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Sundries
...a sweatshop of moxie

Monday, February 09, 2009

We're Not Amused

Like all Brits under 57*, I have grown up only knowing one sovereign the whole of my life. The amount of visuals about this Queen throughout my life have been absolutely overwhelming.

I have seen the Queen smile. I have seen the Queen laugh. I have seen the Queen annoyed. I have seen the Queen look earnest. I have seen the Queen look impish. I have even seen the Queen give her dogs what for.

But I have, until now, never seen the Queen look like this.



Blimey, the famous royal stare which I have been told by courtiers, once seen is never to be forgotten (or to want to have repeated).

This is the look of a woman completely disapproving of the spectacle before her. Check out at minute 0:18 how she is piercing the ether with that thousand-yard stare. Curiously, instead of the usual spectacular blue tint of her eyes, which I have seen in person and are an absolutely compelling hue, they are an odd opaque colour here -- almost green-black, the colour of an angry sea. Then she looks down and up very quickly at minute 0:20 in a gesture very reminiscent of my late grandmother.

That was the look she gave anyone when she had had "quite enough of that".

I cannot know what was really going through H.M.'s mind as she listened to the Quran's 55th Chapter called "The Beneficent" being chanted, back in May '08, but as the saying goes, if looks could kill.

...what a contrast she will seem to Charles III.


*Almost 57 years to the day of my post. She ascended on 6 February 1952.

ADDED: Uncanny, no? I never noticed the resemblence of that look of thunderous disapproval before.



Please note that there have been candid snaps of the Queen annoyed in the past.







NONE of them reflect the added layer of discomfort mixed in with, oh I don't know, disgust? shown in the video.

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11 Comments:

  • She looks VERY uncomfortable, out of place. Why was she there?

    By Blogger ElcubanitoKC, at Mon Feb 09, 04:01:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Hey Ernie!

    It was during a State Visit to Turkey, specifically, to Bursa's famous Green Mosque.

    It's curious, isn't it. The last time a British queen had been on Turkish soil, it was Eleanor of Aquitaine on horseback, on her way to the Crusades.

    Plus ça change. ;)

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Mon Feb 09, 04:10:00 pm GMT-5  

  • That's one tough lady. Maybe there's something to Brits questioning the relevance of the monarchy but they can't deny that ER2 has done a lot for her country.

    I recall the second-to-last image from one of the recent documentaries on her--it's from her Annie Liebovitz shoot but I can't recall if that's an look of actual irritation or not.

    By Anonymous Starless, at Mon Feb 09, 04:39:00 pm GMT-5  

  • That bit in the mosque was probably the foreign offices idea.

    Victoria, I know you have known her longer than I have :), but I don't know how you can tell what she's thinking. I mean, she doesn't look HAPPY, but you don't think your reading into things a bit.

    I can't stand Charles. I will miss the Queen when she goes. She doesn't get enought credit.

    By Blogger CarmelaMotto, at Mon Feb 09, 08:55:00 pm GMT-5  

  • That pic under "Added:"...that Alfred Hitchcock in drag? I knew such pics were out there, but really...

    Oh. Victoria! :)

    By Blogger Ron, at Mon Feb 09, 09:34:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Vics, funny indeed: Eleanor and Elizabeth are after perhaps your namesake and Elizabeth I, the richest and most powerful Queens England (and by extension, the UK) have ever had. I am surprised that she went to a mosque in Turkey. Turks are as religious as modern Albanians who are so disconnected from religion that they don't know they are moslem and call themselves christians, although the country has had a muslim majority for 5 or 6 centuries ...well, almost...

    By Blogger ElcubanitoKC, at Mon Feb 09, 11:23:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Starless, Annie Liebovits didn't know either. She said so in the documentary, that she wasn't sure if Her Majesty was kidding or really irritated. I voted mentally for irritated. I watched part of the shooting in the PBS documentary, and I would have been...

    By Blogger ElcubanitoKC, at Mon Feb 09, 11:25:00 pm GMT-5  

  • I think Annie Leibovitz actually said, "Lose the Tiara." I kid you not!

    By Blogger Ron, at Tue Feb 10, 03:16:00 am GMT-5  

  • Starless, Annie Liebovits didn't know either. She said so in the documentary, that she wasn't sure if Her Majesty was kidding or really irritated.

    Right, right. That's probably where my own uncertainty comes from. I think I lean more toward "kidding" because the woman seems so unflappable. Over half a century of death and destruction and people needling her the whole time, I wouldn't think dealing with a high-strung artist would bother her that much.

    I think Annie Leibovitz actually said, "Lose the Tiara." I kid you not!

    LOL. When you're considered one of the greatest photographers in the world, royalty probably doesn't impress you too much.

    By Anonymous Starless, at Tue Feb 10, 07:56:00 am GMT-5  

  • Not to mention that Annie has probably never worn a tiara in her life, and probably wouldn't know what to do with it. In fact, she called it "the crown", and the press secretary to HM corrected her.

    By Blogger ElcubanitoKC, at Tue Feb 10, 10:05:00 am GMT-5  

  • Not to mention that Annie has probably never worn a tiara in her life,

    True. It's a safe bet she's worn combat boots, though.

    By Anonymous Starless, at Tue Feb 10, 10:22:00 am GMT-5  

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