“She’s lovely” & “she seems really normal” are the two absurd responses from Forelock Tuggers Who’ve Met the Queen.
Of course, if the BBC stuck a mic under some plebs nose and they scratched their head and announced “She seemed a bit cold and aloof and I didn’t enjoy feeling like a little person” then they’ll never make the daily 6 o’clock fawnfest. That’s the way vox-pops work – it’s about confirming a red courduroy establishment view and the less you know the about the subject the more weight is given to your response. It’s fundamentally patronising to viewer and person being interviewed (ergo it’s perfect for Royal Coverage)
Anyway, there it is. A sacred totem of royal coverage.
The Queen, is lovely.
There’ll be the occasional critic of Charles, and even William these days, but the Queen is UNCRITICISABLE.
Firstly, lets have some sympathy for ol’ Elizabeth. As Johann Hari wisely argues, Monarchy Damages Everyone the Windsor Family. She was walled up in a palace from the
moment she was born. Her uncle – the man who would be King – taught her how to salute the admired Mr Hitler whilst her father was reduced to stammering wreck when he had to become King ( The Kings Speech is a well made film, but it is fiction ).
Being in the monarchy meant that Lizzy had no pals, didn’t go to school, and was not allowed to behave like a normal kid. She hung out with horses and corgis. She was inspecting military regiments by the time she was 16 ( I was slow dancing to Frankie Goes to Hollywood Power of Love with Sally McChristie in my Wranglers when I was 16 . And that was nerve wracking ).
But maybe that’s enough sympathy. This bizarre life warped her.
The Monarchy can’t have it both ways – you criticise the institution and people say “stop it… the queen is lovely’. You criticise the individual members of the Windsor clan and apologists say “it’s not fair to attack them”.
So lets look at some of the queen’s history for evidence of loveliness…
Consider this: When Charles was just 5 years old, the queen went on a royal tour for…6 MONTHS. Then, when she returned, she spent 4 days dealing with paperwork and then a day at the races before she saw poor oul’ Chuck – and then….SHE SHOOK HIS HAND. No wonder Charles is a dithering shuffling basket case.
“Anthony Jay, who scripted the documentary Elizabeth R, explains: “She’s one of those people who is deeply unemotional. For people who are emotionally detached in that way, institutions become more important than families. The Queen’s children were handed over to nannies, and a kind of emotional cauterisation took place. Something was sealed off very early. For her, that is a strength. If she were emotionally involved, she couldn’t do her job.”
Despite the cinematic revisionist history, the queen didn’t appear to be upset by the death of Diana, and in fact rigidly stuck to cold protocol until the Blairite government poked her ( Camilla like ) with it’s touchy feely stick and told her to get her royal arse emoting. Dead daughter-in-law ? Cold non reaction ( until told ). For royal yacht britannia – public weeping.
The press often celebrate her casual unpleasantness – with that wry-end-of-the-bulletin-newsreader-smirk…
For example, Royal protection officers who’s job description -lets not forget – is to throw their body onto a grenade if anyone were to attack the queen, made her “furious” by…er… nibbling some of the taxpayer funded nuts left out in bowls in Buckingham palace.
Then there are news stories such as this – the queen being so impatient she couldn’t wait for some toddlers to move aside for her jaguar – had this been about any other aristocrat or celebrity, the tabloids would be lining up experts from the AA to condemn her driving. Instead the Mirror still managed to spin it as Brilliant Royals.
Then there’s the fact that she makes her family curtsy, bow and grovel to her and each other, as she strictly enforces etiquette and protocol. Most people give their granny a hug or at least make a nice cup of tea. The queen makes her family bow to her.
And just..generally. She never looks happy, she looks grumpy, bored, disinterested in the life of gilded privilege and opportunity she was born into. At least an elected head of state would be there of their own volition.
So anyway, every time someone opines The Queen Is Lovely. Stand up and shout NO SHES HORRIBLE and slam the door as you leave the room. This will help the Republican cause enormously.
Seemed Like A Lovely Old Woman 0
Seems Like a Damaged Old Snob 5
[ whiney voice: every day, almost every paper publishes some sycophantic drivel about the Windsor family. Please tweet & facebook this article as a pathetic act of republican defiance]