On Saturday, May 6, millions of people all over the world will watch the formal Coronation of King Charles III by the Archbishop of Canterbury, preserving a tradition that has lasted approximately 1200 years. This follows the moving funeral of his much-loved mother, Queen Elizabeth II on 19th September last year.
The last funeral of a monarch in this country was 70 years ago on the 15th February 1952 when the nation said goodbye to Queen Elizabeth’s father, George VI, who was a very popular king and the subject of the academy award winning movie, The King’s Speech.
Then, as now, the coronation of the new monarch occurred in the following year. At that funeral, Sir John Weir, homeopathic physician to four successive monarchs (George V, Edward VIII, George VI and Elizabeth II) did something unparalleled in the history of homeopathy: He prescribed – for grief – the homeopathic remedy, Ignatia, to five kings and three queens, a feat he remarked was unlikely to be repeated!
Weir also named one of his racehorses after the homeopathic remedy, Hypericum. When the late Queen, daughter of George VI, saw a portrait of Dr Weir on a visit to the Royal London Homoeopathic Hospital in Queen’s Square, she remarked that she remembered how good he had been to her father.
Charles III, if anything is a bigger fan of homeopathy than his late mother and certainly a more vocal one. Thus, ever since the advent of homeopathy in the early 19th century, it has been supported and used by the Royal Family of the United Kingdom and the new king is one of our most ardent supporters.
This unique family’s long association with homeopathy began with one of the most remarkable homeopaths ever, Frederick Foster Hervey Quin. Dr Quin traveled to Germany in the early 19th century and whether he met Dr Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy or not, returned to England completely converted to homeopathy.
Quin did not write any books on homeopathy but did something much more important than that, he built the Royal London Homoeopathic Hospital (RLHH) in the very medical area of Queens Square, W1. Other homeopathic hospitals were built in Glasgow, Liverpool, Tunbridge Wells, Bristol and Liverpool.
These were all fully in operation in the early 1980s when I studied and worked at the RLHH. At that time Britain was known in the homeopathic world as being an excellent place for homeopathy and homeopathic training.
Dr Quin was a friend of the Prince of Wales of the time and this resulted in a series of official homeopathic physicians being appointed to the Royal Family, all of whom were trained in conventional medicine as well as homeopathy.
Sir John Weir, the homeopathic physician of George VI, the late Queen’s mother and Queen Elizabeth II herself, was knighted for his services to the family. He was succeeded as Royal Homeopathic Physician by the renowned Margery Blackie who served the entire Royal household for many years.
Dr Blackie was a classical Kentian prescriber with an uncanny knack of frequently sensing the constitutional remedy of her patient immediately. She used mainly 10M potencies constitutionally as a shower ‘for the whole garden’ (the whole person) and 6c remedies as a ‘watering can’ for individual plants (parts of the body). An invitation to one of her famous forked suppers led to many doctors studying homeopathy in the UK.
The late Queen was probably treated with homeopathy all her life as was her mother. When she travelled, she always took a leather case containing sixty phials of homeopathic pills with her. I remember seeing a beautiful wooden case being prepared for her at the RLHH, filled with various bottles and tubes of homeopathic creams.
It was a birthday present for the Queen. She lived to the age of 96 and her mother, known as the Queen Mother after the death of George VI, reached 101.
The family may have hardy genes but it’s also possible that homeopathy had something to do with it.
The Queen’s daughter, Princess Anne, an accomplished equestrian, always carried some homeopathic Arnica with her in case she fell off a horse and needed something for the shock and bruising
The Royal connection with homeopathy is important because so many people love the family, especially the late Queen. Citizens of the UK may well ask themselves the question: Why would the Royal Family, with access to any doctor in the land, choose to appoint (among other specialist doctors of course) a homeopathic physician? Clearly because the family has been convinced for many years that homeopathy works well – at least for them.
The present monarch, King Charles III, (he became King immediately after his mother’s death but the formal coronation will happen on May 6) is a huge supporter of homeopathy and to the delight of homeopaths and homeopathic patients on this island, agreed in early 2019 to become a patron of the Faculty of Homeopathy, the professional body that regulates medical doctors who use homeopathy in the UK.
This was an act of enormous significance for British homeopathy which had been under huge attack by organized ‘sceptics’ for at least a decade with several homeopathic hospitals ceasing to operate. He must have known that he would become King within a decade or so and still he made this courageous move which earned him a lot of criticism and derision.
I once met him personally at the Royal Warrant Holders Association annual dinner in Park Lane and he openly expressed his passion for homeopathy and natural medicine. Charles III clearly thinks holistically with regard to medicine, agriculture, farming, food and the environment.
As reigning monarch, he is less likely to praise homeopathy as openly as before because as King he is expected to eschew ‘controversial’ subjects such as the fact he loves homeopathy! This is possibly why he chose to become a patron of the Faculty of Homeopathy before he became King; it might not have been possible afterwards.
The British press, while hesitant to attack their beloved Queen about anything, may well not harbor the same generosity of spirit to King Charles. This is why his decision to be a patron of the Faculty of Homeopathy was so significant for British homeopathy.
As for Prince William, the heir to the throne, I have no idea whether he uses homeopathy but his mother Princess Diana certainly approved of and used various forms of holistic medicine.
On a lighter note, homeopathic patients and lovers of animals will be pleased to know that not only did Queen Elizabeth ensure that the entire Royal household had access to homeopathy, she even had her beloved corgis treated by a homeopathic vet!
They are now in the care of her daughter-in-law, Sarah “Fergie” Ferguson, the Duchess of York. We can but hope that these dogs, so beloved to Her Majesty, continue to receive the excellent homeopathic veterinary medicine to which they have become accustomed.
1.Now known as “The Royal Hospital for Integrative Medicine:. Fortunately it’s a listed building and the original name with Homoeopathy spelt thus, remains on its façade.