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December 11, 2009 8:24 AM   Subscribe


 
That was great! It should be 11 Presidents. 1 Queen's hairstyle.
posted by bluefly at 8:30 AM on December 11, 2009


I'm so glad Lyndon B. Johnson never did the Queen.
posted by eatyourcellphone at 8:32 AM on December 11, 2009 [5 favorites]


That's seriously cool.
posted by strixus at 8:33 AM on December 11, 2009


but how many divas?
posted by srboisvert at 8:33 AM on December 11, 2009


11 Presidents. 1 Queen.

How many times do we have to prove that MeFi can't have a civil conversation about Palin?
posted by DU at 8:34 AM on December 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


I like her "Joker" phase
posted by patricio at 8:35 AM on December 11, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'd crown it.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:35 AM on December 11, 2009


I don't know why, perhaps it's the Anglophile in me, but I love this.
posted by blucevalo at 8:36 AM on December 11, 2009


i wonder if lbj would have given the queen the johnson treatment or simply offered her fresca in a reused styrofoam cup.
posted by the aloha at 8:36 AM on December 11, 2009


I think the most shocking thing about that retrospective (apart from the face that 2 Girls 1 Cup was instantly called to mind for evil lizard-brain Internet reasons) was seeing Gerald Ford dancing with her. Uncomfortably intimate to me.
posted by kittyprecious at 8:36 AM on December 11, 2009


I'm so glad Lyndon B. Johnson never did the Queen.

We don't know that. Johnson's celebrated wang was enormous enough that you could have sex with him without actually meeting him. He was like Eccentrica Gallumbits in that respect.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:37 AM on December 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


We don't know that. Johnson's celebrated wang was enormous enough that you could have sex with him without actually meeting him. He was like Eccentrica Gallumbits in that respect.

Given that kittyprecious finds the picture of the Queen dancing with President Ford 'uncomfortably intimate', despite a good foot of empty air between them, perhaps Gerald was no slouch in the wang department, also. I wonder how kittyprecious found out?
posted by eatyourcellphone at 8:39 AM on December 11, 2009


Before clicking on the link, I was assuming it was a fun game of "guess which president likes to dress in drag."

I like her "Joker" phase

Thanks for getting that out of the way. Now I can laugh awkwardly, look away, and say "um, that's a terrible thing to say about such a nice lady. At least she probably doesn't any magic tricks."
posted by filthy light thief at 8:40 AM on December 11, 2009


I was just thinking about this. How, no matter how silly or anachronistic you think the British monarchy is, there it has stood, there Elizabeth has stood, as every other world leader swirls and changes around her. Like a pillar in a whirlwind.

But for the record....USA! USA! USA!
posted by esereth at 8:40 AM on December 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


In some of those photos, the Queen looks as if she is grimacing, waiting until her obligation is over so she can retreat back to her Fortress of Solitude.
posted by Malice at 8:43 AM on December 11, 2009


there Elizabeth has stood, as every other world leader

Of course, technically the British Queen is not a world leader...
posted by DU at 8:43 AM on December 11, 2009


Unrelated. "Presidents who have met Putin. The Early Years."
posted by seanyboy at 8:44 AM on December 11, 2009 [4 favorites]


I forget how young she was when she became queen. my goodness.

she could still play helen mirren when they do a biography of mirren.
posted by rmd1023 at 8:51 AM on December 11, 2009 [3 favorites]


The last "Great" monarch.
posted by blue_beetle at 8:52 AM on December 11, 2009


Like a pillar in a whirlwind.

Or like a tourist attraction in England.
posted by shmegegge at 8:53 AM on December 11, 2009


Of course, technically the British Queen is not a world leader...

Erm no. In fact she is de jure still the boss of the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand etc etc etc. She just delegates all of her power to officials chosen by the people.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 9:01 AM on December 11, 2009


The Queen is the spit of my gran, which means I always do a double take when I see pictures of her: my gran met JFK?!

My gran's sister looked like the Queen Mum, so we claim forgotton royal blood somewhere.
posted by Helga-woo at 9:02 AM on December 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Gerald Ford, dancing with the Queen. What a sly devil.

That said, he probably stepped on her toes and poked his eye with her scepter.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:10 AM on December 11, 2009


Who would have thought that a discussion of LBJ and The Queen would devolve into Youtube-esq blithering?
Srsly, people.
posted by lekvar at 9:12 AM on December 11, 2009


At the Ron Reagan Celebrity Roast.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 9:16 AM on December 11, 2009


> Of course, technically the British Queen is not a world leader...

Erm no. In fact she is de jure still the boss of the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand etc etc etc. She just delegates all of her power to officials chosen by the people.


Actually, if you want to get technical, the British Queen is not the boss of Canada. The Queen of Canada is the boss of Canada. It just so happens that both titles are held by the same person.
posted by Jairus at 9:18 AM on December 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


There have also been eleven Prime Ministers of the UK in the Queen's reign. A little bit spooky, isn't it?
posted by eatyourcellphone at 9:24 AM on December 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Queen?

McQueen?

McQueen!
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:27 AM on December 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Erm no. In fact she is de jure still the boss of the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand etc etc etc. She just delegates all of her power to officials chosen by the people.

I was taught that what power she has to govern the British people is only hers because she doesn't use it. As in, parliament would strip that shit right the fuck out of her hands if she ever defied them. Maybe I was taught incorrectly. Any experts on the subject present?
posted by shmegegge at 9:28 AM on December 11, 2009


I've read that Her Majesty wasn't too excited about hosting the Kennedys at Buckingham Palace - she thought they were too "Hollywood." But Prince Philip was very keen to meet the glamorous Jacqueline Kennedy (he's always had an eye for the ladies).

Note how the Queen's hair seemed to go from dark to completely grey from the GWH Bush to Clinton eras. I wonder if she'd been coloring it and suddenly stopped, a la Bob Barker?
posted by Oriole Adams at 9:43 AM on December 11, 2009


Actually, if you want to get technical, the British Queen is not the boss of Canada. The Queen of Canada is the boss of Canada. It just so happens that both titles are held by the same person.

I'm well aware; I was using 'she' to refer to Elizabeth II, not specifically Her Britannic Majesty.

I was taught that what power she has to govern the British people is only hers because she doesn't use it. As in, parliament would strip that shit right the fuck out of her hands if she ever defied them. Maybe I was taught incorrectly.

That's kind of an interesting question, actually. She must give Royal Assent in order for any law to come into effect. She does so on the advice of her ministers, but is not required by law to agree; in theory she could refuse assent to anything, but in practice it seems unlikely. Moreover, in order for any debate to take place on any legislation that can affect the Royal Prerogative, she needs to give assent to the debate; this was actually demonstrated a few years ago when some knob was trying to make declaration of war a power of Parliament, and remove it from the Prerogative. On the advice of her ministers, she declined to allow even a debate on the subject.

So it's kind of a catch-22; her signature is required for anything to become law in the UK, and you can't get rid of that requirement without her permission to even discuss the issue. And she is not required to follow the advice of her ministers, but does so due to tradition.

Much the same obtains everywhere else she is Queen, just there's an intermediary (the Governor-General) who does all the signing and such on her behalf.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 9:45 AM on December 11, 2009



I was taught that what power she has to govern the British people is only hers because she doesn't use it. As in, parliament would strip that shit right the fuck out of her hands if she ever defied them. Maybe I was taught incorrectly. Any experts on the subject present?


This is correct, of course technically parliament doesn't have the legal power to do anything without her consent. There used to be a tripartite separation of powers between the monarch, the house of commons, and the lords. (Guess who was inspired by that idea...)
These days, the lords are mostly elected, sort of senators for life. The monarch has no real power and parliament has all the cards. But this is by convention, the strict letter of the law still gives the Queen an enormous amount of power.

Basically it would lead to total chaos.
posted by atrazine at 9:46 AM on December 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


There have also been eleven Prime Ministers of the UK in the Queen's reign. A little bit spooky, isn't it?

And 11 Canadian P.M.'s (St. Laurent, Diefenbaker, Pearson, Trudeau [x2], Clark, Turner, Mulroney, Campbell, Chrétien, Martin, Harper). THE CONSPIRACY DEEPENS
posted by hangashore at 9:47 AM on December 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


And 11 Canadian P.M.'s (St. Laurent, Diefenbaker, Pearson, Trudeau [x2], Clark, Turner, Mulroney, Campbell, Chr├ętien, Martin, Harper). THE CONSPIRACY DEEPENS

And eleven Australian P.M.s! (Menzies, Holt, McEwen, Gorton, McMahon, Whitlam, Fraser, Hawke, Keating, Howard, Rudd). Well, I'm just plain scared now.
posted by eatyourcellphone at 9:53 AM on December 11, 2009


English Bob: If you were to try to assassination a king, sir, the... how shall I say it? The aura of royalty would cause you to miss. But, the president...I mean, why not shoot the president?

Little Bill Dagget: You been talking about that Queen of yours, again, Bob? On Independence Day?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:54 AM on December 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


From lekvar's link:
"This is over 40 years ago...who cares!"
"Who cares?"


Man, I'll take our willfully bad puns and cheeky dick jokes over the mass of the internet's pose of bored incuriousness and too-cool-for-schoolism, any day.
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:55 AM on December 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


Having had the privilege of an actual conversation with her once, I was left with the feeling that she's much smarter than many people suppose. And more down to earth. She certainly came with a sharp sense of humour.
posted by dowcrag at 10:01 AM on December 11, 2009


Before I click on this is it anything like Two Girls One Cup?
posted by leetheflea at 10:01 AM on December 11, 2009


I was taught that what power she has to govern the British people is only hers because she doesn't use it.

hey, that's just like our congress
posted by pyramid termite at 10:03 AM on December 11, 2009 [4 favorites]


Were Ford and Nixon standing in a ditch or something?
posted by small_ruminant at 10:03 AM on December 11, 2009


Cool post.
posted by Vindaloo at 10:08 AM on December 11, 2009


Young Queen Elizabeth.

50 Foot Queenie.

I'm just saying. I don't know what I'm saying.
posted by katillathehun at 10:09 AM on December 11, 2009


"Monarchy: The Royal Family At Work" is a pretty good documentary on the workings of the modern British royal family, if a bit of a glossy commercial for the institution. Still, I has Lizzie, in a rare moment of comic frustration, huffing out "Oh what a life one leads!"

Plus, crazy rules and how exactly do you feed 400 guests and other stuff.
posted by The Whelk at 10:16 AM on December 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


Is Ronald Reagan laughing or is he only very well taxidermied?
posted by bizwiz2 at 10:22 AM on December 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


As much as I abhor archaic, hidebound and increasingly irrelevant institutions such as royalty, it must be a fascinating perspective from Buckingham Palace or Vatican City, watching the rest of the world scurry by. How transient, ephemeral and vacuous we must seem.

It's those institutions that have the truly Long View, for right or wrong: they have been around for a thousand years, and will be present for at least a millennium more. They're the nearest thing we have to immortality.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 10:25 AM on December 11, 2009


He's probably laughing at her dress.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:26 AM on December 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


I remember her coronation was broadcast on US TV. It was filmed and flown to the US for broadcast. I saw it at the neighbors. They were the first in the area to have a TV. A lot of snow and only two channels at that time.
posted by Jumpin Jack Flash at 10:31 AM on December 11, 2009 [1 favorite]




Having had the privilege of an actual conversation with her once, I was left with the feeling that she's much smarter than many people suppose. And more down to earth. She certainly came with a sharp sense of humour.

I've not had the privilege, but my mother-in-law has, when she got her MBE. Unfortunately, it was just a quick "Hello and what do you do?" moment as Elizabeth pinned the medal on the M-I-L. M-I-L was worried that she was going to be inadvertently stabbed in the chest by Her Majesty, and the photo shows her leaning back with a "oh God I hope this doesn't hurt!" smile.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 10:44 AM on December 11, 2009


Queen Elizabeth the Fifth has just one dress, but it has the ability to transform itself into the shape of any dress.

What the fucking fuck? At first I thought it was a genuine educational video, and then it went off the fucking deep end. My mind is blown.
posted by Caduceus at 10:57 AM on December 11, 2009 [5 favorites]


She must give Royal Assent in order for any law to come into effect. She does so on the advice of her ministers, but is not required by law to agree; in theory she could refuse assent to anything, but in practice it seems unlikely.
The famous recent-ish example of this was King Badouin of Belgium refusing to assent to an abortion law. How similar the constitutional set-up is I don't know though.
posted by Abiezer at 11:02 AM on December 11, 2009


This is not a series of photos of HRH Queen Elizabeth II meeting eleven presidents. It's her meeting ten presidents and HRH The Princess Elizabeth meeting LBJ. She met him in 1951, while George VI was still King.
posted by Plutor at 11:09 AM on December 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Jumpin' Jack Flash, the Coronation is one of those right of passages as a nation thing for the UK (not that I was there, I should add). Lots of people bought TV sets for the first time so they could watch it, and most of the rest of the nation were squashed in someone elses' living rooms so they could watch it to.
posted by Helga-woo at 11:15 AM on December 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Interestingly enough, she's only the 2nd Queen to set foot on the moon, but is the 14th Queen to have functioning gills.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:18 AM on December 11, 2009 [4 favorites]


seriously, though, that video behind the Elizabeth V link above is one of the funniest things I've ever seen.
posted by shmegegge at 11:27 AM on December 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


HRH The Princess Elizabeth meeting LBJ

I think you meant Truman (who looks really uncomfortable).

Queen Elizabeth II with Lyndon B Johnson...These two never met...find out why!

I thought it might be because LBJ was uncomfortable around queens, but he got along with J. Edgar Hoover.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:38 AM on December 11, 2009 [5 favorites]


ThePinkSuperhero: "He's probably laughing at her dress."

You'd prefer she was styled in the Alexis Carrington vogue of the time?

Anyway, given Reagan's... down-to-earth sense of humor, I assumed Her Majesty had just inadvertently puffed a dart.

What? It's not inconceivable. Flatulence is no respecter of the nobility.
posted by Joe Beese at 11:39 AM on December 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


I was taught that what power she has to govern the British people is only hers because she doesn't use it. As in, parliament would strip that shit right the fuck out of her hands if she ever defied them. Maybe I was taught incorrectly. Any experts on the subject present?

How can anybody be an expert on that? The constitution says that she can exercise those powers if she wants. But custom now says she can't. Given that a fair amount of the constitution is custom, there isn't really an answer until there is. I don't think it's sure that the Commons would want to strip her of a power she attempted to use, or even have to. What would happen if she refused to give assent to a new law, yet people started behaving as if it were law?

These days, the lords are mostly elected, sort of senators for life.

Members of the Lords have never been elected. Many have been appointed by the government, but that's a different thing entirely because a fair number of those seats were sold for party donations.
posted by Sova at 11:45 AM on December 11, 2009


In the earlier pictures she seems like a pretty nice girl.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 11:51 AM on December 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


kirkaracha: "I think you meant Truman"

Yes, that's precisely what I meant. Thanks.
posted by Plutor at 11:54 AM on December 11, 2009


In the earlier pictures she seems like a pretty nice girl.

But she doesn't have a lot to say.
posted by arto at 11:58 AM on December 11, 2009 [4 favorites]


In the earlier pictures she seems like a pretty nice girl.

But she doesn't have a lot to say.

On preview: Damn you arto
posted by evilcolonel at 12:09 PM on December 11, 2009


Scrolling down the page is like watching a Lifetime Movie of the Week version of Benjamin Button.
posted by bondcliff at 12:15 PM on December 11, 2009


Naw, man. That's what I like about these Presidents; I get older, they stay the same age.
posted by geoff. at 12:50 PM on December 11, 2009 [5 favorites]



Members of the Lords have never been elected. Many have been appointed by the government, but that's a different thing entirely because a fair number of those seats were sold for party donations.


Whoops. Indeed, my mistake.
posted by atrazine at 12:59 PM on December 11, 2009


I'm still pretty thrilled about the recent photo of the Queen and Lady Gaga - and I, who live under a rock, don't even know who Lady Gaga IS (other than famous, ridiculous, and ridiculously famous).
posted by grapefruitmoon at 1:43 PM on December 11, 2009


Lady Gaga *is* Queen Elizabeth. That photo we all saw was a cover-up because people were starting to talk.
posted by katillathehun at 1:49 PM on December 11, 2009


Members of the Lords have never been elected.

Check your facts. Lords was reorganized in 1999, and apart from 92 hereditary peers, is entirely an elected body now.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 1:59 PM on December 11, 2009


And she could have kicked the ass of all of them. She's nails.
posted by ciderwoman at 2:35 PM on December 11, 2009


Check your facts. Lords was reorganized in 1999, and apart from 92 hereditary peers, is entirely an elected body now.

Rubbish. Not a single one of those apparatchiks has been directly elected to the post they hold in the Lords.

Being placed in a position of power by someone who was elected is somewhat different than actually being elected to that position. We should go unicameral, like the Kiwis, and throw all of these parasites out onto the street.
posted by veedubya at 2:51 PM on December 11, 2009


Oh my gosh, this is the best Metafilter Day ever. My "Post Comment" button is now a unicorn, I learned about gay elf sex videogames, and I just laughed so hard I had to take off my sweater in a borderline freezing room. (And I learned about British parliamentary authority, but our last 12 presidents could probably take your last 11 PMs in a walk.)
posted by kittyprecious at 3:15 PM on December 11, 2009


Queen Elizabeth the Fifth has just one dress, but it has the ability to transform itself into the shape of any dress.
posted by fiercecupcake at 1:35 PM


Thanks, fiercecupcake. Thiercecupcake.
posted by Adam_S at 3:19 PM on December 11, 2009


I was taught that what power she has to govern the British people is only hers because she doesn't use it. As in, parliament would strip that shit right the fuck out of her hands if she ever defied them. Maybe I was taught incorrectly. Any experts on the subject present?

Sovereign is he who decides in the exception, as Carl Schmitt put it. I think this question was basically decided in 1688, when James II wanted to be in charge and the parliament kicked him out and brought in William of Orange, who was less concerned about being so totally in charge. Mind you, the monarch continued to play a far more active role in government policy than we would recognize today through the 18th century. I welcome correction, but I think the first real figurehead monarch was Queen Victoria, who just didn't have it in her to take part in running things after her precious Albert died.
posted by sy at 4:59 PM on December 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


We should go unicameral, like the Kiwis, and throw all of these parasites out onto the street.

Well, you could just keep the house of Lords, but elect them proportionally within regions, like the Australian senate. You tend to get more interesting minor parties represented, that way.
posted by Jimbob at 6:11 PM on December 11, 2009


Caduceus: previously and previouslier.
posted by Limiter at 10:37 PM on December 11, 2009


Check your facts. Lords was reorganized in 1999, and apart from 92 hereditary peers, is entirely an elected body now.

Bollocks. They're appointed. Check your own facts.
posted by altolinguistic at 10:53 AM on December 12, 2009


Raymond Seitz (former US ambassador to the UK) says in this book that the Queen does still have one form of power - the Raised Eyebrow (Amazon Search Inside link - don't know whether it will work for everyone). Apparently, pieces of legislation have been brought before the Queen before, but on hearing what was in them (presumably fairly radical changes), the Queen's facial expression, specifically one raised eyebrow, was enough to make legislators think twice and redraft bits.

I don't have the book to hand, so I'm not sure whether Seitz gives any specific references to this happening, but this sounds like good evidence for why I rather like the Queen. Generally I'm not in favour of monarchy when it has any power at all, but I do like this particular monarch - because she's been around for decades, she has seen literally every piece of legislation passed in the UK since 1952, and she has met and talked with more world leaders than you've had hot dinners. In short, she is pretty much the ultimate living politician and diplomat, and I'm glad she has at least an indirect effect on the legislative process.

I like the House of Lords for similar reasons, for what it's worth. Getting rid of the hereditary peers was a fantastic move, and obviously there are still problems when the Government puts anyone it likes in the Lords (Alan Sugar? Really?), but the idea of having people who don't have to worry about doing what's popular or what will win them votes, and can instead use the experience and skills that got them into the Lords in the first place to help craft legislation, is a really good one.

And to answer the question asked above, if the Queen were to refuse Royal Assent and didn't work out something like that Belgian dude mentioned earlier, there would be a very quiet, very reserved, but very final revolution, at the end of which the Queen would just be a very rich elderly woman whose face happens to be on all the coins.
posted by ZsigE at 3:01 PM on December 12, 2009


Bollocks. They're appointed. Check your own facts.

Ahem.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 9:37 PM on December 12, 2009


That link deals with the election of the "92 remaining hereditary peers" - they had to be selected somehow. The electorate is made up either of the party to which the peer belongs, or the members of the House of Lords.

The rest of the House of Lords (some 500-odd members) is made up of Life Peers, who are appointed.
posted by altolinguistic at 6:22 AM on December 13, 2009


More info straight from the horse's mouth. Note the words "elected internally". It is not an elected chamber in the way most people understand those words.
posted by altolinguistic at 6:31 AM on December 13, 2009


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