Rosie Jones 'disappointed' by Queen's 'reluctance to use wheelchair'

·Contributor, Yahoo Life UK
·6-min read
Rosie Jones has shared a tweet expressing 'disappointment' about the Queen's reported 'reluctance' to use a wheelchair. (Getty Images)
Rosie Jones has shared a tweet expressing 'disappointment' about the Queen's reported 'reluctance' to use a wheelchair. (Getty Images)

Rosie Jones has shared her "disappointment" about the Queen’s reported "reluctance" to use a wheelchair, pointing out that using a mobility aid is "not a defeat".

The comedian, who has cerebal palsy, shared an image to Twitter of herself in a wheelchair, which she has previously dubbed 'Maureen', and used to get around while covering the Paralympics.

In the accompanying caption she spoke about how ableism (discrimination in favour of able-bodied people) and internalised ableism are still very prevalent.

"Disappointed to read of The Queen’s reluctance to use a wheelchair," she wrote.

"In 2022 ableism and internalised ableism is still everywhere. Mobility aids are not a defeat. They are life ENHANCING."

The 31-year-old went on to quip: "Elizabeth love, don’t you want to look as sexy as me and Maureen."

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While Buckingham Palace has not confirmed whether the Queen is or isn't using a wheelchair, Christopher Biggins, thought to be a friend of the Royal Family, recently said he believed the monarch has been cancelling her engagements because she does not want people to see her using a wheelchair.

Speaking on GB News, he said: "I have heard that the reason she is not doing a lot of the events that she should be doing and cancelling them is because she is in a wheelchair.

"She doesn’t want to be seen because she’s very proud. She has been like this for the whole of her life."

Jones' tweet opened up a conversation about using a mobility aid with people sharing their own views on the the topic.

"Thank you for such a positive message about mobility aids," one Twitter user commented.

"I've recently started using a walking stick, almost 8 years after life changing surgery to my leg. I guess I had internalised ableism about it, thinking 'I don't need a stick'. But using it has made walking a dream again."

"Had this discussion with a 90 yr old who is hardly going out now because he thinks he'd 'look daft' in a mobility scooter or using a stroller. Her Majesty needs to lead by example and get herself a chariot," another user wrote.

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Rosie Jones has previously spoken out about her own experiences with internalised ableism, pictured in March 2022. (Getty Images)
Rosie Jones has previously spoken out about her own experiences with internalised ableism, pictured in March 2022. (Getty Images)

Some other tweeters suggested it may be more of an issue with age.

"It might not have anything to do with being defeated," one offered. "Might just be an age thing. My Grandad is 96 and can hardly walk. I bought him a wheelchair and he cried and refused to use it. He knows he needs it but wants that last bit of independence is all. Seems fair enough to me."

"It’s a very personal thing and I don’t think it’s fair to be disappointed in someone else’s feelings about using a wheelchair," another user added. "I’m so pleased for you that you love yours. It’s not so easy for everyone to accept though."

Yahoo UK has contacted Jones' representatives but she was unavailable for further comment.

Jones has previously opened up about internalised ableism and the emotions tied into using a mobility aid.

In a lengthy post shared to Twitter last year she described using a wheelchair while she covered the Paralympics and how it changed her feelings towards using one.

"I’ve always walked everywhere and having any sort of walking aid always felt like a failure to me," she wrote. "I prided myself on never using a stick, frame or chair. I now recognise this as some deep-rooted internalised ableism."

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She went on to say that as soon as she sat in the chair "these archaic thoughts and personal reservations fell away".

"I realised that I had spent most of my adult life in pain, and suddenly I was able to get around without feeling tired and out of breath."

The experience left the actor with a "newfound love for mobility aids".

"She has made me a better and happier person, and I now realise that accepting help is not a defeat," she explained. "It can make you even more of a champion."

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Jones has been praised for raising awareness about ableism, pictured in September 2021. (Getty Images)
Jones has been praised for raising awareness about ableism, pictured in September 2021. (Getty Images)

The Casualty actor has previously spoken about the need for greater disability representation.

Speaking to Metro.co.uk, about her character, Paula, in the soap, Jones said: "Paula's not perfect. She has flaws, she's stubborn, the story is showing that disabled people can be three... well they are always three- dimensional and I feel like playing Paula meant showing there are millions of disabled people who, like her disability, they are underestimated and treated awfully by the services and the system and the government.

"This needs to change," Jones continued, going on to refer to the storyline where her character is pregnant and fighting to keep her child. "I think it's important to know this is definitely something that disabled mums have to go through.

"We need to raise awareness about how there is still stigma with disabled mothers."

She has also previously called out the ableist abuse she received after her appearance on Question Time last October.

In a tweet after the political show aired Jones wrote: “The sad thing is that I’m not surprised at the ableist abuse I’ve received tonight regarding my appearance on Question Time.

“It’s indicative of the country we live in right now. I will keep on speaking up, in my wonderful voice, for what I believe in.”

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