Rose-tinted reaction to Duke's death was so out of proportion
- Credit: PA
I make no secret of the fact I’m not a royalist.
I don’t dislike them I just don’t see they have a purpose in today’s age.
They live at the tax payer’s expense and contrary to popular belief, the revenue they may or may not bring to the country by result of simply just being there does not exceed the Sovereign Grants they live from.
Accounts show the monarchy cost tax payers £69.4 million in 2020, more than ever before and I fully believe the tourists who supposedly make up this deficit, wanting to be here for no other reason than to see the palace, would want to be here whether the monarchy paid for themselves or not.
It remains a bug bear to my personal politics that we pay exponentially to let them merely exist, especially when we have working families in this country having to use food banks because they are unable to make ends meet.
This is 2021, Harry and Meghan, like or loathe them, have proved they are more than capable of bringing in their own revenue so why don’t the rest of them follow suit?
I’m not suggesting the Queen opens an influencing Instagram account showcasing 'hashtag ads' for Corgi collars but I believe they should absolutely support themselves somehow.
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Once they’re doing that then we can talk about all the other privilege they own simply by their birth rights.
These people are not celebrities who have worked and earned themselves their status and luxury lifestyle by treading the boards, making a substantial contribution to the music scene or shown some other talent.
These people are merely an old fashioned equivalent of reality TV stars with a dynasty of generations and frankly it’s not fair. On anyone. Even them!
As the public outpouring of grief at the loss of the Duke of Edinburgh continues in the media I can’t help but let it compound my feelings towards them.
It’s sad that a grandfather, father, husband and friend has passed but let’s call a spade a spade here, the man was 99, he lived a long and prosperous life, he was healthy for the majority of it, loved and more than adequately cared for in his final years both medically and personally.
I’m at a loss as to how we are continuing to shower this man’s memory with such adoration.
An online book of condolence has been opened at my local church which would be fine if he had lived in my village and if they opened one for every member of the parish.
As it stands it feels utterly bonkers and completely disproportionate to the event. He was not ripped from us in his prime, in fact his death is no more or less remarkable than any other elderly gentleman in his centenary year.
Death is inevitable, he was never going to live forever.
I appreciate that he was married to the Queen and it warrants more than a notice in The Times but come on… it’s been over a week now. Surely this is old news?
It irks me that this man was afforded visitors to hospital when no one else is offered the same luxury at the moment. It also annoys me that he will never have had to wait two days for a scan because it was the weekend (unlike someone in my own family).
But what really gets my goat is how the media have latched onto his death with such ferocity that they simply will not let it, or him, lie.
Then there’s us, the grief stricken public and we are who exactly?
Are we the same people who last month suggested the monarchy might be racist and brought up Philip’s own well documented remarks in that direction?
Yet now, in "our" eyes he is hailed a national hero, a stalwart, a jewel in the United Kingdom’s crown who was taken too soon? At 99 years of age!
I have compassion for his family losing a loved one but I have more compassion for the family of Nikki Grahame, a modern day reality TV star who really was taken far too soon having spent the majority of her life gripped within a disease she could not cure herself of.
Her family took to social media last month to crowd source for her hospital treatment as there were no Sovereign Grants winged in her direction or, as it turns out, enough money in the world to save her in the end.
By contrast to Nikki, The Duke of Edinburgh lived well, worked hard and died at a very ripe old age.
So, much like a lot of people and, like a lot of people as well as Nikki, he was probably flawed too, but in death, however, he is remembered as one half of the greatest love stories ever told.
Maybe everyone needs a touch of rose tint after they’re gone, perhaps that’s the right thing, but he and the outpouring of grief now need to be put to rest.
He was only human after all.
No one is more valuable than anyone else in life and no one is less so. It’s about time we start to recognise this with actions as well as words.
Ruth Davies has a parenting blog at www.rocknrollerbaby.co.uk