Queen Elizabeth made an increasingly rare in-person appearance yesterday at Windsor Castle. She was using a cane, which can be seen in the photos, although the pics are carefully curated so that we don’t see the Queen actually moving around and putting her weight on the cane. The event was the Queen looking at “artefacts” from the company Halcyon Days, which started 70 years ago, the year QEII ascended to the throne. Basically, she looked at cute little gold, enamel and copper items made by the luxury gift company. As for the Queen’s mobility, her biographer Robert Hardman told GB News this week that the Queen is still sharp as a tack but the mobility issues are very real:
The Queen, 95, is on top form mentally although she has some ‘mobility issues’, her biographer has revealed. Speaking to GB news on Wednesday, Robert Hardman, 57, revealed on Wednesday she was in ‘very good spirits’ amid recent reports that she is relying on a wheelchair.
Robert, who is the author of a new book on the Queen’s life, said: ‘Mobility is something of an issue now.’ However, it’s not lowered her mood, with Robert adding: ‘I’m told by those very close to her that she’s in very good spirits, you know – absolutely pin sharp as ever. But, but there is a mobility [issue] inevitably when you’re coming up to your 96th birthday and also dignity, I think it’s terribly important. She is the Queen, she wants to be seen as the Queen, she wants to look the part.’
He said Her Majesty will have a keen interest in the current tour of the Caribbean by the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William. ‘He and the Duchess would have had a chat with the Queen before going on this trip [to] the Caribbean where she is Queen of all these countries and they’ll have a chat when they come back.’
Some have argued that it’s not that the Queen and her courtiers are not generally ableist – as in, they don’t hate people in wheelchairs generally – but that it’s very specific to the Queen and how she doesn’t want to be seen in a wheelchair. Which is still ableism. She’s almost 96 years old, she’s lucky to *only* have some mobility issues.
The Daily Beast also reports that QEII is using a wheelchair around Windsor Castle, but that she goes to great lengths to never be photographed in it. There’s a suggestion that they let her walk with a cane at this event, and in the next room, an aide had a wheelchair on stand-by. Palace courtiers are still being non-committal about whether QEII will show up at Prince Philip’s memorial next week, and they’re apparently being equally squirrelly about whether she’ll go to the opening of Parliament in May.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.