In this of all years, the Queen would normally be expected to be ever-present at a range of jubilee celebrations, with garden parties, concerts, church services, sporting occasions and major public ceremonies to mark 70 years on the throne.
Of course, there have been many jubilees in her reign, but there is a major difference in this platinum year as she marks becoming the first monarch in British history to wear the crown for seven decades. While she was younger and more mobile in her previous jubilee years, even the golden jubilee of 2002 when she was 76 and diamond jubilee at 86, at 96 this is no longer possible.
The mobility issues faced by the monarch, at an age where she is four years shy of having to send herself a telegram, are significant but, some will rightly say, rather different from the average old person. After all, other older folk with mobility issues won’t be missing the state opening of Parliament or cancelling Buckingham Palace garden parties as a result.
Nonetheless, the thought that even Windsor Castle might now need mobility baths might just highlight issues that don’t get a lot of attention most of the time.
The fact is that every time the Queen is seen with a walking stick, pulls out of an event or is simply pictured looking frail, it is not just questions about the constitution and the future of the royal family that arise. For all the pomp and pageantry, she is suffering the kind of issues that come to so many in later life.
A key difference, of course, is that there will never be any doubt that her needs will be attended to and that she will get the care and facilities she needs. However, those needs are no different for older people of limited mobility from any background, for whom simple tasks like getting in and out of the bath can become increasingly difficult.
For that reason, those without Royal coffers to dip into may need to apply for finance from local authorities or other sources. But the ultimate benefits will be worth it.
Of course, one of the major issues relating to mobility bathroom facilities is a shortfall in the number of homes and bathrooms that are either custom-designed or adapted to meet such needs. This is a significant issue because the UK has not just a growing population, but an ageing one, meaning this need is only going to increase.
While the Royal family has shown exceptional longevity, with the Duke of Edinburgh living to 99 before passing away last year and the Queen Mother making it to 101, the fact that Britons as a whole are living longer means more will need mobility help, in addition to those who are disabled at a younger age.
It could be, therefore, that the sight of the Queen looking frail and her regular absence from the kind of events she used to routinely attend might indeed help highlight wider issues. But it could also prompt those who are starting to struggle with their own mobility to check out what help is available to them to get their bathroom facilities modified.