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 Majesty, Queen Elizabeth Alexandra Mary (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. On September 9, 2015, she became the longest-reigning monarch in the history of the United Kingdom and its predecessor states, surpassing the record held by Queen Victoria.

Although the monarchy is now mostly ceremonial, the Queen continues to play an advisory role in running of her realms and keeps up to date by going through stacks of government documents everyday. She has regular weekly meetings with her British Prime Ministers and will also provide counsel to the Prime Ministers of her other realms during visits or as requested. These meetings meetings originally started off as elder Prime Ministers providing brief updates to a young queen but eventually morphed into an elder stateswoman giving much needed advice to her less-experienced officials. While the content of these meetings is strictly confidential (one of the few instances where both parties simply get to be alone), Prime Ministers of all stripesnote  have all stressed just how vital these meetings arenote  and that there is very little that slips by her. In a way, she has become a critical part of the institutional memory of the British government.

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 fan.note  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)

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 — Animation 
  • Minions: Scarlet Overkill wants Kevin, Stuart and Bob to steal the Queen's crown. The Queen is voiced by Jennifer Saunders.
  • Cars: The second movie features a car version of the Queen. She knights Mater for foiling the villain's Evil Plan.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Johnny English. She's seen from the back and can be heard speaking. A mook strongarms her into abdicating the throne by holding a gun on one of her corgis.
  • The Queen, as the title character, portrayed by Helen Mirren.
  • 2012 features a cameo of Her Majesty boarding one of the arks with one of her corgis.
  • Appears in Austin Powers in Goldmember, played by Jeanette Charles.
  • She appears as a child in The King's Speech, which is about her father. She saw the film and found it moving.
  • The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! is about a plot to assassinate the Queen. She's played by Jeanette Charles.
  • The 2015 film A Royal Night Out is about a heavily fictionalized account of Princess Elizabeth and Margaret taking part of the VE Day celebrations in 1945. Hilarity Ensues when the princesses decide to ditch their escorts head out into the night. The young Princess Elizabeth is played by Sarah Gadon.
  • In 7 Days in Hell, the Queen (played by June Squibb) demands that Charles Poole win the Wimbledon final, firstly by leaving passive-aggressive voicemails, and then by sending her bodyguards in to hold him down while she beats him up with her cane. During the final she responds to Aaron Williams Flipping the Bird at her by flipping it right back at him, and then stops security from intervening in a brawl between Poole and Williams because she wants to see how it turns out.

  • World War Z, she gets mentioned in passing when the narrator interviewed a British survivor: It is a combination Tear Jerker, Awesome Moment, and Heartwarming Moment. With explicit reference to how George VI, her father, behaved during WWII, she refused to evacuate during the epidemic in order to symbolically and literally endure with her people and serve as an inspiration. We do not get any specific details on what happened to her, but the implication is that she was not killed by zombies, but still nonetheless perished during the hardships.
  • 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:
    • Twice, both times played by an actress: "Silver Nemesis" and "Voyage of the Damned". She appeared as herself via archival footage of her coronation, in "The Idiot's Lantern". The Queen is also a massive fan of the show — Michael Grade, who screwed with it, is the only BBC controller not to be knighted.
  • I Love Lucy: In "Lucy Meets the Queen", Lucy desperately wants to meet Her Majesty. In the end, she does such a good job performing in Ricky's show at Royal Albert Hall, the Queen has her asked to the royal box!
  • 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