Royals are not cartoon characters

Warr Zone with Simon Warr

Two presenters from an Australian independent radio station make a prank call to the hospital where the Duchess of Cambridge is recovering from severe morning sickness.

They pretend to be the Queen and Prince Charles and, despite unconvincing impressions of both, they manage to fool the unsuspecting nurse who answers the telephone.

She then puts the call through to a colleague looking after the princess. It was all meant to be a bit of harmless fun by 2DayFM but, as events unfolded, it proved the exact opposite.

A few days later the nurse who originally took the call, Jacintha Saldanha, was found dead.

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How desperately sad, and it is of no surprise that there has been an almighty backlash against both presenters.

They meant the prank call to be a source of laughter, but, unfortunately, the hospital authorities were acutely embarrassed and nurse Saldanha apparently felt she had let down both the royal patient and her employers, which she most certainly hadn’t.

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I feel generous towards the royals but am aghast at the fact that we all genuflect before them, and tug our forelock.

As far as they themselves are concerned, their every move is watched; everything they say is recorded; every action is closely scrutinised.

None of them is permitted to live anything resembling a normal life, as we seem to view them as some sort of living theme park, playing out a fairy-tale storyline.

It became particularly noticeable when Diana was at the height of her popularity.

She was considered to be almost a goddess, which she wasn’t, as she possessed all the flaws of the rest of us mortals.

Indeed, she seemed to have more than her fair share.

This didn’t stop the public putting her on a pedestal, there to be worshipped whenever she made a public appearance.

We’ve now started on the Duchess of Cambridge.

As a society we have to grow up about this.

We cannot continue to fawn all over the royal family, while simultaneously scrutinising every aspect of their lives.

The publication by Closer magazine of those topless photographs of the princess was nothing short of a grotesque and unjustifiable invasion of her privacy.

The same obsessive behaviour about the royals (particularly Prince William and Princess Kate) is what led to this radio “joke”.

Once again, a tragedy has happened, albeit very indirectly, in the life of our Royal Family.

Why can’t we, as a society, find some perspective?

If we continue to treat them like some Disney cartoon characters, then I fear we will need to prepare ourselves for more tears; even another tragedy.

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