A place fairly local to me recently had a visit for an official opening by a Princess.
Traffic was rerouted, roads were closed, the police were out, places were decorated and painted, plaques were erected and photographs taken for the press.
It was a pretty big event attracting a lot of attention.
It got me thinking: what if we treated royalty the same way we treat disabled people like my son?
A new supermarket is opening and royalty are coming to visit. For security and health reasons they will be coming with an entourage of others to ensure their welfare is OK.
As a result, they kindly request that all aisles are wide enough for access, free from unnecessary clutter that might block them and that any music or noise is not too loud so as to not cause any distraction to the royal visitor.
I can tell you for a fact that that supermarket would have every aisle cleaned, cleared and that music would be adjusted to the exact level required in a heartbeat because... well royalty are important aren’t they?
Royalty may visit for a brief moment but I want to visit with my child regularly. Will you do the same for my child?
Still in the same shop and the member of royalty is struggling to walk. They are tired, their muscles ache and their body just isn’t doing what they would like it to.
They really need a trolley that can accommodate their needs and even though the standard ones are everywhere these just don’t have big enough seats.
For their protection and safety, they need strapped in safely. I can tell you if royalty needed such a trolley it would be ready and waiting for them, clean, warm, and dry and exactly where they needed it to be.
The cost would never come into play and in fact, the supermarket would proudly show off how accommodating and inclusive they were to the world.
But what if my child just wants the same thing?
After a short time, the member of royalty needs to be excused to visit the bathroom. Staff have already been allocated to ensure cleanliness is of the highest standard, access is clear and welcoming and everything is in place.
But there’s a problem... what with the amount of security staff, the fact the royal princess is fatigued and in pain a standard toilet on this occasion isn’t suitable.
They require a bigger room with a hoist and a bench for their privacy and health.
The supermarket were made aware of this beforehand and ‘just in case’ they had everything built and checked to ensure her majesty could have her needs met in the dignity all royalty should have.
Even though her highness may never visit again, or only occasionally, no expense was spared because royalty is important and pleasing them matters.
What a pity my child isn’t royalty.
The princess is hungry and the supermarket has a restaurant which smells delicious. It’s upstairs but of course this has all been thought about with clear signage to an accessible lift wide enough for not only the princess but everyone who cares for her too.
They don’t expect just one member of staff to squeeze in with her alone because we all know princesses need numerous staff to ensure all is well.
On arrival at the restaurant, staff have already provided a clear space for the princess where her own chair can fit not on an end where it makes her look different but she can slide in beside everyone else and take part to the exact same level everyone else can.
Staff go out of their way to bring her food to her without question even though this may be a once in a lifetime visit.
Would they do the same for my child if it was us?
The local community are eager to see the princess.
The police have been out in force and made sure no car is parked on the pavement and the council have even sent workmen to smooth the path and clear it of debris and little bumps as the comfort of the princess is of paramount importance.
The fact my child gets pushed in his wheelchair along the same stretch daily and we struggle to get past cars mounted on the pavement, holes that cause wheelchair wheels to get stuck and curbs that are high and difficult to mount doesn’t seem to matter.
For royalty no expense is too much, delays never happen and people will do anything to make their life better.
The supermarket, or wherever else the princess visited were publicly praised for their actions. Everyone applauded their thoughtfulness and forward thinking.
They were commended by their head office, staff given awards and everyone was delighted that the princess had all her needs met and more.
At a debrief it was noted that no money was too much to spare, no unnecessary delays happened and the attitude of everyone was welcoming, inclusive and understanding.
We would do it if it were royalty coming. So why can’t we do it for my child?