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Dr Christophe de Jaeger (Longevity and geriatrics)
Not communicated for the moment by the personal doctors of Queen Elisabeth II, the cause of her death remains a mystery… However, hypotheses hover, in particular one of them: would she have died of an emotional shock linked to the loss of her husband? This phenomenon is called the Philemon and Baucis syndrome. Doctissimo takes stock with Dr. Christophe de Jaeger, physiologist, specialist in aging and president of the French Society of Medicine and Physiology of Longevity.
“The queen must surely have been infused”
This Thursday, September 8, after 70 years of reign, Queen Elizabeth II died aged 96. According to the Royal Family, Her Majesty passed away peacefully that afternoon at Balmoral Castle.
The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon.
The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/VfxpXro22W
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) September 8, 2022
A death considered “brutal” for many people, while two days before, the former queen of the United Kingdom had made an appearance in public.
“Admittedly, the queen did make an appearance. However, she had a bruise on her hand. A sign that she had just had an infusion. I think her majesty was not well and that she was deperfused, just before taking the photo with the Prime Minister. Then, once finished, she had to quickly go back to bed and the doctors were probably forced to put her on another drip.”explains Dr. Christophe de Jaeger, specialist in the aging of the human body and physiologist
“She probably had several pathologies to need to be infused. She was definitely not well. That’s why she went to Balmoral, to a place she loved. If she received infusions, it was because the queen was at the end of her life“, adds the expert.
Philemon and Baucis syndrome: a factor behind the death of the queen?
Around 17 months earlier, Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, Prince Philip, died. On social networks, the hypotheses on the disappearance of the former monarch of the United Kingdom are multiplying. Many people think that the death of her majesty would be linked to an emotional shock caused by the death of her husband on April 9.
This rare but possible phenomenon has a name: Philemon and Baucis syndrome. In a few words, it is a first death which is followed by a second after a quite powerful emotional shock caused by the discovery of the first person who has lost his life.
“This has always been seen in very old couples after 50 to 60 years of living together. A world that revolves around the other, a life punctuated by the other that suddenly everything collapses at the loss of the loved one. When the other disappears, the spouse may wonder if life is still worth living, and without really being able to understand, the person lets himself die.“, notes Dr. de Jaeger.
If the Queen’s cause of death was the emotional shock of losing Prince Philip, “I would have expected at that point that the Queen’s death would be within 3-4 weeks – or even within 15 days. But as she is a woman of duty, she must have taken on her as long as possible then because of exhaustion, she surely couldn’t take it anymore and died quietly”explains the expert.
Emotional shock is not the only cause
According to Dr. Christophe de Jaeger, the death of the husband of Queen Elizabeth II is not the only factor behind his death. “Admittedly, the psychological factor may have played a role.says the expert.
“We can ask ourselves the question of the participation of the syndrome of Philemon and Baucis in the death of the queen but without being able to say more because at 96 years old, we have multiple reasons for dying. It is true that the loss of a loved one and the emptiness they leave can favor the alteration of all the functions of the human body, by mechanisms that we do not necessarily know well, which corresponds to a amazement of the whole body“, adds the physiologist.
Obviously, before hastily concluding from what pathology Queen Elizabeth II died – through one of these many hypotheses, it is necessary to wait for the official statement from the doctors of the royal family.