Give the Queen a break! She’s 96 – pulling back from public duties is the proper thing to do

Perhaps Her Majesty has had enough of performing at high-profile events – and who could blame her?

Sunny Hundal
Tuesday 10 May 2022 10:16
<p>Let someone else shake hands, congratulate people’s earnest achievements and hand out medals</p>

Let someone else shake hands, congratulate people’s earnest achievements and hand out medals

One of the weirdest aspects of British life is how some people obsess over everything the Queen does.

I get it, to a certain extent: she’s been around for a long time, she is the head of state and is the only figurehead people have known while everything else has changed. But, honestly, why not give her a break? She’s 96 – why not just let her spend the rest of her time doing lovely, leisurely things like walking around in the woods with her dogs, and stop asking her to come to official events?

Instead, people seem horrified by the idea that she is not carrying out any more public duties; that the Queen is to miss the annual state opening of parliament today for the first time in 59 years, as though this is a shock to the nation. The Prince of Wales and Duke of Cambridge will be there instead on her behalf – and in a historic, unprecedented move, Charles will read the Queen’s Speech (which is written by ministers and details the government’s plans for new laws) for her.

I think it’s great. I’m not shocked, I’m pleased – because it will give her a rest. And she deserves it! After all, we’ve heard she’s suffering from “episodic mobility problems”, and the advice of the royal doctors is that she gives the high-pressure, high-profile performance a miss, this year.

As well as her very valid health reasons, I think the Queen might be making a good point, actually: perhaps she has had enough of performing in public. And who could blame her? Take today, for example – she is expected to address the nation and talk about legislation that this incompetent government has conjured up. Would that be something you would choose to do in the sunset of your life?

You get the point, right? For the Queen to be forced into attending public events now must be nothing short of torture. She’s been in the public eye for 90 years – when does she get a break? Do people honestly think doing public events, standing there silently in some elaborate ceremony is fun?

Instead, we now need an action plan for the Queen to have fun and enjoy the rest of her days, rather than waste them wandering around a palace (ok, I wouldn’t mind that) or waving at people. But in order for Her Majesty to get the break she needs and deserves, we in the media need to respect that, too.

What Elizabeth II really needs is for us all to (respectfully) ignore her. A media embargo so she can be free of the tyranny of constant attention. Let her live and relax a little – allow her to enjoy her old age.

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It’s clear that she doesn’t like (or doesn’t feel well enough) to do public events any more – and she shouldn’t have to attend if she doesn’t want to. I’d go further and say she doesn’t even need to justify her reasons for not being there. She is the Queen, after all.

Let someone else shake hands, congratulate people’s earnest achievements and hand out medals. Why does she even have to make an excuse? At this point, I suspect she’s had perfectly enough of her subjects to last her a lifetime.

No, let the Queen chill a little. Let her enjoy the rest of her days without attention, without coverage, without hassle and without all these public events. As a nation, that’s the least we could do for Her Majesty in return for all she’s given us: a lifetime of public service.

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