Politics and Society today

The Royal Family: health and fitness

The richer you are, the healthier and more fit. Well, at least that’s the case with the Windsor royal family.

At 98 Prince Philip is long and lean and walking on his own steam. The queen, though tiny, avoids a weight problem. One or other prince or princess may be a bit chubby, but most are fit and healthy-looking.

I suppose when you have wealth and fame, you have opportunity and incentive to eat well and take care of your diet. Still, it requires self discipline too, and royalty seems to have an abundance of that.

The British monarchy gets a lot of flack from those who believe they should not, in principle, exist. But whether one believes Monarchy is an essential part of the British fabric or should be relegated to history, it is clear they are a family that take on a lot of charitable work and receive a great deal of scrutiny, which means their lives are very public and they live under a microscope, with little personal privacy or freedom of choice. How is this relevant to health and fitness?

They must be healthy and fit, not only in the physical sense but in the mental sense as well. Witness Kate — the duchess of Cambridge and in line to become queen one day.

She is savvy. Raised a commoner, she was accustomed to a private life, which she gave up to marry Prince William, who will one day be King of England according to his God-given birth right. How does she handle her lack of privacy? With grace yes, but also with wisdom and control: she has become a photographer so she can provide (her own) photos of her children so craved by the public; she has cleverly become master of her children’s destiny rather than becoming a victim of the paparazzi. She has risen to the responsibility of royalty by joining rather than bucking the system, for the love of her husband. She is well-liked for it. She has, in effect, put herself last and has become first.

Wow! That’s a familiar principle:

“But he answered one of them and said, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?’ So the last will be first, and the first last. For[d many are called, but few chosen.” (Matthew 20:13b-16)

Whether or not you believe in the monarchy in principle, to look at them is to see a family under much scrutiny and expectation. In greater measure, they do “live up to” the expectations put upon them, and represent Britain within the country and around the Commonwealth, as self-sacrificing people. Living in a glass bubble, they are expected and do, live, look and sound above the masses. Though financially privileged, they are, in principle, intermediaries between GOD and mankind, not in a priestly sense, but in a positional one. When they experience justified reproach, they lose their position, influence, and income (witness Prince Andrew’s recent fall from grace), and when they are respected and valued, they are placed to point to GOD as benefactor: to themselves and to all in Britain.

“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour” (1 Timothy 2:1-4)

Let us pray for the royal family, that like the queen, they — and we — might recognise where their real provision comes from. May all celebrate the one true Provider.