Queen Elizabeth used a cane at an in-person event at Windsor Castle

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.’

[From The Daily Mail]

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.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

40 Responses to “Queen Elizabeth used a cane at an in-person event at Windsor Castle”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. BayTampaBay says:

    Was not Princess Margaret given a hard time by the courtiers for being photographed in a wheelchair? I seem to remember reading this somewhere.

    • Jan90067 says:

      Wasn’t it that PM wasn’t as “regal” looking in the chair? Slumped, arm in a poorly wrapped sling, huge wrap around glasses, a schamata covering her hair, throw over her legs, and the ever present ciggie. She also always seemed drunk. I think a tab got that *first* pic (in others she was more “kempt”, but that first pic what is burned in Liz’s mind: *that* is how *she* would present.

      • Beth says:

        For the love of God, someone needs to fit that woman’s cane. It is like 4 inches too tall. I’m guessing she thinks a smaller one would look less regal, but she would do so much better with something her size.

      • Feeshalori says:

        She needs the extra length to bop William on the head for that disastrous tour!

      • Elizabeth Phillips says:

        I’ve seen plenty of people look elegant in wheelchairs.

      • VoominVava says:

        @Beth: I think I read that she is using Phillip’s cane

  2. C-Shell says:

    I snort-LOLed at ‘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.’ I’ll just BET they will.

    I also can envision a scenario in which the courtiers, in a swivet over the Caribbean Disaster, decided to roll out the Queen to remind everyone what a sweet, cheery monarch she is. 🙄 Use the damned wheelchair, Bess.

    • Feeshalori says:

      I’d love to be a fly on the wall for that post-trip debriefing with HM and Charles. Too bad no one put any deep thought into planning that shambolic trip as much as they do keeping pictures of the queen in a wheelchair out of sight and planning a military-type operation for her to attend the memorial.

    • Eurydice says:

      We posted this at the same time. I don’t know if W&K will be happy that TQ is still sharp as a tack. They can’t get away with “No worries, granny. Everything went swimmingly.”

    • PaulaH says:

      This is exactly what happened. Like the rest of us, BP watched as the Keens began to dismantle the Monarchy in view of the entire world. I believe it was one thing for the Keens to ruin themselves but when they began to blatantly cosplay The Queen from 1950 it went too far for them. So, they needed to change the subject and remind the world that The Queen is 95 years old, and she’s not the person the Keen’s are showing the world.

  3. Eurydice says:

    Lol, I’ll bet there’ll be a “chat” with Will when he gets back.

  4. Jan90067 says:

    I can’t imagine they’ll let her walk down that long aisle for the Opening of Parliament, esp. with a crown/cape. That IS an accident waiting to happen. And I’ll bet TQ was already IN the room, in place, when this group was let in. Probably wheeled in, helped to stand, and barely moved.

    Such a shame she’s going to let pride and vanity rob her of her mobility to get out and enjoy the few months/years she has left to her. IMO, that is just DUMB!

    • SenseOfTheAbsurd says:

      Surely they can’t put a crown on her unless there’s a lightweight plastic replica. It’d break her neck. Looking at her, she’s shrunken right down, and the bones are weakening so she’s all hunched over. Lady in the coral is curtseying all the way down, and there’s only a few inches between them.

      • Feeshalori says:

        At the last opening of Parliament in 2021, the queen didn’t wear ceremonial robes nor the imperial state crown which was placed in front of her. If she’s able to attend this one, it will be the same I’m sure.

  5. Cara says:

    It’s absolutely ableist. She might have gotten away with using one in public if the rest of her family wasn’t such a s$&@show. Thinks she won’t be seen as strong and all that nonsense.

  6. MerlinsMom1018 says:

    She’s gonna use that cane to beat the snot outta Cambridge when he gets back

  7. Nancy says:

    Well here is an unpopular opinion for you. If the woman doesn’t want to be seen in public in a wheelchair at 96 years old she should be able to decide that for herself. It’s a personal choice.

    • Amy Bee says:

      Well, if that’s the case perhaps she should think about stepping down and give the throne to Charles. If she can’t do the “job” then she should abdicate.

      • Kate says:

        @Amy Bee not sure why her mobility issues make you think she can’t do the job, especially if she is still mentally fit.

      • Amy Bee says:

        @Kate: So is it the Queen will never seen in public again? Part of her job is to do engagements outside the Palace. If she is unable to do so, then she should step aside.

      • Eurydice says:

        @Amy Bee – the Queen has been seen plenty outside the palace in her 70 years on the job. Whatever we might think of the quality of her work, she’s done it for 70 years and, for the most part, the people like and admire her for it. With all the polls saying that Charles is nowhere near as likable as TQ, I don’t think the people want her to step down.

    • Saucy&Sassy says:

      What I found interesting is that they said twice in the above paragraphs that her mental acuity was just fine. Did I hear anyone ask about that? Why, no, I didn’t. Now I’m wondering about it. Also, I thought a Queen put her personal desires aside for the good of her subjects. What I read above is that using a wheelchair is something to be hidden away. No, Nancy, that’s not a choice for a Queen. She wants to be seen as strong? Then use the wheelchair and carry on. I haven’t decided if this is a vanity issue or a distraction from the real issue–health really poor or a decided downturn for her mental acutiy.

      • JanetDR says:

        I don’t want to speculate too much, but I feel like the smile we are seeing now is unlike what we typically see for the queen. She looks delighted and a bit simple. These particular photos are not the first time I’ve noticed. Usually, she looks disgruntled and not at all delighted.

  8. Cessily says:

    These people really need to get over themselves, put the old lady in a wheelchair for god sakes before she breaks a hip because at her age that is a fatal injury. (Statistics will back that up). I wish my grandmother could have lived to see 95 wheelchair or not. We are not living in The Franklin Delano Roosevelt era. Her country sent sons and daughters to war and they returned home to face prosthetics, wheelchairs, traumatic brain injuries and ptsd she is a horrible person imo.

  9. Amy Bee says:

    I’m amazed that someone at the Palace hasn’t realised yet that the refusal to have the Queen seen in a wheelchair is ablest and that her being in a chair could help other people.

    • Merricat says:

      That would fly in the face of their “the queen is immortal” narrative. Any sign of weakness means the monarchy will crumble, as it will do upon her death. So yeah, ableist.

  10. LaraW" says:

    You know, I had some ambivalent feelings about Liz and admittedly sort of gave her the benefit of the doubt because of 1) Harry’s affection for her, 2) the veneer of her exalted reputation, and 3) the fact that I’m not British and believed I didn’t have a stake in the system of the monarchy.

    But this Caribbean tour has left me firmly on the side of Petty Betty. She can be all cute and doddering and cashing in on her Jubbly years of dedicated service, but what was that “service” towards? Maintaining a racist colonial empire which denigrated the sovereign rights of millions of people and caused untold amounts of suffering, all while living off the stolen wealth of those nations.

    The fact of the matter is, for the past 30+ years, she and the RF coasted on the goodwill generated by Diana. It seemed like the monarchy was a generally benevolent institution because of Diana’s work de-stigmatizing and advocating for people with HIV/AIDS, her campaign against land mines, and let’s be honest, the fact that Diana was beautiful, graceful, charismatic, beloved around the world, and died a sudden, tragic death. Imagine what the monarchy would have looked like today if it had been Charles and Camilla (or some equally boorish aristocratic lady) from the start.

    One thing that really stuck in my mind from The Crown (and those more knowledgeable, please let me know if this was a misrepresentation) was that Charles and Diana were deployed to Australia to mount a “charm offensive” of their own, right when Australia was contemplating removing itself from the Commonwealth (or removing Liz as head of state, I don’t remember which). What would’ve happened if that charm offensive failed? Maybe NZ and Canada would have followed suit. Maybe the momentum would’ve swept across the Commonwealth nations.

    The RF hid a multitude of sins behind Diana, just as they did with Harry. They successfully projected this image of a “very much not a racist family” because of those powerful images of Diana’s compassionate treatment of Black children with AIDS.

    Petty Betty may not have “actively” encouraged the racism and colonialist attitudes, but her inertia allowed it to fester. She didn’t do anything to stop the smears against Meghan, she didn’t speak up to defend her great-grandson when they called him a chimp, and that inertia is in itself a choice. Make all the excuses you want about how traumatized she was by her uncle’s abdication or whatever, dress up her years of complacency as an act of dedicated service, but the rot in the RF didn’t come from a vacuum.

  11. Deeanna says:

    Agree with the above assessment. And as a wheelchair user, I am OFFENDED by the Queen of England telling me that I am “less than” and have no dignity because of it.

    Having screening fences put up, etc. It’s ridiculous!

    I well remember the photo of the ill Margaret in the wheelchair. Take a second look at that photo. The problem was not the wheelchair, it was Margaret’s unkempt and badly cared-for appearance. It was indeed appalling, then and now.

    Major celebrities, politicians and world leaders have had to use wheelchairs at times. And they were able to do so with dignity. Elizabeth Taylor was one of my favorites. And more recently there was Lady Gaga with her gold wheelchair.

    QE is sending a bad message.

  12. Robin Samuels says:

    I conclude that the royals’ life, particularly the Queen, is told through staged airbrushed photos. Part of what you see and read is authentic. One day she’s frighteningly frail, and the next time she’s photographed in a more oversized dress, appearing more vibrant. As for her cognition, How can you judge, her conversation isn’t audible? Presently a healthy and positive image of the Queen is the best glue for the monarchy

  13. I feel the distraction of her needing a wheelchair is more about her declining mental state. Her last two attempts at cutting cakes were strange, as were the reactions of those nearby.
    I noticed in the video of Harry responding to the Obama Invictus challenge that she smiled reflexively, but didn’t seem to take in the message or messengers at all.
    I think they are covering limitations, not of the physical kind. Maybe they hope it appears she was “of sound mind” when she elevated “that wicked woman” as her successor?