I had just discovered Queen Elizabeth’s Facebook page when my husband told me that we’d be meeting her at the London premiere of “Narnia.” I felt a little thrill. I rarely care about meeting celebs, but she is right up there with Elvis Costello.
Cut to November 30th: We were in the royal receiving line at a theatre in Leicester Square. We were told ladies must curtsy when meeting the Queen (which, just so you know, is challenging in 3-inch-heeled ankle boots), while men bow from the neck. (Waist bowing is SO fifth century.) Also, we were forbidden to speak to Her Maj. unless she spoke to us first. (Sometimes I wish I had that rule.) And we were not to say anything personal. Even a remark as benign as, “You are looking very well, your Majesty,” which Emma Thompson once made the mistake of saying, gets you sent to the tower.
All this instruction gave me a hit of protocol panic, until we were told that, due to time constraints, I and other irrelevant types would be standing behind our more significant escorts, thereby getting royally dissed. No curtsy for me, no handshake, no asking her to friend me on Facebook. I tried to curb my irritation, figuring that, in the realm of spousal mistreatment, I was getting off easy by UK standards. (Think Ann Boleyn.) But I hope Liz couldn’t read my mind when she floated by. I will admit that, just as our eyes met, I was thinking her outfit was from the Scarlett O’hara school of making dresses from drapes.
I wonder if she had equally evil thoughts about my ankle boots, or about having to wear 3-D glasses for one hour and forty-three mites. Did she hate wading through all those discarded popcorn boxes to exit at the movie’s end? Or was she thrilled to get out of the castle for a big fat change, happy chillin’ in a big, dark room, seated near Liam Neeson? Her pleasant face revealed nothing, and neither did her Facebook page, which I just checked for updates. Do you think they’d behead me if I “poked” her?