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4 Pages

Culture

In the social arena, when the Queen Mother celebrated her 101st birthday in 2001, the Royal Family gathered around for the happy occasion. The Queen Mother was personally popular with all social classes. Hitherto Buckingham Palace has not handled public relations well, but now, trying to be ‘user-friendly’, the Royals organised a photo opportunity for the benefit of the media. However an unplanned outcome of the event was that newspapers took the Royal Family to task for literally wheeling out Princess Margaret, the Queen’s sister, in an invalid chair. She was clearly seriously ill and it was seen as inhumane – a violation of her rights as an individual, to display her to the masses. So what was meant to be an orchestrated moment of celebration became an opportunity for anti-monarchists to express their reservations about royalty and the Royal Family.