Health concerns regarding Queen Elizabeth II have been swirling for weeks now; it has been widely reported that globe’s longest-reigning monarch has been suffering from a “heavy cold” since before Christmas. In that time-frame, Queen Elizabeth has remained out of the view of the public, even missing Christmas and New Year’s church services as she reportedly continues to ail. Her husband, Prince Philip, is also rumored to be quite ill.
Queen Elizabeth was in good health throughout the whole of 2016, even personally presiding over her 90th birthday festivities last April. Not surprisingly, when the Queen failed to show face alongside the rest of the royal family over the holidays, the public began to worry and the media turned its collective attention to her health.
The discussion of the Queen’s potentially failing health first began to make headlines in the U.K., and the rumors that her illness may be much more severe than has been widely reported has also begun to circulate. As NOLA reports, the concerns over the health of Queen Elizabeth have gotten so severe in recent days that a Twitter hoax briefly convinced at least of few of her loyal subjects that she had passed away.
As CBS News reports, the royal family has begun to directly respond to public queries regarding the Queen’s health. According to Princess Anne, daughter of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen was feeling better last night. Just three days prior to Anne’s statement, Queen Elizabeth had to be flown from Buckingham Palace to a smaller royal residence away from the city.
Despite the assurances, the British people and folks around the world are on edge. The health of Queen Elizabeth has huge implications, and her death could result in political upheaval and turmoil. Most Brits agree that they won’t be 100 percent satisfied that Queen Elizabeth is well until they see her looking fit in public again.
Particularly given the unusual nature of her holiday church absences, which are almost unheard of.
The British royals continue to insist that Queen Elizabeth is merely suffering from a cold, albeit a very, very bad one.
As the International Business Times reports, the worries regarding Queen Elizabeth’s health have sparked inevitable discussions surrounding the succession of the Crown. When Queen Elizabeth passes away (or voluntarily abdicates), whether soon or in the distant future, the throne will belong to the first king in over sixty years.
First in line to fill the shoes vacated by Queen Elizabeth will be her son, Prince Charles. Charles has been in line for the throne for nearly all of his life and is the longest waiting British “heir apparent” in the history of the kingdom. At 68-year-old, however, Prince Charles has openly spoken of passing the throne to his son (via Princess Diana), Prince William.
Some believe that if he is to do so, it could prompt a “constitutional crisis” in Britain.
Currently, Prince Charles is on his second marriage. Following his humiliating, highly publicized divorce from Princess Diana (and her subsequent untimely death), Charles married his former mistress (and the catalyst for his divorce), Camilla Parker Bowles. After surreptitiously replacing “The People’s Princess” Diana, Camilla has been widely disliked by British people and many of the royal family alike. Prince Charles himself didn’t escape public critique for his extramarital affair with a married woman, and the pair’s approval ratings have consistently been fairly low.
On the other hand, the loyal subjects of Queen Elizabeth largely adore her grandson, Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton. The pair has been married for several years now and have two young children waiting to follow in their grandmother’s indomitable footsteps.
In all likelihood, regardless of what happens with the health of Queen Elizabeth in the immediate future, the royal family is planning to keep the tradition alive. If the throne held for decades by the Queen becomes vacant (either through her death or voluntary abdication), the next king will almost certainly be Charles. At least in the immediate short-term.
If there are plans for Prince William to usurp his father, it will be a historic deviation from royal tradition. As the questions regarding the health of Queen Elizabeth continue to linger, the world waits with bated breath for news from the crown.
[Featured Image by Jeff Spicer/Pool Photo/AP Images]