London Diary: Amid Public Concerns for the Queen, Royals Bare Rifts
The most dreaded fact that Britain confronts as it celebrates the Platinum Jubilee of the Queen is that she is 96. She appeared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on the first day of the ceremonies to mark the celebrations.
She appeared frail but well enough. But that brief appearance seems to have exhausted her enough to rule her out of the Thanksgiving ceremony at St Paul’s. And then on the Derby, perhaps a greater loss to her given her passion for horses.
But, of course, at 96, she can get exhausted enough after a demanding day, and some rest is best advised. And who is forgetting that her mother lived to be 101. But it’s not like the Queen to miss out on such moments unless entirely unavoidable. But her absence has ringed the celebrations with a circle of worry.
Everyone is looking for reassurances from the palace, and more, to see her at the next big event. And to see her at her next biggest event, may she live to be a hundred.
The great moment for the royalty has shown up a divided family for all to see. Prince Andrew who has been stripped of his royal titles was not visible on the balcony at the palace, nor were Harry and Meghan. Only the “working royalty” would be present, the Palace announced.
Accordingly, the much downgraded Prince Harry and Meghan turned up to attend the Thanksgiving ceremony at St. Paul’s, to cheers from the fans of royalty gathered around, Harry has always been popular. But he is clearly not popular with his own family.
He was seated at the other end of the aisle across from the favoured royalty led by Prince William and Kate and of course Prince Charles, who blew a kiss at Kate but offered not a glance towards Harry. Nor did Prince William, even though Harry was see craning around to catch his eye.
This surprises no one. Royalty can get brutal in its exclusions when it has to. And who is forgetting, it is Harry who opted out.
But it was still good PR for the royals to wish a happy first birthday to Harry and Meghan’s daughter Lilibet – after snubbing them publicly a day earlier. A tweeted wish was all the little one could hope to get, she is out of the line of royal inheritance. Such a split, and the calibration of a space between inclusion and exclusion is an art the British royalty has always been rather good at.
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