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Sarah Fine: It can be painful to think about it, is it time for the Queen to step back from her duties?


When I watched the Queen salute the Sultan of Oman at Windsor Castle last week, I was struck by how small it was.

She still looked great of course, but her clothes were a bit loose. And that cloud of white hair, the white dress, those sky-blue eyes, made it so ethereal for me.

For some reason, her sight – very light, very weak – affected me in depth. He brought home that she, very sadly, is not immortal.

The Queen is pictured in 2019. Still on ‘light duty’ – hence last week’s meeting and welcoming of the Sultan of Oman.

This is a painful thought, and I guess I’m not alone in thinking about it.

In addition to being Queen, Elizabeth II is also the Great Mother of a Nation, a woman who for many years watched over this country with the sympathy and devotion of a parent, offering us her unconditional love, as mothers do.

She has been there in every crisis, a strong point of reference, her calm presence calming our frantic eyebrows, offering encouragement and support.

There is almost no one in Britain today who does not know her as Queen. It is the one public figure that unites us all, royal or republican, the only constant presence in all of our lives.

The idea of ​​a Britain without her is something many of us hardly dare admit. Even thinking about it seems like blasphemy, a betrayal of everything you’ve done for us.

The Queen and Prince Philip in front of Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry during church service on Christmas Day 2017

The Queen and Prince Philip in front of Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry during church service on Christmas Day 2017

Yet we must admit it. Elizabeth II is in remarkably good shape for her age, especially since she has barely had a day off in 70 years.

However, she is 95 years old. And even if she lived out the better part of another decade—which she could in theory (after all, her mother was roughly 102 when she died in 2002, and medical science has improved significantly since then)—there is, unfortunately, an inescapable fact that she Not indestructible.

Those around her are well aware of her weakness. Hence this week’s traditional Christmas lunch for an extended Christmas – usually about 50 in total – which was due to take place at Windsor Castle has been cancelled.

There are now questions about Christmas Day itself in Sandringham. Having spent last Christmas at Windsor Castle, she may find herself doing the same this year.

Except this time even without her late husband Prince Philip for company.

Despite all this, she is still on “light duty” – hence last week’s meeting and welcoming of the Sultan of Oman.

This is what I don’t really understand. If she’s not healthy enough to see her grandchildren, surely she shouldn’t shake hands with dignitaries, no matter how important they are? Or how do you feel she should do?

There was never any question about the Queen’s devotion to the nation or her remarkable work ethic.

But she is not the only one in the royal family who is able to do the heavy lifting.

It is surely time for the Palace to reflect on the previously unimaginable and reflect on handing over her official duties to Prince Charles.

Sandringham file photo.  The Queen spent last Christmas at Windsor Castle, and she may find herself doing the same this year

Sandringham file photo. The Queen spent last Christmas at Windsor Castle, and she may find herself doing the same this year

No doubt there will be a million objections. Perhaps it violates the endless mysterious royal tradition.

But then again, so is having a king who is still working full time at the age of 95. The truth is we’re in uncharted territory here.

And quite frankly, if the price of getting a few years longer is to get her up and spend more time doing the things she loves — riding, walking, spinning around the wheel of her Land Rover — and less time running ripping through her diary, who could really object?

Meanwhile, Charles could afford her watchful eye cloak, which probably wouldn’t be a bad idea anyway.

Of course, she probably doesn’t want to. As any of us who watched a parent grow up know, accepting age restrictions can actually be very difficult.

But life is what it is, and there are some things you can’t deny. No matter how much you like it.

Billie Eilish (pictured), 20, told an interviewer that she started watching internet pornography at 11, and that it 'really ruined my brain'

Billie Eilish (pictured), 20, told an interviewer that she started watching internet pornography at 11, and that it ‘really ruined my brain’

How can we allow children to watch porn?

The other day of shopping my daughter was asked to show identification. Reason? She wanted to buy some false eyelashes.

That’s right: If you’re under 18, you can’t buy a pair of lies — or at least you can’t buy a TK Maxx. Something to do with gum, apparently.

On the same day, singer Billie Eilish (who is 20 years older than my daughter) told an interviewer that she started watching Internet pornography at the age of 11, and that it ‘really wrecked my brain’.

As it happens, 11 is the average age that kids encounter hardcore porn on the Internet for the first time. That’s average, mind. Some are much smaller.

So here’s the thing: We’re not going to let kids buy false eyelashes because we think a microscopic tube of eyelash glue might be too harmful for their brains, but we’re going to let them watch the often explicit, abusive and violent sexual acts that at best shatter their innocence, at worst leave them Traumatized and unable to establish healthy relationships later in life.

And we wonder why they are all so spoiled.

Guess what is the third most watched TV show of 2021? Boris Johnson announced a new shutdown on January 4. This almost sums up the miserable year.

And then what, Rise of the Apes?

Amazing reports of monkey attacks on dogs in India. We were told that primates killed up to 250 dogs, including puppies, by throwing them from trees and buildings to “revenge” the dogs who attacked one of them. The monkeys even chase after school children. That’s all we need on top of Covid: a Planet of the Terrible Apes-style uprising.

And now Simon Case, Britain’s chief civil servant, has fallen victim to The Christmas Party. He appears to have “passed” a hypothetical test that involved six of his colleagues drinking beer and some snacks at their desks. Six others were at home. I understand people’s outrage at the idea of ​​breaking the rules, and of course it’s right to investigate the allegations. But “walking past”? It’s like the Salem Witch Trials – but with peanuts and pilsner.

Simon Kiss, who quit his role in Investigation Number 10 at The Christmas Party, which was filmed in April earlier this year

Simon Kiss, who quit his role in Investigation Number 10 at The Christmas Party, which was filmed in April earlier this year

The Antiques Roadshow was told to “decolonize” – or address the legacy of colonialism through special things – by an Oxford professor of archeology. Surely the whole point of the show is to see the expressions on gamblers’ faces when they discover that Aunt Betty’s old brooch is actually a Russian royal heirloom, or that the priceless vase they bought at auction is a cheap replica. Let’s not spoil it with a lecture.

George Osborne always made balancing books in the closet seem like a walk in the park. Judging by recent photos of him petting dog and baby in his native Notting Hill, late parenting is proving even more of a challenge.

Even with Prof Lockdown himself, Neil Ferguson, saying that most people with Omicron in the UK would not get seriously ill, you don’t wonder why Sadiq Khan decided yesterday to ‘declare a major accident’ in London due to rising infection numbers. Lots of politicians and experts love the power and self-importance this virus gives them. And we all know how they hate being abandoned…

This is definitely not a cracker-over-the-top piece, Kate…

The Duchess of Cambridge is rarely wrong. But even by the lax rules of Christmas dress-up, the red Miu Miu cashmere cardigan with Peter Pan collar, pearl buttons, and rose pattern she wore to Carol’s party in Westminster Abbey is outrageous. The fact that it is priced at £1,350 makes it that much more.

Miu Miu red cashmere cardigan for the Duchess of Cambridge with Peter Pan collar and pearl buttons, £1350

Miu Miu red cashmere cardigan for the Duchess of Cambridge with Peter Pan collar and pearl buttons, £1350

It’s only fair that the Conservatives deserve a wake-up call in the North Shropshire by-election. However, anyone who thinks it would be a good idea to have newly elected Representative Helen Morgan pop a giant blue balloon engraved with the words “Boris ‘Bubble'” isn’t exactly a political genius. It makes the prime minister’s recent references to Peppa Pig sound like Cicero.

Intrigued by reading it according to which? ‘Tool of the Year’ is a £70 soup maker. really? In my house soup maker is just a regular pot.

Oh, here we go: Wayne Couzens, the police officer who murdered Sarah Everard, has been allowed to appeal his life sentence. why? There is no doubting his guilt, and there is no doubt that what he did was beyond words. Sarah will never get a second chance. Nor should he.



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