Queen Elizabeth II is now under fire for continuing with her speech while one of her page boys fainted yesterday. Other members of the royal family reacted as it happened, but the Queen of Great Britain and Northern Ireland continued to read out her speech. In fact, she seemed to barely noticed that anything was happening around her.
Some people have spoken out about her professionalism. It is something that many performers have to deal with while on the stage. They do not react, and simply get on with their jobs. There are people around in case something like that happens, and that was certainly the case during the Queen’s Speech in the House of Lords. The same thing happens during military parades. Cadets and military personnel are not supposed to react when a fellow cadet, soldier or officer faints. There are people on hand to deal with that. MPs have spoken out about the queen’s professionalism in continuing with her speech.
However, many others have spoken out about her lack of care for her subjects. They are annoyed that it was her son and daughter-in-law, Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles, who reacted to ensure the young boy got the medical attention he needed. He was then swiftly carried out. Officials initially refused to name the boy, but it turns out that it was Charles Hope, Viscount Aithrie
The speech was televised, but the moment the boy fainted was not shown. At around eight minutes fifty seconds a loud thud can be heard, which was the moment the boy hit the ground. Queen Elizabeth II continued with her speech as the page boy fainted, and she is now under fire to apologize.
There was very little that the queen could do at the time, and she was certainly not the only one who showed no acknowledgment of the events. Prince Philip sat beside his wife, and was not seen to check on the boy. There were also Members of the House of Commons who stood still and continued to listen to Queen Elizabeth II as she read out their final law changes before the next General Election in 2015.
While many believe she should have shown more concern, she likely did the right thing. Not only was there nothing she could do, but it would have been more embarrassing for the page boy if the speech stopped. Nobody has seen the events afterwards, and she likely asked about the boy to make sure he was well and in no need of emergency medical attention. There was a brief pause, and she may have decided that there was nothing that she could do, so decided to carry on out of duty.
He is probably not the first page boy to faint, either. It will be very stuffy in the House of Lords, and he would have been dressed in the traditional official dress for such an occasion.
Had she have reacted, she would have likely faced backlash for that too. Unfortunately for the royal family, they cannot do anything right for everyone in the United Kingdom. It does not help that everything is now televised and available for replay on social media. That can lead to Queen Elizabeth II facing extra criticism for deciding to continue her speech as her page boy fainted.
Opinion by Alexandria Ingham