Prepare yourselves for another episode of It’s What Prince Philip Would Have Wanted. Prince Philip passed away in April, and since then, the Windsors have been using his memory to justify their own actions. “It’s what Philip would have wanted” has become a common refrain for the royal commentators too, as they weaponize a dead man for their own ends. It’s mildly grotesque. Today’s episode features an interview with Angela Levin, who discussed Queen Elizabeth’s hospitalization this week, and the general sentiments in the air about whether or not the Queen should abdicate.
The Queen should be encouraged to step back: ‘We’ve got to sort of encourage her to take a step back or sideways or something to allow her body to recover from the engagements that she does. I think it’s a fight between her head and her body, because she wants to do it, she feels she can, she’s very articulate, she’s absolutely spot on with everything she says, but her body is 95 years old. I think if Prince Philip was still around, he would exercise a bit of control and say ‘look, stop it, don’t go to so many engagements and relax a bit’.
The Queen’s religious reason: ‘I think she thinks she does it best [compared to other royals] and she’s the most experienced, but I think the main thing is the religious one, that when she was 21 and she said that she would do her best to be the Queen and with God’s help she would do it until she died. The coronation actually confirmed that as it is a holy event as well as a royal one, and she doesn’t want to break her link with that. It would make her feel very bad because she is devout.
Why is everyone talking about the Pope? ‘However, the Pope has stepped back, he retired for the first time [Benedict XVI in 2013] – and popes are not supposed to leave their job until they die too, and I think you have to take into consideration that people live much longer than they did in 1947 [when she married Prince Philip].’
Levin on how the Queen has given up booze: ‘I think there’s an emotional attachment to that too, she used to have Dubonnet with various mixtures, and it was always Prince Philip’s duty to do it at lunchtime and the evening if they were there together, and it was part of their relationship. And I think it no longer has the same taste really because he’s not there, he used to get the amounts absolutely spot on.’
Phil Dampier commented too: He told LBC today: ‘We just all hope that she’s in fine fettle for the Cop26 next month, and of course – most importantly of all for us royal watchers – the Platinum Jubilee next year when she celebrates 70 years on the throne, so I think we need to wrap her up in cotton wool at the moment. You worry about Covid, we know that she’s had both of the original jabs, and I’m sure she’s probably had the booster, I think she’s probably the first person in the country who would have got one. She’s had colds in the past but the fact that they tried to keep it a secret is a little bit worrying. I think she’s probably OK but they were just being extra careful.’
I remember when the Queen had that heavy cold over Christmas 2016, and even legitimate media outlets were freaking out a little bit and running stories about what happens when the Queen dies and the line of succession. The media goes overboard every time QEII has a health issue, but this time it does feel much more serious, especially given the palace’s failure to disclose her hospitalization in real time.
As for the rest of it… I have no idea what Philip would have wanted and neither does Angela Levin. I also think it’s kind of cruel for Dampier to keep reminding everyone that the Queen *needs* to show up at the climate change conference ten days from now – she’s a 95-year-old woman in ill health, stop trying to throw a guilt-trip on her or force her to go back to work before she’s ready.
Photos courtesy of Backgrid, WENN, social media, Avalon Red.