Gathre round, ye feeble-minded and gossip-starved broads and gays: I present to you a brief royal history in the oral tradition from the perspective of someone who was a child in the Midwestern United States on the day of Lady Diana’s state funeral. On that late summer day in 1997, the Queen, Mother Mummy Elizabeth, bowed almost imperceptibly as the Windsor flag-draped coffin of her late ex-daughter-in-law — of whom she reportedly did not entirely approve — passed by in the funeral procession. How dignified! How auspicious of our queen! the townsfolk of suburban Chicagoland, watching on the telly, rejoiced.
But the Royal Family’s rift with poor Lady Di was not entirely sewn back together, even in death. Princess Margaret, the hot, evil younger sister to Lilibet’s solemn and dutiful eldest daughter archetype, did not bow as the funeral for her estranged ex-niece-in-law commenced. What a snubbly! What a bitch! we commoners tittered, even though we were but the tender age of 6, because we learned the curse word from our mother.
And thus, good and evil played out again among this prosperous family of queens and kings and princesses and Wallis Simpsons, the forces locked in an eternal struggle for dominance. Ever since, the far-flung daughters of the queen’s realm of Albion have been cursed with the sickening duty to blog for a tuppence about the slights and shows of mercy that members of this family proffer upon each other via the noteworthy gestures of moving their necks or ankles a few centimeters up and down.
Are you still engrossed in this winding tale? This is where it gets good. Kate Middleton, the fun aunt to Meghan Markle’s nebbish NPRishness, curtsied before the Queen last Tuesday at Prince Philip’s memorial service. Marie Claire reports that “eagle-eyed viewers of the memorial caught the Duchess of Cambridge dip into a low curtsy for the Queen as the monarch passed Kate on her left side.” This dip is “expected protocol for royal ladies who are seeing Her Majesty in public for the first time that day,” according to the women’s rag, which notes how Kate’s body language is a silent, but “enormous,” sign of respect for her mother-in-law. So genteel.
The Pedophile Andrew was escorting the Queen as this curtsy happened, however, tainting this moment of noble civility with the foul filth of a man who preyed on teen girls. That brings the entire family back to its default state of being: usually in the wrong, but somehow morally unimpeachable.
UPDATE: This post originally referred to Elizabeth as Queen Mother in the sense of being a queen and a mother. It has now been updated to make clear that she was not the formally titled Queen Mother, but a queen… and a mother.