[[quoteright:204:[[Magazine/{{Punch}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/GrandeDame.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:204:"You'll take no liberties with ''[-ME-]'', my good man." "Indeed, madame, that is the ''[-LAST-]'' thing I should desire!"]]

->''"[[RoyalWe We]] are not amused."''
-->-- [[BeamMeUpScotty Attributed to]] '''QueenVictoria'''

The '''''Grande Dame''''' is the stately old woman -- usually of wealth and [[BlueBlood rank]], though often enough only wishing to appear so -- who is very often a large woman of [[GagBoobs ample physique]], uptight, [[NoSenseOfHumor humorless]], and the [[AcceptableTarget butt of jokes]]. The ''Grande Dame'' is usually a spinster or widow, in which case she is likely to become an OldMaid or an AbhorrentAdmirer; if she ''is'' married, it will usually be to a HenpeckedHusband (very often an UnclePennybags), whom she will drag to operas (where she will doubtless wear OperaGloves) and ballets because MenAreUncultured, though she will more often be a patroness of the arts than ThePrimaDonna herself. She will also quite often have some sort of spoilt and pampered (and very often overweight) child or pet, a Persian or a Pomeranian or a parrot, on whom the rest of her dependents must dance attendance. In most cases, any attempt at frivolity will draw from her either a frigid stare of disapproval or [[CompletelyMissingThePoint sheer, blank incomprehension]]. Nevertheless, she will ''occasionally'' turn out to be a sympathetic character as well -- ''very'' occasionally she will turn out to have a screwball or eccentric streak herself.

As she sinks down toward the cynical end of the SlidingScaleOfIdealismVsCynicism, she will on uncommon occasions become a DeadpanSnarker, though if she goes too far, she may turn into the RichBitch; as she rises toward the idealistic end, she may become the more friendly MaidenAunt -- in very rare cases (like [[GoneWithTheWind Ellen O'Hara]]) she may become [[ProperLady the saintly "great lady]]". Both extremes are uncommon, however, as in general she preserves the ''status quo'' as a MoralGuardian -- she may well have started out as an ApronMatron -- and her watchword is "Respectability." If she loses this and begins to hit the bottle, there is a good chance she will turn into LadyDrunk.

The trope is nearly always a [[ComedyTropes Comedy Trope]], associated particularly with the Comedy of Manners; as such, it serves as a useful device for mocking social pretensions, and dates back to the ancient Roman plays of Creator/{{Plautus}} and Terence, where the ''Grande Dame'' appeared as the ''Matrona''. She was not used much in the uninhibited [[TheMiddleAges Middle Ages]], but made a comeback as the humorless, self-important ''dueña'' of the 16th and 17th century Spanish theater (SmallNameBigEgo Doña Rodríguez is the only one character stupid enough in all the novel to believe that DonQuixote is a real KnightErrant) . The prude and bluestocking of the Restoration (such as [[Creator/{{Moliere}} Molière's]] [[Theatre/TheMisanthrope Arsinoé]] and his ''Précieuses ridicules'') and Sentimental comedies (for instance, Mrs. Malaprop in Sheridan's ''The Rivals'') have some affinities with the type, insofar as they made pretensions to virtue and culture, but it was only with the [[VictorianBritain Victorian]] age that the great era of the ''Grande Dame'' opened. Here, with her [[ErmineCapeEffect fur stole]] and her ancestral [[HighClassGlass lorgnette]] in hand, the ''Grande Dame'' quashed social climbers, sought advantageous marriages for her daughters and repelled impossible matches for her sons, and maintained the natural order of Society with frigid hauteur for a good hundred years and more. In England, she was generally in [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debrett%27s Debrett]] and was called "Lady" something if she didn't have some title or other ("Countess" was particularly imposing); in the US, she was one of the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_Brahmin Brahmins]] or [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ward_McAllister the Four Hundred]] or the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_families_of_virginia FFV]] and was called "Mrs. Van" Whoozis or Miss Firstname. She will still turn up occasionally, to preside over banquets and to be aghast at the excesses of [[StrawFeminist Feminism]] or the [[TeensAreMonsters Youth movement]] and to wonder why [[YeGoodeOldeDays no young ladies bother to go to the cotillion any more]].

Her plot function will usually be as an obstruction to the plans of the protagonist, though she will occasionally convert to his side -- more rarely, she may assist from the first.

Grandes Dames do not ''have'' to be useless, of course. A Grande Dame can be a noblewoman or tribal elder and act as a {{Seer}}, an IronLady, or TheWomanWearingTheQueenlyMask stoutly and cunningly defending her domain. Sometimes she's simply an aged ProperLady.
----
!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* Used to be a reliable comedic StockCharacter in comic papers such as ''Magazine/{{Punch}}'' (whence the page image).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* [[LastofHerKind Baylene the Brachiosaurus]] from ''Disney/{{Dinosaur}}'' appears to act like one of these.
* In ''Anime/HowlsMovingCastle'', the Witch of the Waste acts like this for the first half of the movie, but later on karma bites her in the butt and puts a stop to it.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Marie Therese of Austria in ''Film/MarieAntoinette''.
* Mrs. Rittenhouse in ''Theatre/AnimalCrackers'', Mrs. Teasdale in ''DuckSoup'', Mrs. Claypool in ''ANightAtTheOpera'' and other similar roles in various MarxBrothers films were gloriously sustained by Margaret Dumont, who may be considered the TropeCodifier ''and'' the best example of this trope.
** Especially because many reports paint her exactly this way ''off stage''. (''But see ''RealLife'', below.'')
** There is also Mrs. Claypool's spiritual successor, Lillian Oglethorpe (Nancy Marchand), in the 1992 remake of ''ANightAtTheOpera'', ''BrainDonors''.
* Nora Charles' formidable Aunt Katherine in ''[[Film/TheThinMan After the Thin Man]]''.
* In the movie ''Film/{{Arthur}}'', Arthur's grandmother Martha Bach demands that he marry Susan Johnson or she will cut off all his money.
* Elizabeth Random, Susan Vance's aunt, in ''Film/BringingUpBaby'', who displays little tolerance for David Huxtable, but who is eccentric enough to want her own leopard.
* Lady St. Edmund in Creator/{{Disney}}'s ''Film/{{Candleshoe}}'' is the sympathetic rich widow version; her butler hides the fact that she is an ImpoverishedPatrician for fear it would break her heart. However she's ObfuscatingStupidity and is actually a GenreSavvy grandmotherly type who's enjoying the game.
* The eponymous Daisy Werthan of ''DrivingMissDaisy'' appears to begin the movie as a cynical version of this trope and move over towards the idealistic by the end.
* A Grande Dame appears in the "Rhapsody in Blue" section of Creator/{{Disney}}'s ''Disney/{{Fantasia 2000}}''.
* "Mother" in {{Disney}}'s ''The Happiest Millionaire'' is related to the type.
* The Countess of Trentham, played toward the cynical end of the scale by Maggie Smith in ''GosfordPark''
* "Mother" Baldwin in ''HisGirlFriday'' is close to this type.
* Judi Dench's version of M in the new ''Film/JamesBond'' films (''e.g., Film/CasinoRoyale'') is portrayed in this manner:
-->'''Bond:''' I always thought M was a randomly assigned initial; I had no idea it stood for--\\
'''M:''' Utter one more syllable and I'll have you killed.
* And Dame Judi again in the film ''The Importance of Being Earnest''.
* And again in ''Mrs. Henderson Presents''.
* Mia's grandmother in ''Film/ThePrincessDiaries'' is on the more intelligent end of this trope.
* Mrs. Van Hopper, played by Florence Bates, in Daphne du Maurier's ''{{Rebecca}}'' is a full-fledged RichBitch.
* Inverted in ''TheRebelSet'' by the rich, snobby woman who desperately wants to be a Beatnik.
* Very common in Film/TheThreeStooges, as for instance, "Society Mugs," in which Muriel Allen needs an escort to Alice Preston's dinner party, and her maid mistakenly places a telephone call to Acme Exterminators instead of Acme Escorts; HilarityEnsues.
* The faded actress Miss Luther in ''StageDoor'' -- and, indeed, most parts played by Constance Collier.
* In ''Film/{{Titanic}}'' Rose's mother is a tragic variation on the character, while "Molly" Brown is a subversion.
* Mrs. Van Hoskins in 1972's ''Film/WhatsUpDoc''.
* Mrs. Arness in ''Bringing Down the House''.
* The elderly noblewoman who summons the brothers Grimm in ''Film/EverAfter'' is identified in the end credits as "Grande Dame," though she avoids all of the negative aspects of the trope. Her exact title (or name, for that matter) is unclear, except that she is a direct descendant of the French royal family according to her ending narration.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Creator/PGWodehouse (very likely under the inspiration of Creator/WSGilbert, whose works he adored) and his collection of "aunts" may well claim to be the literary patron saints of this trope, on which for well over sixty years he rang the changes of every possible variation imaginable, from the lovable Aunt Dahlia in ''Right Ho, Jeeves!'' to the truly horrible Heloïse, Princess von und zu Dwornitzchek, in ''Summer Moonshine'', a RichBitch who is not even funny. Perhaps the most typical is the formidable Lady Constance (she is, of course, the sister of the many-sistered Lord Emsworth in the "Literature/BlandingsCastle" saga), but the most famous is probably [[Literature/JeevesAndWooster Bertie Wooster's]] Aunt Agatha, who "chews broken bottles and kills rats with her teeth."
* Creator/EvelynWaugh also enjoyed this trope, ''e.g.'', Lady Circumference in ''Decline and Fall''.
* Mrs. Proudie, in Creator/AnthonyTrollope's "Chronicles of Barsetshire," is an example of the social-climbing type.
** How wonderful to find a reference to Trollope. How about Glencora's aunts: The Countess of Midlothian and the Marchioness of Auld Reekie.
* Helen, Duchess of Denver is a humourless ''young'' woman in Creator/DorothyLSayers' ''Literature/LordPeterWimsey'' novels; Lady Hermione Creethorpe, in "The Queen's Square," is a more typical elderly example.
* Hector Hugh Munro, aka Creator/{{Saki}}, was very fond of this type, both in the humourless, unintelligent version (for instance, the mothers in "Morlvera" and "The Schartz-Metterklume Method" and Hortensia, Lady Bevel, in ''The Watched Pot'') and also in its DeadpanSnarker variant (for instance, Lady Caroline Benaresq in ''The Unbearable Bassington'').
* Pretty much the whole female cast of ''Literature/ThePictureOfDorianGray'', besides Sybil Vane and her mother, is portrayed in this way.
* Creator/JaneAusten features the arrogant Lady Catherine de Bourgh in ''Literature/PrideAndPrejudice'', who, though she does not seem entirely unaware, is rather humorless.
* Mrs. Van Hopper in Daphne du Maurier's ''{{Rebecca}}''; du Maurier may have been inspired by her father, George du Maurier, who was fond of portraying the type in his cartoons for the English humour magazine ''Magazine/{{Punch}}''.
* The Comtesse de Tournay in ''Literature/TheScarletPimpernel'' (and in the [[Film/TheScarletPimpernel film]] of it, too) is a stiffly dignified old lady, implacably opposed to Marguerite -- but forced by the Prince Regent to acknowledge her nonetheless.
* Lady Shrapnell in Connie Wills' ''Literature/ToSayNothingOfTheDog'' is a direct allusion to OscarWilde's Lady Bracknell (''See'' {{Theatre}}, ''below'').
* William Makepeace Thackeray displayed a number of haughty, humorless old ladies in ''VanityFair'' -- for instance, Miss Pinkerton, Lady Bareacres, and Lady Southdown.
* [[Literature/VorkosiganSaga Lady Alys Vorpatril]] is an example of the heroic Grande Dame. As chief social mover and shaker of the planet Barrayar, '''very''' insistent on Things Being Done Properly and a stickler for Protocol, but definitely on the side of the good guys.
** The author's ''[[Literature/{{Chalion}} The Curse of Chalion]]'' has the Dowager Provincara. She's a positive and helpful character, though her intense practicality prevents her from properly understanding the mystical nature of the ills plaguing both Chalion and her own daughter Ista.
* The Queen of England in ''Literature/WorldWarZ'' is another example of the more heroic version of the character.
* As is Lady Sybil Vimes in ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'', though she's a good deal younger than is typical for this trope, and not all that hung up on Respectability either.
** And her pampered pets are [[InstantAwesomeJustAddDragons dragons]]!
** In ''Nanny Ogg's Cookbook'', Nanny claims to be "a ''grande dame'' or 'big woman' as we would say here". About the only aspects that apply are the age and, as her translation suggests, the physique.
* Uppah-uppah crust Englishwoman Lady Costanza Lorridale in ''LittleLordFauntleroy'' is the kindlier version of this.
* The Dowager Duchess of Dovedale in ''The PinkCarnation'' series.
* ''QueenVictoria'' (Vicky), as portrayed by Flashman in the Flashman series of novels by George [=McDonald=] Frasier
* Miss Havisham from ''Literature/GreatExpectations'' definitely qualifies; however, she is also completely insane, having deliberately frozen her life around the exact minute and day that her heart was broken. Astonishingly, she still receives the occasional visitor, and her upbringing of Estella certainly qualifies her for this trope.
* The Reverend Mother in ''Literature/{{Dune}}''. Also the Fremen tribal elderwomen.
* Augusta Longbottom in the ''Literature/HarryPotter'' series, and Minerva [=McGonagall=] would qualify to an extent, if she weren't a teacher and has a [[DeadpanSnarker wicked sense of humour]].
* SmallNameBigEgo Dueña Doña Rodríguez is the only one character stupid enough in all the novel (and InUniverse, ''in all Spain'') to sincerely believe that Literature/DonQuixote is a real KnightErrant.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Hyacinth Bucket in ''KeepingUpAppearances'' is a glorious example of the pretentious social climbing version of this trope, complete with HenpeckedHusband Richard.
** "[[ItsPronouncedTropay It's pronounced]] ''[[ItsPronouncedTropay Bouquet!]]''"
* T'Pau (played by Celia Lovsky), a clan elder in Spock's family in the ''Series/{{Star Trek|The Original Series}}'' episode, "Amok Time." Compared to other examples here, T'Pau is a deeply commanding figure of respect with unquestioned authority. For instance, she makes sure Kirk does not get into trouble diverting to Vulcan to get Spock for the ceremony.
** And in [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration the Next Generation]] we have Lwaxana Troi, daughter of the Fifth House of Betazed, holder of the Sacred Chalice of Rixx, heir to the Holy Rings of Betazed, who spent her visits to the Enterprise sticking her nose into ship's workings in a stately manner, trying to marry off her daughter and flirting with Picard, to his chagrin.
* Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham, on ''DowntonAbbey''. Appropriately enough, she is played by an actual Dame, Maggie Smith.
** Also Martha Levinson, Cora's mother (played by Creator/ShirleyMacLaine). An American example--specifically, a millionaire dry-goods merchant's widow, with an eye to fashion; the Dowager Countess doesn't care for her one whit. Dame-to-Dame combat ensues.
* On ''MadMen'', Mona in her appearances, and Mrs. Francis in season 4, are examples.
* Lucille Bluth from ''Series/ArrestedDevelopment''
* ''Series/LancelotLinkSecretChimp'' had the Duchess, who was part of the evil organization CHUMP.
* Delenn in her widowhood in ''Series/BabylonFive''. Notably when she is snarking at would-be revisionist historians.
** Side note: in the DVD commentary for the episode Interludes and Examinations, as Delenn descends a staircase Bruce Boxleitner says 'here's the Grande Dame'.
* Mrs. Slocombe of ''Series/AreYouBeingServed'' attempted to affect this demeanor, but she almost always backslid to her working class roots in language and attitude when angry or upset.
* In ''{{NCIS}}'' Shada, the mother of Mike Franks's daughter in law, is an Arab style Grande Dame who ruled her tribe after all the men had died in battle. She carries a [[IronLady ferocious and atavistic]] air to her and no one would ever want to mess with her except Mike Franks.
* Lavinia Cremone in ''Series/DancingOnTheEdge''.
* Evelyn Harper from ''TwoAndAHalfMen'' has shades of this (she certainly seems to ''think of herself'' as this).
* Diana Rigg as Olenna Tyrell in ''Series/GameOfThrones''. There are shades of this in the book, but it's Rigg's performance (which has been repeatedly compared to Maggie Smith's aforementioned turn as the Dowager Countess on ''Downton Abbey'') that brings the character definitively into this trope.
* Margaret Tilden, owner of the Washington Herald in ''HouseOfCardsUS'' gives every indication of being the prim and proper Grande Dame, until ''that'' joke.
* Lady Fortescue-Cholmondeley-Browne, Chummy's mother in ''Series/CallTheMidwife'' is the spitting image of a Grande Dame of the last era of their dominance. Made even more typical by virtue of being married to a former India Office official (Chummy was born [[TheRaj there]], and apparently the only lullabies she knows are in Hindi!) and very religious to boot.
** There are moments when Sister Monica Joan (who was clearly born to a wealthy family) gives every indication she ''would'' be a Grande Dame were she not a nun in an order that puts GodBeforeDogma--particularly when she complains about food ("And we are faced with ginger nuts ''again''! ''Ginger nuts''!" "I cannot excite myself about a fatless sponge."). Oh, and she is increasingly senile, but that's another matter...
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Mrs. Peacock in ''[[TabletopGame/{{Clue}} Clue(do)]]''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theater]]
* The ''matrona'' parts in the plays of the Roman playwrights Creator/{{Plautus}} and Terence (''possibly'' taken from the Greek Menander) are the UrExample of this trope, which ''may'' ultimately have been suggested by the goddess Hera/Juno. The character as developed certainly seems more Roman than Greek.
* As a natural corollary of the previous entry, "Domina" of ''AFunnyThingHappenedOnTheWayToTheForum'' is a direct adaptation of the Roman original.
* Thomas William Robertson's "epoch-making" (according to Creator/GeorgeBernardShaw) play ''Caste'' appeared in 1867, featuring the character of the Marquise de St. Maur, who forbids the marriage of her son to the lower-class heroine.
* [[Creator/WilliamGilbert Sir William Schwenck Gilbert]] was ''extremely'' fond of this type, as, for instance Lady Sangazure in ''Theatre/TheSorcerer'', Lady Jane in ''Theatre/{{Patience}}'', Lady Blanche in ''Theatre/PrincessIda'', Katisha in ''Theatre/TheMikado'', and the Duchess of Plaza-Toro in ''Theatre/TheGondoliers''.
* Lady Bracknell in Creator/OscarWilde's ''Theatre/TheImportanceOfBeingEarnest'' is one of the grandest -- and one of the ''dame''-dest.
** Subverted in that she has common origins and married up.
-->'''Lady Bracknell:''' But I do not approve of mercenary marriages. When I married Lord Bracknell I had no fortune of any kind. But I never dreamed for a moment of allowing that to stand in my way.
* Madame Armfeldt in ''ALittleNightMusic'', Eulalie Mackecknie Shinn in ''TheMusicMan'', and most other parts played by Hermione Gingold, including Mrs. Bennet in ''First Impressions'', a musical version of ''PrideAndPrejudice''.
* Parthenia Hawks in ''ShowBoat'' (played on-stage by Edna May Oliver and in film by Helen Westley and Agnes Moorehead)
* Miss Jones, Mr. Biggly's secretary in ''HowToSucceedInBusinessWithoutReallyTrying'', has some affinities with the type.
* Baba the Turk in ''The Rake's Progress'' is one of the few Grande Dames with a beard.
* The Countess de Lage in ''TheWomen''.
* Madame Pernelle in Creator/{{Moliere}}'s ''Theatre/{{Tartuffe}}'', as well as Arsinoé in his ''Theatre/TheMisanthrope'', as mentioned above.
* ''Albert Herring'' has Lady Billows, a fiercely Puritanical and exacting old solon who sings in florid Handelian coloratura.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The "Lady Smith" splicers in ''VideoGame/{{BioShock|1}}'' invoke this trope: part Elizabeth Taylor in ''WhosAfraidOfVirginiaWoolf?'', part Creator/KatharineHepburn. There is a remarkable synergy with the horror setting. It is a credit to the voice actress that the trope is palpable even when the splicers can't be seen.
* Gertrude Dijon in ''[[VideoGame/LauraBow The Colonel's Bequest]]''.
* The "Elegant Lady", Emma, in ''VideoGame/GhostTrick''.
* Kebabu in ''VideoGame/TheMagicOfScheherazade'' tests your moral fiber by asking if you'd pick up a girl in a hamburger shop.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Cecania's mother from ''Webcomic/SoreThumbs'' is well on her way to becoming LadyDrunk.
* In possibly the most hilariously entertaining subversion in all of TV Tropedom, ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' presents, starring in this role ... [[spoiler: [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20080425 Mamma Gkika]]]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Elizabeth II was depicted in this manner once on ''WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}}'':
-->'''Queen Elizabeth II:''' We are ''not'' amused.\\
'''Yakko, Wakko, and Dot:''' But we are!
* In several WesternAnimation/ClassicDisneyShorts, [[Characters/ClassicDisneyShorts Madame Clara Cluck]] (herself a parody of noted operatic contralto [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clara_Butt Dame Clara Butt]] ([[UnfortunateName yes, we know]]) was able to [[CluckingFunny pullet]] off.
* Lady Richington from ''WesternAnimation/SheepInTheBigCity'', whose CatchPhrase is "[[OtherStockPhrases Well, I never...!]]" is a Grande Dame.
* A recurring character displaying most of the classic characteristics of the type appears on ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''; Martha Quimby and Lady Bouvier also show similarities to this type. [[HatesTheJobLovesTheLimelight Krusty]] identified her as the "Wealthy Dowager" in the Clown College episode (paraphrased):
-->'''Krusty:''' So, a Wealthy Dowager shows up, the party's over, right? Wrong! Hit her in the face with a pie!\\
(''Krusty throws a pie in her face so hard she gets embedded in the wall'')\\
'''Homer:''' ''(taking notes)'' ...Kill...Wealthy...Dowager...
* Eleanor Sherman from ''WesternAnimation/TheCritic''
* One appeared in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TinyToonAdventures'', where she was tasked to assess the performance and good behavior of students in the Acme Looniversity to determine whether or not Yosemite Sam will be promoted to Vice Principle. Babs, Buster, and Plucky try everything they can to mess up the Grande Dame's examinations beneath Yosemite Sam's notice, often leading to AmusingInjuries for the unwitting mustached man. The abuses continue up until they BodySwap her with a potato, breaking her composure and causing Sam to lose the promotion he so desired.
* Mrs. Astor from ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}''. Even ''nitroglycerine'' is intimidated by her.
-->'''Zoidberg:''' Where's the exploding?\\
'''Hobsy:''' One does not explode in Mrs. Astor's face.
* Wormaline Wiggler from ''WesternAnimation/{{Mirthworms}}''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Socialist Liverpudlian MP Elizabeth Margaret ("Battling Bessie") Braddock (who bore a striking resemblance to the page picture) was the heroine of a famous passage-of-arms with DeadpanSnarker UsefulNotes/WinstonChurchill:
-->'''Bessie Braddock:''' Winston, you are drunk, and what's more, you are disgustingly drunk.
-->'''Winston Churchill:''' Bessie, my dear, you are ugly, and what's more, you are disgustingly ugly. But tomorrow I shall be sober and you will still be disgustingly ugly.
** This exchange was confirmed to Richard Langworth by Ronald Golding, a bodyguard present on the occasion as Churchill was leaving the House of Commons in 1946. (Note that in the 1934 movie ''It's a Gift'', W.C. Fields' character, when told he is drunk, responds, "Yeah, and you're crazy. But I'll be sober tomorrow and you'll be crazy the rest of your life.")
* The actresses [[http://im.in.com/connect/images/profile/oct2009/Florence_Bates_300.jpg Florence Bates]], [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/f/f5/Symona.jpg/200px-Symona.jpg Symona Boniface]], [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9a/Constance_Collier_in_Rope_trailer.jpg Constance Collier]], [[http://www.cyranos.ch/spcoope.jpg Gladys Cooper]], [[http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_Rs53-MPsJaI/SYaDVKEx3cI/AAAAAAAALa8/ym6z6ubrNOw/s400/dinner-at-8-marie-dressler.jpg Marie Dressler]], [[http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_madyzqmHA2o/SPStIQ2NAyI/AAAAAAAAB2E/gW4Q4ZhcxQo/s400/Margaret+Dumont.jpg Margaret Dumont]], [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMbIu8lRlWw Edith Evans]], [[http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3252/2893514748_20e51238b3.jpg?v=0 Hermione Gingold]], [[http://www.myprideandprejudice.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/Lady-Catherine-de-Bourgh-played-by-Edna-May-Oliver-in-Pride-and-Prejudice-1940.jpg Edna May Oliver]], and [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e2/Helen_Westley_in_Roberta_(1935)_trailer.jpg Helen Westley]] specialized in this sort of role, but in most cases the actresses themselves were noted for having a keen sense of humor.
** It was claimed by Groucho Marx throughout most of their lives that Margaret Dumont never understood what was supposed to be funny about the MarxBrothers' comedy; however, Dumont was a long-time veteran of the comedy stage herself, and well understood that the more unamused she herself seemed, the funnier the jokes would be for the audience.
** Margaret had married a millionaire, and was this in real life. She commuted to the studio by air from her mansions in Palm Springs and Paris (back when air travel was for the very rich only).
* [[WholesomeCrossdresser Dame Edna Everage]]
* QueenVictoria is generally portrayed this way. The page quote is said (on rather slim evidence) to have been provoked by the Hon. Alexander Grantham ("Alick") Yorke, one of her grooms-in-waiting, who had a reputation as a funny man among the Queen's retainers, and, when commanded by Her Majesty to demonstrate, either told a risqué anecdote or performed an imitation of Victoria herself. Queens [[TheVirginQueen Elizabeth I]] and Elizabeth II, and other queens such as CatherineTheGreat, are also occasionally depicted in this manner, with rather less justification.[[note]]Namely, Elizabeth I was very savvy and was known to be cool with Shakespeare's bawdy sense of humour; Elizabeth II, although the very model of propriety, is also the very model of the CoolOldLady; and Catherine the Great was...well...she was Catherine the Great. Read her page.[[/note]]
** According to someone who was there, it was a risqué-bordering-on-crude anecdote told in a roomful of prepubescent girls. Victoria had good cause not to be amused.
** Incidentally, there are more photographs of Queen Victoria laughing than there are of all nine of her children laughing ''combined''. She could, however, be a Grande Dame when necessary; her genius was knowing when that was.
* Creator/BertrandRussell's parents died young, and he was [[RaisedByGrandparents raised by his grandfather and grandmother]], the [[Creator/EarlRussell Earl and Countess Russell]]. Because the Earl was near death and died two years after Bertrand's parents, he spent the longest time under the rule of his grandmother, who, although quite broadminded and indulgent, was also famously formidable and insisted--against her deceased son's wishes--on raising the children as devout Presbyterians. (It didn't stick.)
* Among some tribal societies in the rural Philippines, women have a traditional role as clan diplomats. Naturally one who gains a great reputation in this field would be considered a Grande Dame and would likely act like it.
[[/folder]]
----