Too much information is not good

THIS may not be the first time I’ve said this, but I wouldn’t thank you for being a toddler hailing from the House of Windsor.

THIS may not be the first time I’ve said this, but I wouldn’t thank you for being a toddler hailing from the House of Windsor.

What must it be like to have the world, his wife (or husband – remember the gay marriage victory peeps), and anyone else who fancies, keeping a hawk eye and a bat’s ear on the minute details of your well being and associated symptoms thereof.

As I’m sure you’ll know – considering it flooded all news outlets yesterday like a nosey tsunami – that the Queen’s other half is currently in hospital. There’s actually a chance you’ll think you know a lot more than that, such has been the detail and speculation reported since the initial statement from the Palace.

Was Prince Philip showing signs of illness while at Palace garden party just before he was admitted? (followed by a line of people, including Sharon Davies, reporting on his mood, pallor and the quality of his jokes).

Was the lost-voice explanation for his uncharacteristic withdrawal from an event earlier in the week accurate? (with suitable ‘what are they hiding?’ undertones).

Was this really an ‘exploratory procedure’... or do they know something they’re not sharing with the rest of the detail-hungry world?

Remember those bladder infections he had a while back? Ooh, they can be painful can’t they?

And can we all please remember that Philip is 91 YEARS OLD, and there are risks involved with having operations when you reach non-spring-chicken status. BBC Breakfast had a surgeon on (who knew nothing about the Prince’s condition by the way) to talk everyone through said risks ... and speculate as to what might have prompted the procedure, of course.

It was as painful to watch as I imagine a bladder infection is to have. Thankfully, I have limited experience of health troubles (knock on my wooden baby walker), but the thought that any concerns or conditions I had would be the subject of such baseless conjecture fills my rosebud mouth with a bad taste.

(I get embarrassed enough when Mum and Dad discuss the contents of my nappy with anyone who doesn’t share our surname. Let’s keep the syrup of figs stories in our own circle of trust, eh guys?)

I got a similar nasty flavour a while back when the Queen was in hospital with a tummy bug – the symptoms of which of course had to be spelled out. Many times. Now I don’t know about you, but the image of our head of state pooping through the eye of a needle is not one I care for.

The reports on the Duchess of Cambridge and her acute bout of morning sickness conjured similar mental pictures I can do without. It also forced her to reveal the baby in her tummy to billions of people a good while before mummies-to-be are usually comfortable doing so.

Now I know they get lots of our money for doing what they do and I know there are some people who question whether we need them to do it at all... all of which is up for sensible debate.

However, I don’t care how public your life is. Once you step behind the medical curtain, I think all those who bring us the news – and let’s face it, if everything goes to plan, a once around the inside of Prince Phillip’s tummy cannot be considered that – should take a decision to report when they are statemented to.


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer