Trish Harris makes a bold suggestion: a royal wheelchair

I can’t help myself. I have to share a link to an article by Trish Harris on Queen Elizabeth’s intermittent problems of mobility. It’s funny but very serious too. She really made me think about what is implied by the language we use around disability and assistive devices like wheelchairs… or glasses or hearing aids or whatever. Heaven forbid we should acknowledge the fact that we have any needs, even if they’re only around normal age-related changes. Heaven forbid that we might be less than perfect. Heaven forbid that we go out to work or play in a wheelchair—even a padded and gilded royal wheelchair.

Kia ora, Your Majesty. Ever thought of using a wheelchair?

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13 thoughts on “Trish Harris makes a bold suggestion: a royal wheelchair

  1. granny1947 says:

    I have a partner who will not admit he needs a hearing aid.
    So damn annoying!

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Especially when they are virtually invisible. Silly thing is that we look older (or at least deafer) for refusing such brilliant modern devices… Not that walking sticks are modern.

  2. Some people think it denotes weakness. I don’t know where that came from as it’s the mind that is more important than the legs.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Right. It’s sad and human– and annoying for everyone else.

  3. Perhaps a Queenmobile akin to the Popemobile?

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Why not? Her Majesty does have options and could be a trailblazer.

  4. What a fun article. We all need some fun in out lives as we negotiate ageing. .

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Trish is a terrific writer.

  5. Cathy Cade says:

    So true. I never could get my hubby to use a wheelchair when they were available at tourism venues in the months he was waiting for hip replacements

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      I’m going to try to be different.

  6. Joared says:

    Reading the comments of so many people who took offense to the article I was surprised. I gather many thought their Queen simply did not feel physically up to attending some of these functions and chose to use her mobility issue as a reason to not do so, not necessarily that she didn’t want to be seen in a wheelchair. I do appreciate how some might find the article disrespectful, if that’s what they thought.

    In any event, the article’s writer made her assumptions and based on those, if accurate, she called the Queen out in a very cute well-written article. Hopefully, most of us today recognize people with physical imitations are quite capable and we need to see more of them in significant public positions to dispel any other view.

  7. Elizabeth says:

    I learned different verbs many years ago working with a woman who didn’t have use of her legs. She called it “using” a wheelchair, not “confined to” when she discussed it. I have followed her words ever since. It made a huge difference in how I say her.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      So simple. She is the agent not the patient, in control, not helpless! Thank you.

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