service, to ensure her comfort, such as not having to climb stairs or travel long distances.)
There is also the fact that she experiences “some discomfort” after Trooping, a picnic that only included two short turns on the balcony.
First, she appeared with her cousin the Duke of Kent (a royal colonel who, unfortunately, at 86 years old, did not survive the parade in the saddle for 11 minutes) for 11 minutes to salute.
Then, about 25 minutes later, she reappeared with the rest of the royal family, including William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their three children, where she stood for another ten minutes.
So we have a day where a 50-minute Range Rover ride from Windsor Castle to the Monarchy headquarters in central London, followed by a total of 21 minutes of standing on the balcony, then a family lunch and the drive back, has left her. Too tired to show up at St. Paul’s?
Compare that to her Diamond Jubilee ten years ago, when she and Prince Philip stood for four long hours in the cold and rain on a specially decorated barge as part of the royal flotilla on the Thames, avoiding the throne-like chairs provided to them. Comfort? Pa! Queens don’t do that.
As the videos of the lighthouse turning on prove, even keeping Her Majesty upright, and sometimes on her feet, now seems an increasingly impossible task. Given that her work is based on ceremonial exits and public speaking, how long can she continue to do business when it is obvious that the most basic walks are now physically beyond her strength?
Her spirit is clearly as strong as ever; her flesh, not so.
Whether we will see the Queen again during the anniversary, which will last three more days, remains to be seen, but it is clear that this celebration is the beginning of the end of her public life.
When she stepped out onto the balcony for the Air Force overflight, she looked at the huge crowd and simply said, “Incredible.” And she has been, for 70 long years.
But it’s time for her to step back – let her get chocolate, TV and bar heaters – it’s time for her to let her son break into a higher job.
Daniela Elser is a royal expert and writer with over 15 years of experience working with a range of leading Australian media outlets.