How it might feel visiting the royal palaces now we have a King on the throne, an overreaction that created a PR own goal, and the most thoughtful countries in the world.
How will a new era feel?
I have taken a group to tour the State Rooms of Buckingham Palace on three occasions and I intend to do so again. I have also enjoyed visiting Windsor Castle several times. Both venues offer a hugely enjoyable and interesting day out. But how will it feel visiting knowing that you are no longer in the home of HM Queen Elizabeth II?
I used to enter rooms and picture the Queen in them, whether that was imagining her sitting on a throne or hosting a lavish dinner for a state visit. It will feel different next time, of that there is no doubt. I suppose you just always took it for granted that she would be there.
Whatever your views, what you cannot underestimate is the pull of the royals when it comes to boosting tourism. Actually, I have a feeling my group’s appetite for visiting venues linked to the royal family will only increase after this remarkable period - and I can’t wait to organise them. We are so lucky to have such places to visit. God save the King.
Some reactions are not thought through
Since the passing of the Queen it has been evident that many businesses do not know how to react. In fairness, I can understand that it isn’t easy to get the balance right.
But some have got it very wrong. Such as Center Parcs which initially said it would be closing all of its sites on the day of the funeral “as a mark of respect” and to enable its staff to “be part of this historic moment”. The trouble with that idea is it forgot about its holidaymakers who were initially told they would have to leave in the middle of their break and then come back afterwards. “Ridiculous” was the reaction from one guest and I tend to agree. Center Parcs then backtracked and changed its mind. At least it realised the error of its decision.
I am convinced that the Queen would say, “keep calm, and carry on”. Being respectful and setting the right tone is paramount, but life cannot simply stop. There are patients who have had their hospital appointments postponed (probably not for the first time), and there will be parents who had to work on the day of the funeral and deal with the fact that their children’s school was closed for the day at short notice.
I’m sure everyone wants to make the right decision. Sometimes you will get criticised whichever way you turn. For instance, after the passing of King George VI in 1952, football matches continued and used the opportunity to pay their respects to the late monarch. Many thought the move lacked respect. Fast forward to 2022 and all football was cancelled on the weekend following the Queen’s passing, right from the Premier League, all the way down to local grassroots games. From what I can see, most people thought the decision was an own goal and an opportunity missed to pay tribute. This was heightened by the fact most other sports continued in a dignified manner.
Can you get it right? Probably not, but it gives us something to talk / moan about.
The most thoughtful country is…
Have you ever visited another country and been astounded by how welcoming everyone was? Well apparently online searches for ‘thoughtful countries’ have seen an 88% increase in the past 12 months.
Never one to miss a PR opportunity, greetings card company thortful.com has created a study to reveal the most thoughtful countries in the world. But what the heck is ‘thoughtfulness’ anyway?
I’m told this study measured thoughtfulness by: volunteering levels, charitable giving, friendliness rankings, the number of electric cars and recycling rates. I wonder how much thought went into that?
It reveals Indonesia as the most thoughtful country in the world (6.16). Indonesians have a worldwide friendliness ranking of two and came out on top as the country with the highest charitable giving score in the study. Indonesia is followed by the USA, Australia, Germany, Kenya and the UK is in sixth place. Note to self: be more thoughtful.
The views expressed in this column are not necessarily the views of the publisher.