Useful Notes: HM The Queen

"When life seems hard, the courageous do not lie down and accept defeat; instead, they are all the more determined to struggle for a better future."
Her Britannic Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, 2008

Her Britannic Majesty, Queen Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Mountbatten-Windsor (Elizabeth II to you, Brenda to readers of Private Eye, Mrs Windsor in Stroke Country, Lilibet as a child, Gertie to her friends, Cabbage to her husband, and Betty to Alucard) of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Also Queen of fifteen other countries, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Jamaica. She was born in 1926 and acceded to the throne on February 6, 1952 on the death of her father, George VI. That's right, she has spent 63 years on the throne and is still going strong. Two of her three most recent Prime Ministers weren't even born when she became Queen. Should she still occupy the throne on September 10, 2015, she will become the longest-reigning monarch in the history of the United Kingdom or its predecessor states, surpassing the record currently held by Queen Victoria.

Since the Queen is the best-known monarch in the world, she's turned up quite a lot in fiction, usually as an Anonymous Ringer or Invisible President, in part due to her function as a constitutional monarch. Despite a wobble in the early nineties, Elizabeth II is highly popular in the UK.

Apparently a big Doctor Who fannote . A huge technophile, quite tech-savvy; she was the one who insisted on televising her coronation. President Barack Obama's gift of an iPod to her was not a gaffe, as commonly believed: she did, in fact, already have one, but had mentioned it was a generation or two out of date and she would really like a new one. Plus, the royal family now has a YouTube account. This was also Her Majesty's idea.

In a highly surprising, hilarious, and touching display of sportsmanship, she made her acting debut in a scene opposite Daniel Craig as James Bond for the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games. After greeting him at Buckingham Palace, they travel to the stadium via helicopter and (with the help of a stunt double, naturally) parachute into the arena. Cool Old Lady indeed.

Has had a famous ocean liner (commonly abbreviated QE2), a famous clock tower, a steam locomotive, and a road bridge (part of the Dartford River Crossing) named after her.

See also: British Royal Family (for the current members), The House of Windsor (for the more historical members)

HM, the Queen provides examples of:

  • Canine Companion: Her famous brood of Welsh Corgis. She currently owns 17 of them.
  • Cool Crown: Although she doesn't show off her tiaras as much any more.
  • Cool Old Lady:
    • Her surprise London 2012 Olympics debut performance codifies this. Her Majesty is now a Bond girl.
    • She asked Barack Obama for a new iPod for Christmas, because her old one was an obsolete model. Seriously.
    • She is the one responsible for the Royal Family having a website, a YouTube channel, and now a Twitter feed.
    • At Balmoral Castle, has one living room decorated with a cushion proclaiming "It's Good to be Queen".
    • Stephen Fry reports that at Prince Charles' wedding to Camilla, the Queen got up on the table and made a hilarious speech, and a few minutes after getting down nudged him hard with her elbow and asked, "Isn't anybody going to get me cake?"
    • In 2014's Commonwealth Games, she happened upon a couple taking a selfie... and then photobombed it.
    • She and the royal family received a Nintendo Wii from THQ in May 2009 — one that was actually gold-plated. (so yes, the Visual Pun in Royal "We" is kinda accurate)
  • Deadpan Snarker: Known for her subversive humour, for all her decorum being put in a silly or embarrassing situation will bring out the snark.
  • Diary: She's known to write in hers every single day.
  • Fairytale Wedding Dress: Her dress was covered with lace in addition to the veil.
  • Happily Married: Prince Philip may have a raging case of foot-in-mouth disease, but she seems to love him. Rather a lot, actually. And it's mutual.
  • Hidden Depths: Skilled mechanic and a life-long Doctor Who fan. Also a brilliant political adviser. British PMs from Harold Wilson to current David Cameron have openly stated her role as adviser has been crucially helpful to their administrations, especially in regards to foreign policy.note 
  • Negated Moment of Awesome: In 2014 she visited the Ireland set of Game of Thrones and posed standing next to the Iron Throne. The number of geeks praying for her to sit in the meme-inducing throne was enormous. Sadly, she declined to sit in it. Maybe because she's clever enough to know that sitting in the Iron Throne can lead to disaster.
  • Nice Hat: Known for her fondness for decorative hats. Her outfits are often coloured to match whatever hat she happens to be wearing.
  • Opera Gloves: From the late 1940's through the 1960's, she, as well as her sister Princess Margaret, habitually wore over-the-elbow (usually white) gloves with both (short-sleeved) daytime and evening outfits. She doesn't wear short sleeves anymore, but she still frequently turns out in public with properly gloved hands.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Although she's often known for frumpy outfits, for grand occasions, she likes to wear dresses loaded with lace or other decorations. This was especially true in the 50s and 60s.
    • Her coronation gown was even Gem-Encrusted, although the gems are so finely added, it blends into the designs on the dress. This was actually the last of eight designs her dressmaker proposed (one of the earlier ones would have had a hem of ermine tails).
  • Pretty in Mink: She had a number of furs she wore in public, such as a mink coat, a white ermine coat, a white mink wrap, and a white fox wrap (the latter she wears most often now). Her sister Margaret had similar furs she wore.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something / Tomboy Princess: For one thing, she served in the British Army in World War II, making her the last living sovereign who is a veteran of that war. The Queen also receives copies of all government papers and routinely spends up to three hours a day reviewing them and has a weekly meeting with the current Prime Minister. While details of these meetings are confidential, all previous Prime Ministers have gone on record to say they are not mere formalities - the Queen has over sixty years of experience and knowledge of political matters - and the meetings are taken very seriously by both parties.
    • An amusing story had the Queen herself drive around a now-late Saudi king, making it all the more ironic given women are still not permitted to do so in Saudi Arabia. Given her part of her role in WW2 was as a driver, she was of course more than capable.
      • "More than capable" isn't even half of it. The story goes that she deliberately drove like a maniac on tiny country roads in a massive Land Rover while chatting idly to the increasingly terrified Saudi monarch.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Her preferred manner of speaking, particularly on Christmas Day.
  • She Is the King: Her titles include Lord of Mann and Duke of Normandy (reflecting her technically separate role as monarch of the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, respectively), and formerly the perhaps gender-neutral Paramount Chief of Fiji.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Had one of these once named Michael Fagan. He even broke into her room, while she slept! She kept her cool and talked with him until her security could come and escort him away.
  • Stiff Upper Lip: Of course. Though she's frequently seen smiling, and following outside pressure, even broadcast a public eulogy to Princess Diana.
    • When fired uponnote  while on horseback en route to Trooping the Colour in 1981, the Queen swiftly reined in her startled horse, gave it a pat, and continued on her way without even changing her expression.
  • Wrench Wench: She served as a military mechanic in WWII, in addition to driving transport trucks. Although she wasn't given that many assignments to either, she made it clear since then that she still liked to drive her family around.

Appearances of the Queen in fiction:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Hellsing: She appears at the meeting of the Roundtable conference. She is the one that gives Integra and Alucard the order to wipe out Millenium.

    Comic Books 
  • In the X-Men mini series "True Friends", Kitty Pryde and Rachel Summers are sent back in time to the late '30s, where Kitty meets a handsome RAF pilot Alashdair Kinross and his pre-teen cousin Lilibet, and they end up having an adventure involving Baron Strucker, Shadow King and Logan (before he became Wolverine), in a complex convoluted plotline involving mind-controlling mutants and Kitty seriously considering defying Hitler's Time Travel Exemption Act. Once Kitty and Rachel return to their own time, they learn that Lilibet would grow up to become Queen Elizabeth II.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • World War Z, she gets mentioned in passing: it's a combination Tear Jerker, Awesome Moment, and Heartwarming Moment. After all it's basically what George VI, her father, did during WWII. And no, she doesn't die. At least, not from the zombies. It's extremely unclear.
  • Two Weeks with the Queen by Morris Gleitzman. Colin never actually meets her Majesty face-to-face, but he talks about her at length, attempts to break into Buckingham Palace to meet her, and he watches a TV broadcast of her on Christmas Day.
  • Roald Dahl's The BFG. She's only ever referred to as The Queen or Her Majesty, but the illustrations unmistakably depict "Her Majesty" with Elizabeth's face.
  • The Windsors provide a rallying point for a chaotic UK after the Change renders modern technology and guns inoperable, in S.M. Stirling's Emberverse. Elizabeth II is described as dying of "heartbreak and overwork" a year after the Change, and is succeeded by Charles, who is eventually driven mad from the stress. His successor, William, is referred to as "the Great."
  • In the final book of Jo Walton's Small Change trilogy, it is the young Queen Elizabeth II was is finally able to break the back of the fascist regime controlling the country and save the day.
  • Sewer, Gas & Electric features her as a total badass who defends herself from the IRA with an old vickers machine gun and in general foils the plans of people who have annoyed her.
  • In Sue Townsend's novel The Queen And I a republican party wins the 1992 General Election using Subliminal Advertising. They abolish the Monarchy and the Royal Family are sent to live on a run-down Council Estate. The Queen adapts reasonably well to the new situation, but the same can't be said of the rest of the family. It's All Just a Dream
  • In the Molly (1944) series of The American Girls Collection, Molly and friends fangirl the then-Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret Rose. The Film of the Book has Emily, peer-pressured into acting like what the American kids think an English girl will be like, pretending she knows them.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who:
  • The Kids in the Hall (remember, she's the Queen of Canada too, eh?) as memorably impersonated by Scott Thompson.
  • The Royal Canadian Air Farce often had Luba Goy impersonate Her Majesty, beginning every speech with a high-pitched "hem-hem-hem".
  • She is played in the Mr. Bean episode "Meeting Royalty". Preparing for a bow, Bean accidentally headbutts her.
  • In one Monty Python's Flying Circus episode (called "Royal Episode 13 or: The Queen Will Be Watching"), it's announced at the beginning that Her Majesty will be watching part of the show. She tunes in in the middle of a sketch, but to everyone's disappointment, she switches over after a few seconds.
  • Spitting Image featured the Queen as a reoccurring character, depicted as the rather level-headed matriarch of an extraordinarily dysfunctional (and weirdly lower-middle class) family.
  • Played by Fred Armisen with Bill Hader as Phillip in a few Saturday Night Live sketches. The first with Anne Hathaway playing Kate Middleton. Apparently, in private the royal couple are Cockney gangsters.
  • In a rare case of playing herself (for about ten seconds of her portrayal, at least), she appeared in a short film in the 2012 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremonies where James Bond (Daniel Craig) escorted her to the ceremonies. It was a stunt double skydiving out of the helicopter at the actual ceremony, though. A MALE stunt double.
  • Depicted in in an episode of Hannah Montana, where Hannah and Robbie Ray deliberately play a very fast performance when the Queen has an audience with Hannah, in order for them to attend Jackson's basketball game. The Queen later asks her assistant if she had just been "punk'd".
  • Israeli satire show Eretz Nehederet featured two different portrayals of her, by two different actors: the first portrayed her as a grumpy old woman who domineers her son and is implied to be behind Diana’s untimely death, and the other portrayed her as frequently slipping into her real persona of a Football Hooligan full of Patriotic Fervor.

    Western Animation 
  • She appears in The Simpsons episode "The Regina Monologues", where the family visits the UK. Homer crashes into her carriage as she was out to go buy some light bulbs for the palace.
    • She also briefly appears in the episode "To Surveil with Love", voiced by Eddie Izzard.
    • She also makes very brief appearances in the episodes "Mom and Pop Art", and "Behind the Laughter".
  • She also appears in an episode of Animaniacs, 'Windsor Hassle', (voiced by Tress MacNeille) as well as versions of the rest of the family. Set after the 1992 fire in Windsor Castle, she's trying to get the banquet hall finished. She ends up left with the Warners.
  • She appears in the Family Guy episode "Family Guy Viewer Mail 2", in a segment that shows a British version of the series. Neville (Peter's equivalent) wants to get a lock of hair from her to prove that they're related, and he ends up chasing her to her death in a tunnel. She's voiced by Cate Blanchett.

God Save the Queen