Monday, 7 November 2011

My latest article: The death of Queen Maud

“Queen Maud’s mysterious death” was the headline Dagbladet chose to splash all over their front page on the day the fifth volume of Tor Bomann-Larsen’s biography of her and King Haakon was published. The so-called mystery was supposedly that Queen Maud might have been sent on her way through euthanasia, something which seems subsequently to have become a “truth” in the pages of that newspaper.
However, in today’s Dagbladet I point out that this is utter nonsense. No such claim is made in the book, though it mentions that the British royal physician Lord Dawson of Penn used euthanasia to ensure that King George V of Britain, Queen Maud’s brother, died in time to catch The Times’s deadline (pun unintended), something which has been publicly known since George V’s biographer Kenneth Rose revealed it in 1983.
As Queen Maud died in London, Lord Dawson of Penn was among the doctors who signed the bulletin announcing her death, but he was not around when she died in a private hospital in the middle of the night in the presence of only a nurse. A few days earlier she had undergone surgery for cancer, which had revealed that it was incurable, and had been in a weak condition for some days when she died suddenly from acute heart failure.
Following her death King Haakon (and others) wrote that this had spared her further suffering, which is the thing one typically says when someone dies in the early stages of an incurable and painful illness.
To claim that this indicates that her death was caused by euthanasia is surely to add 2 and 2 and get 7.

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