Our favorite questions at this website surround the late Queen’s undercarriage. Our thoughts primarily lie in wondering if she was buried in her bra, but a more important and suspiciously under-asked question is, “What if Her Maj got a tummy ache?” She’s certainly eating a lot of heavy cream and gamey meat.
The penultimate season of The Crown premiered this week and though we’ve endured many episodes featuring Lilibet Sr.’s baby sister Princess Margaret wearing a tiara in the bathtub and Princess Diana binging and purging, we’ve never gotten to see our monarch near a lavatory at all. According to reviews, this flop of a season totally sidelines the Queen’s character in order to make room for the dynamic, effervescent Diana and Liz’s twittish little son Charles. The way to fix it? Get real, get raw, and get intimate by showing viewers that the Queen – on rare occasions – poops.
This is where something that I’m calling “the banana test” comes in. I read about it a few months ago in a 2005 forum post entitled “The Queen & Poo” on the website for the Charles Fort Institute, some sort of sinister organization that bills itself as “the world’s leading resource for scholarship and research in the understanding of strange experiences and anomalous phenomena.”
User Tiger_Lily wrote:
Talking to my BF today, and he assures me this is true, apparently when the Queen visits a venue, a lady-in-waiting will drop a banana down the loo to see how far away you have to be not to hear the royal splosh [sic] in case the Maj is pinching a loaf on her trip and needs to go.
It's so damn silly it *must* be true!
User Asami Yamazaki chimed in:
I had a friend who was a footman at the palace and he said there was a line put down that no one could pass when her maj was in the bog as past this point her doings would become audible.
However, rather than it being a banana dumped down the toilet to ascertain said audible point, he told me it was someone pouring a mug of water instead.
Strange and anomalous indeed. In summary, this rumor suggests that one of the Queen’s people would drop an item into the toilet water and another person, standing a certain distance away, would tell them if they could or could not hear it. This would carry on until the splash was past any auditory point, ensuring that if push came to clench and the Queen had to poop in public, not even her security guards would hear her.
Could this be true? The banana thing sounds specific enough that it had to stem from somewhere, but unfortunately every royal etiquette expert (and one historian) that I reached out to declined to comment on the Queen’s bowels. They were polite about it, don’t worry.
So the banana test has not been confirmed, but The Crown is no stranger to creative liberties. If the banana test were to be featured on The Crown, I think the royal family would garner a bit of good will from its fed-up subjects, if not from its number one critic Dame Judi Dench.
And why stop there? The history of royal defecation is fascinating and under-represented on screen. Henry VIII created the household position of “groom of the stool” so an assistant could help him out with pooping, and it was quite the coveted job, not dissimilar to that of Angela Kelly, the late Queen’s stylist and assistant.
Poo stories abound if you look for them. According to another “The Queen and Poo” poster:
Legend has it that the officers mess (!) at Dartford navy Collage (sic) has a jar with either Princess Ann's (sic) or The Duke Of Edinborough's poo (sic) in it (which is posible (sic) as both have attended passing out parades there etc)... it haveing (sic) been fished out of a "royal loo" after a visit…
Queen Elizabeth owned a painting of a man pooping. Princess Margaret once allegedly rescued a friend from an embarrassing moment “by helping to flush a troublesome No 2 - using an ivory-handled silver cake slice,” if the Daily Star is to be believed. In 2013, when the Queen had diarrhea, it was big news.
These stories delight us, and they make us like them more. Who doesn’t love to see these little lizards in big crowns as human and fallible like the rest of us. Maybe an establishing shot of Lady Glenconner poking her head out of a loo, yelling “All clear!” down a corridor could work, or Prince Philip banging on a bathroom door only to hear the Queen yell, “Do wait a moment!”
What’s that smell? Success.