Friday, November 24, 2006

And Who Do You Think You Are?

So the other day, after much tomfoolery and many shenanigans by people who made us wait for them to go to the theatre and then bailed out anyway (not bitter), myself and several other queens went to see The Queen; The Movie. It stars of course, Dame Helen Mirren. I remember her first from SOS Titanic and then fell in love with her in Teaching Mrs. Tingle. That was your usual alright Hollywood suspense movie that was ruined with a happy ending. But up until the last moment, she played that manipulative bitch like no one else could. Lovely.

I quite liked the movie. No one, the Queen aside, really knows how she felt or what happened at Balmoral after Princess Diana died. The movie wasn’t melodramatic nor did it demonize (except for maybe Prince Phillip) the royals. It didn’t hide the fact that Diana was the ex-black sheep of the family but it didn’t dwell on it either. I think it did a good job of portraying how someone who has known nothing else their entire life, was forced to face the reality of a changed world. A bit sad that.

Lord Fauntleroy makes the point that the monarchy serves no real purpose in today’s world. In the film, Cherie Blair sums that argument up by saying the royals are “lazy freeloaders up on their 20 000 acre estate”. That may be so. I would argue however that they do make England unique in an ever increasing homogenized world. No matter where I have been, from a desert in India to a market in Guatemala, Coke, Nike, Disney, Pepsi, McDonalds etc. have managed to make the world a little more ‘average’ no matter where you go. The Royal family helps Britain stand just a little taller than the rest. Mind you, my taxes don’t pay for their lifestyle, so I really don’t get a say.

Anyway, I find myself increasingly confused by Dame Mirren’s performance. Last week, I looked at the cover of our local entertainment rag and saw Daniel Craig (the new Bond) at the Casino Royale premiere meeting the Queen. I looked at it and thought, “That’s not the Queen. She doesn’t look anything like Helen Mirren.” Not living in the UK, we don’t see many images of Her Majesty in the papers and Helen was just so good, I can’t help but think of her as the Queen from now on.

And every time I go to pay for something or do laundry, the face on the money means nothing to me anymore. Where is my calendar girl? Where is the new Queen? A loonie with Helen on it is the way to go I think.

Don’t get me wrong. I would like nothing more than to meet the Queen and even by chance get invited round for tea. No need for laughter. If the movie is at all accurate, Elizabeth is a more modern woman now. Who knows, she may even be flipping through blogs as I write this. Hmmmmmm. Leave a comment your Majesty and I’ll be right over. I have my own gun for a hunting party and make a lovely pie for tea.


Anonymous CPB said...

riddle me this ... your taxes don't pay for her extravagant lifestyle, but they do (a small portion does anyway) pay for the less extravagant lifestyle of her representative in Canada as ... drum roll please ... Elizabeth is ALSO the Queen of Canada. just something to gnaw on, maybe you DO have a say.

to be safe I'd write a letter to her anyway. Dear Lizzie (or is if Beth? Betty?)

3:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi pet
Helen Mirren plays a mean detective inspector on PBS and has for years- the series just ended with her going off in an alcoholic haze last week - all the men under her 'rule' hate her of course and with good reason

3:59 AM  
Blogger Robert Mitchell L.L. said...

She is FANTASTIC in that! I want to get it on DVD if I can find it...I have missed a few episodes

3:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Buckingham Palace, November 2006

Well my dear,

You might be quite surprised - but as a matter of fact, I do occasionally "flip" through blogs during long and rainy UK winter nights. So I read Your lovely post today. Let me assure You of two things, please. First: yes, You are invited for a nice cup of tea when You come to London or Scotland. And second: I wish to convey a little secret - my order to the Royal Hair Dresser to please change my style a little bit (in order to make me look more like Mrs. Mirren!)

Hoping to see You soon,
Elizabeth II

9:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You've talked me into two hours at the flicks. It better be worth it.

12:11 PM  

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