National Rail turned website grey in mourning for Prince Philip but customers couldn’t read the train times

Kate Plummer
Monday 12 April 2021 14:35
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(Getty Images)

National Rail have reverted their website back to its standard colours, after their black and white tribute to Prince Philip caused a backlash.

The organisation thought it would be a good idea to honour the duke’s long life by ditching the colours on their website, instead turning it monochrome.

A nice gesture, maybe? The jury’s still out on that. But, unfortunately, and more importantly, some customers said they could no longer read the website – which is, let’s be honest, the only reason people visit the website.

Writing on Twitter, numerous people complained about the change and urged the service to put their colours back to normal.

One said it would cause “chaos” for those with eyesight problems:

Others said the contrast discriminated against visually impaired people:

Buckingham Palace announced that the Duke of Edinburgh died on Friday morning aged 99. BBC broadcasters changed their ties to black to mark the news, while there were also scheduling changes made to popular TV shows , to make space for special coverage of the Prince’s death.

MPs have called for a new £190m Royal Yacht as a memorial to the Duke and the Queen is currently observing an eight day period of mourning over the death of her husband.

But some people’s patience wore thin, following National Rail’s particular contribution to mark the duke’s death.

However, others found the whole saga very amusing.

And others thought it really did just sum everything up.

Hilariously, a member of staff even used the National Rail’s Twitter account to admit they were struggling to read the website too, in a now deleted tweet. We can’t think why they chose to delete it.

National Rail’s official response was, however, far milder and a spokesperson for the Rail Delivery Group, which runs National Rail Enquiries, said: “The National Rail Enquiries website has been temporarily greyscaled as a mark of respect following the death of HRH Duke of Edinburgh on Friday. We are listening to feedback about how people are using the website and are making further changes today to make it more accessible to all our customers.”

Hours later, the site returned to colour, quietly.

They later wrote on Twitter:

And they are not the only body to face a backlash for commemorating the Prince. The BBC also received complaints for oversaturating its coverage with stories about Prince Philip.

However, it seems like other websites are following suit, and the London Assembly’s website similarly faded to grey and is yet to return to full colours.

It seems like balancing respect for the monarchy and good customer service is a tricky job.

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