Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Keep CALM royal watchers, keep CALM!

A new royal year begins. Thankfully every British royal survived 2016 and we royal watchers can all go back to our daily lives without worrying about it. At least for now.

2016 ended on a worrisome note for the royals. What with the Queen and Prince Philip both suffering from colds and foregoing taking the train to Sandringham because of it. Cue the alarmist 'KEEP CALM but here's why we should worry' and 'Here's what happens when the Queen dies...' articles. Why wait for official confirmation when we can stir up hysteria and take practice runs?

2016 was a terrible year for celebrities. Tom Hanks was spared but as the list of other notable deaths grew (David Bowie, Prince, Glen Frey, Alan Rickman, Mohammed Ali, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds), some couldn't help but fear for the Queen and Prince Philip. As if 2016 was some indiscriminate grim reaper wreaking havoc on beloved celebrities instead of just a number. As the evidence mounted that no one was safe, it was time to transfer the Queen to the safety bunker! We could breathe a sigh of relief upon either reaching January 1st, 2017 safe in the knowledge that 2016 had bypassed the most important royals. Or could we?

There is no denying that minor ailments to the young can be deadly for the elderly. The Queen and Prince Philip are now 90 and 95 respectively. Being reminded of their mortality is enough to raise anxiety and put knots in anyone's stomach. It did to mine. But just how constructive is it to count the number of days between public appearances? Concern grew when the Queen did not make her regular appearance at the New Year's Day church service. It was as if people want the Queen to get better but also make a public appearance if only to reassure us all is well. New updates on how the Queen is 'on the mend' is not enough. The Queen once reportedly said that she has to be seen to be believed. For royal watchers this has now turned to 'we won't believe it until we see her.'

One twitter follower labelled it 'ambulance chasing' and I think that is a perfect label for this type of coverage. Unfortunately, with the Queen's advancing age, we can now look forward to more of it.

© Marilyn Braun 2017

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