Two contributors battle it outby Andrew Brown , Hugo Vickers / May 16, 2017 / Leave a comment
Published in June 2017 issue of Prospect Magazine
Prince Philip, who will be 96 this June, has announced that he is retiring from official duties in the autumn. Is it time for the Queen, now 91, also to consider stepping down from her own much greater responsibilities as monarch?
Queen Elizabeth’s grandfather was killed by his doctors, with an eye to the media impact. Her father died of lung cancer at a relatively early age. She has been luckier and healthier. She could well last until she is over 100 years old and I hope very much that she does, but there will come a point when simple old age will enfeeble her and the job will become a tormenting impossibility. She might feel that enduring at all costs was her duty. Some such sentiment drove Pope John Paul II through his Parkinson’s disease, but was no example to follow. Pope Benedict XVI, who observed the process closely, learned from it and when his powers failed became the first Pope to retire for nearly 600 years.