Thursday, July 12, 2007

Annie Leibovitz was photographing Queen Elizabeth in a whole lot of regalia including a crown and she suggested the Queen take off the crown so the shot could be a little less “dressy”. The BBC reported that the Queen got pissed off and stormed out when Leibovitz said that but then, 24 hours later the BBC apologized for the way it characterized the Queen’s behavior, stating that actually, the Queen didn’t storm out and get pissed off. Just as an aside, even though the BBC didn’t say the word “pissed”, it’s really gratifying just using the word “pissed” and “The Queen” in the same sentence.

After you get over the shock of a report that the Queen experiences emotion and actually did something vaguely human, just like with Paris Hilton, the most hilarious and intriguing part of this story is actually the reaction of those around her. She and Annie Leibovitz seem relatively
innocuous in the overall deal.

Best line of the article has got to be:

Royal sources said courtiers were “furious” at the Queen being misrepresented.

The only thing more inane, delusional and self important than low level publicists and mid-level arts administrationistas are “royal sources” and “courtiers”. You can just imagine the flurry of manic mincing, delicate patting of silk handkerchief to face, wrist to forehead wilting and hand flap infested panic along with the crashing of a thousand towering piles of plates on silver trays being carried by servants from one end of Buckingham Palace to the next as the rumour got out that the Queen might be angry at Annie Leibovitz.

Beyond the non-issue inspired melodrama of the BBC and Buckingham Palace, the next best ludicrous thing – apart from low level publicists, mid-level arts administrationistas, “royal sources”, “courtiers” and “royal correspondents” for that matter are bored elderly people who would ordinarily write letters to newspapers but instead leave comments online like these:

What a horrid photo of the queen. Leibovitz has Her Majesty looking like George Washington just before he crossed the Delaware.
- Denise, Washington, DC, USA
With Denise, you can almost feel the shudder of excitement she got from getting to use the phrase, “Her Majesty” and also being able to demonstrate her vast knowledge of American history. Of which she is enormously proud. That community college course she did was the only thing that kept her from sedating herself to death that one summer 3 years ago when she realized she may as well not even be married to her emotionally dead husband.
It's obvious the Queen is losing steam if she has to get into a snit for something so trivial.
- Leigh, Washington, DC
Mmmm, quite astute Leigh. I’ll certainly reconsider my vote for Monarch next election – after all so much rides on her having “steam”. Also, kudos to you for saying the word “snit”. Very contemporary.
If she is going to be discourteous then she deserved all she got, and more - long live the Queen!
- Hil, Chester
Indeed Hil (is that actually the full spelling of your name? Come forgot the rest, didn't you... ). Quite right to chastise Annie Liebovitz for her treacherous behavior. Let’s cut to the chase, it is treacherous to talk to the Queen about the photo you’re about to take and to suggest aesthetic alterations. How dare she?! Also, good on you for the “Long Live the Queen” bit. We’ll get the smarmy krauts yet!

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