The Family (Or most of them)

The Family (Or most of them)
The Family

December 20, 2007

The REAL Queen of England


And as we in the UK, Canada and other Commonwealth countries say or sing: Long Live the Queen or God Save the Queen.
(Although those hats HAVE TO GO! OK, we don't sing that, but that's just me).
In fact, her Royal Highnessnessness just this week became the oldest-ever living British monarch, at 81 years and 244 days (and counting).

That surpasses the previous UK record of her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, the incredibly exquisite woman below.

While she's the oldest-ever living British monarch, Elizabeth is not the longest-serving at Buckingham Palace.

She will be if she can make it, with crown still on head and standing upright, until Sept. 9, 2015 -- she'd be 89, we'd assume -- at which time she would take that title too, from Victoria.

And according to one source, she had 425 Queen-related engagements in 2007 alone, so she's still going strong and shows few signs of slowing down.

When I was a kid growing up, we always sang God Save the Queen. Our gracious Queen. She became queen three years before I was born, so she's always been a part of my life.

There are plenty of feelings here in Canada and, I'm sure, in other current or one-time Commonwealth nations -- like Australia, New Zealand, the Phillippines, India, etc. -- that it's time for the monarchy to be abandoned, at least by us.

But there are also monarchists here and in many other countries who love what the Queen and what our ties to the UK and mean...

...In terms of our history and all, our heritage, the nation we've become. And, like much of the rest of the world, many people here still love her and the rest of the Royal Family.

I'm not sure I hold a strong opinion either way.

I think I probably lean more to seeing her and the British royalty as nothing but figureheads, but there still is some affinity we have with the UK that's unlike any other we have with other countries.

In any event, without any intent to offend, I wanted to say there's another British Queen to rival the real one, at least in my world.

Twelve years after the last episode was filmed in Coventry, I can still see her on public TV, every day, here in Canada. She's much funnier and more outrageous. But she still wears stupid hats.

And this is her.

She's Hyacinth Bucket (she pronounces it Bouquet, starring Patricia Routledge). She was the star of a brilliantly funny UK sitcom called Keeping Up Appearances, which aired on BBC1 from 1990-95.

In 2004, the show was named the 12th best British sitcom ever. It's about a social-climbing snob and her poor husband and their lives together as she tries to climb the social ladder pretending to be what she's not.

And the impression I always had, with the hats she wore and all, was that she thought she was the Queen of England. Or at least trying to be.
At the very least, the show seemed to be a parody of that Uppah British uppah class mentality that's so often portrayed in film and on screen (although to be honest, I never, for a moment, have ever witnessed it in real life).

Anyway...I mean, don't they look at least SOMEWHAT the same?

Even their families seem to have similarities, if you look at it in a humourous, Monty Pythonesque sort of light...

HRH and Prince Philip

Mrs. Bucket and her long-suffering hubby, Rich-awd

Prince Philip in full regalia

Rich-awd in full regalia...and anguish

Prince Chawls, the louse and heir-apparent (oldest ever too, I believe)

Onslow, Hyacinth's beer-swilling slob of a brother-in-law

Prince Chawls and Camilla Pahkuh-Balls

Onslow and his sex-starved wife, Daisy

The Royuhl Family and some big fat guy

The Keeping Up Appearances Family

So while I respect the real Queen, so regal and royal, I just howl in laughter at the other queen, so funny and loyal.
And I trust that Britons, who have the best sense of humour in the world, will giggle too...
...Before they tie me to a stake, lance out my liver and kidneys as they swig back some ale, set me afire while I slowly bleed to death and tell jokes as I take my final breath, gasping "God Save the Queen."


  1. I visited the Queen and Phil the Greek's house at Sandringham once -fantastic-all that history. Beautiful grounds. Maybe there is no real place for her in the world nowadays -but there certainly is something intriguing about the royal family. And there is definitely something about the U.K. that is entirely lacking in the U.S. I am ashamed to say that I've never gotten around to watching Keeping Up Appearances, but am aware of the show.

  2. I laughed out loud at "the incredibly exquisite woman" beside a photo of Queen Vicky. As for other British Queens what about the late Freddie Mercury? :) And we can only hope she lives as long as her tough old bird of a mother. The longer she lives the shorter Charles reigns!

  3. Lee:

    I've covered some of HRH visits to Canada but have never actually met her or any of the others...

    There's a little clip of the OTHER royal couple on my sidebar, at the top, 40-50 seconds or so...


    I thought I was rather generous but respectful, don't you?

    I was never a big fan of Freddie, but Homer Escapeons do you like my pic of Chawls?

  4. Do Canuck schoolchildren still sing God Save the Queen as part of their opening exercises?

    Our singing was always followed by fingernail inspection to assure we were practicing good hygiene.

  5. MJ:

    You need to have kids. No, they don't sing God Save the Queen at school.

    I'm sure your fingernails were always dirty. Even back then, you probably had Filthy Fridays.

  6. One of the cleverest (and England has many) sit-coms.
    There are more than a few real-life Hyacinths!
    A pain in the fundament, but a great antidote to religious fundament(alists).

  7. This is too funny and yet at the same time a buit strange. I wonder what the queen is saying or was.... not sure how I would feel about beeing poked fun at may be fun to see someone try.

    I like the idea of kings and queens, but as figures of authority now actual. But then again... we americans are lost with a president... can't say having one of those is suitable either.

    Intersting post ...

  8. I've never seen that show or heard of it. Sounds pretty amusing. I don't have any strong opinion about the royal family either.

  9. It's good but not as good as 'As Time Goes By' or the very best 'Yes (Prime)Minister' - Dinah's right we many!

    I quite like the institution of the monarchy - Himself and I once went to one of her garden parties and the sandwiches and ice cream were excellent!

  10. Dinahmow:

    The "fundament?" Ha Ha Ha!

    Oh, but woe is Richawd...

    Inside Our Hearts:

    Nice to have you come over!

    I'm not even really sure if Keeping Up Appearances is supposed to be parodying the Royals or not, maybe more just the UK's supposed uppah class...but the hats are the thing for me.

    I don't know whether the Queen has a sense of humour...I would hope she'd giggle and then assign me to a 24-hour shift outside the palace gates.

    The diff between a monarch and your president is one actually runs the country, the other just represents it regally.

    Your current administration, as with our own, is doing a poorer job at that than the Royals are with theirs, I'd say.



    It's often on PBS, usually once a day at least, out here in the Wild, Wild West. Check your TV Guide. It's a hoot!


    So I guess you're not riding your broom over here to whisk me away to Jolly Old, then?

    I'll try to find those shows...

    So you actually met HRH? Did you try on her crown?

  11. Inside our Hands, that is, Tara, and Outside our Hearts, I meant. Sorry.

  12. she was wearing a pink hat - I didn't think it would suit me so I didn't ask. I had my own hat anyway. She's very short and so Charlie boy - but I didn't speak to them - I didn't want them to be be too overwhelmed
    . . .

    Merry Christmasssssssssssss

  13. Ziggi:

    And no doubt, they WOULD have been overwhelmed!

    Merry Christmas to you, Himself and all your other (s)elves, Ziggi.



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