An Australian journalist has criticised the Royal Family for their impact on the “hardworking people of the Commonwealth” during a debate on a breakfast show. Despite this, he claimed that the Queen’s rejection of an ‘Oldie of the Year’ award had sparked an “interesting conversation” on the way age defines individuals. Her Majesty had declined the award yesterday, after being approached by the magazine to receive the annual title.
Australian political journalist Osman Faruqi told the Today Show: “I kind of don’t want to be too mean but a parasite on the hardworking people of the Commonwealth is maybe one way to describe the Royal Family.
“Whatever beef you have with the royals, I think focusing on the age of the Queen, or the age of anyone is not great.
“I think it’s a really interesting conversation that she’s kicked off by taking this stance.
“It’s essentially saying age shouldn’t be the main feature by which you define someone, or this whole concept of ‘Oldie of the Year’, it’s like ‘wow you’re an older person but isn’t it great that you can still function and interact’. That feels patronising and condescending.”
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The Queen had “politely but firmly” declined the award, which was offered to her by author and broadcaster Gyles Brandreth, chairman of the awards, who wrote to her private secretary.
The 95-year-old monarch had responded via her assistant private secretary to say: “Her Majesty believes you are as old as you feel, as such The Queen does not believe she meets the relevant criteria to be able to accept, and hopes you will find a more worthy recipient.”
Her late husband, Prince Philip, had accepted the ‘Oldie of the Year’ award in 2011.
Gyles Brandreth described the response from the Queen as “lovely” and said that they might approach the Queen again in the future.
In June 2022, she will celebrate her Platinum Jubilee with a full schedule of festivities planned over a four-day Bank Holiday.
During her 70 years on the throne, the Queen has visited Australia on 16 occasions, the most recent visit in 2011 for an 11-day tour around Brisbane and Melbourne.
She also met with the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison earlier this year, after he came to Windsor Castle for afternoon tea.
Despite remaining a popular figure throughout the Commonwealth, a 2020 YouGov poll found that 62% of Australian respondents supported replacing the monarch with an Australian head of state.