Thursday, April 2, 2009

Giants among us

As the queen looked helplessly at her bodyguard, a look of obvious fright frozen on her face, the Duke of Edinburgh expresses dismay that they were not told in advance the Obamas were nearly 8 feet tall.

"They certainly didn't look it in any of the things we had previously seen of them on television,"  the duke commented afterward, "and I must say it came as rather a shock when they first strode ponderously into the room."

But no harm done, and Her Majesty seemed openly relieved as she discovered the Obamas are apparently quite tame.

Incidentally, the Duke of Edinburgh still holds the Guinness Record for the number of medals worn by an individual who in real life was only a lieutenent.

In other news...

Oh, never mind. You have probable heard of the Queen and Michelle's little affair already.


Angelika said...


I think it's funny that when someone is taller than 5'6" they look like a giant.

If only people knew how short celebrities are in real life.

Debbie said...

As an Amazon Queen myself, I think there should be medals given for dealing with the Vertically Challenged!

Sheila said...

Don't you remember the time the Queen was at the White House, and she couldn't be seen above the podium? She coped with that very well. :) Prince Philip is supposed to be 5ft 11. Perhaps he was once.

ettarose said...

I would fit right in. As I age gracefully I find I have shrunk. I am now under 5 feet. Just wish I were not getting taller sideways.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you got in there first, ettarose, (and now I'll be in trouble for addressing you directly) but it lets me admit to my height - 5ft 2.5in. I don't consider it a lack of height, just that other people have a more of it. Please don't forget the half inch, I need it for sisterly domination.

The Queen probably won't have noticed. Believe me, you get very used to a certain perspective on the world.

Janet said...

At 5'6" I fall right into the average category. The Queen suddenly looks just like my tiny little 4'10" grandmother. She used to be 5'1" (my grandmother - I have no idea about the Queen's height at any time of her life).

And it's no wonder the Duke got shorter, weighed down by all those medals.

Stephanie said...

It should be noted that one of the most formidable of all the kings of England, William the Conqueror, was married to the smallest, Maude of Flanders at 4'2" (and he was also reputed to have been faithful to her and demand his soldiers do the same, a tendency that went out of fashion in British royalty, um, pretty much from then on).

I'm 5'8" myself but my husband's great grandmother raised 11 children by herself while she was going blind. She could not have been five feet tall.

When it comes to capability, there's more to it than size.

soubriquet said...

Phil the Greek, at the end of his active naval service,was a commander, not a second lieutenant. His service in many battle formations during the second world war, entitled him to medals according to the campaigns involved.
I don't think he would have enough surface area to display all the other gongs which he has been awarded.
I think in that picture he looks like an understudy for Lurch.
Mrs Obama appears to have scored high points, as protocol strictly forbids touching the Queen, yet the Q was apparently not in the least offended, and returned the gesture. No cry of "ORF WITH HER HEAD!!!!" ensued.
If they're not careful the Q might give them a corgi.

Sheila said...

Better, don't you think, than WINKING at Queenie?

Relax Max said...

@Angelika - So true. I was shocked, for example, to read where Hugh Laurie was only 5-4. Imagine that. :)

@Debbie - I've got your medal. Come and get it. :) Unless you and A. are out blowing psycho bubbles again. :)

@Sheila - Yes, ma'am. I do remember that, now that you mention it again. I am starting to think this post was a big fat loser, and I haven't even got to Soubriquet yet. I don't know if it was the angle of the photo or what, but the Obamas just seemed gigantic, more so than they really are. So sue me. I thought it was funny. But then, I'm not British. :)

@A. - I will NEVER get used to your perspective on the world. :)

@Janet - I'm not going to venture what Her Majesty's original height was either. (Probably around 19 inches or so.) Well, I guess I DID venture. Anyway I am assuming she was never that tall and has settled down a bit with age, as we all do. As for the medals, I am still checking on that. I assume they are all certainly legitimate, wasn't questioning that. He just has a lot, it seems. In quite a short period of time. So that's cool. I would NEVER intimate that any of his medals were awarded because of who he was. Here I must stop before I get into a bigger pile of sarcasm than I can defend.

@Stephanie - Pfft.

Kidding. Interesting. Good things come in small packages. Another source (I forget just where right now) says Maude was really 4-3 when William conquered her. But this is unverified, so, you know. I will accept 4-2 because of your knowledge of fusion. (And everything else. :)

Ummm... good things come in larger packages too. Sorry.

@Ettarose - sorry to take you out of order. I scrolled down too fast. Please forgive me. :) How tall were you at your most towering?

I am glad you are still growing. It doesn't matter which direction to me. :)

@Soubriquet - Thank you so much for your comment.

@Sheila - Not going to remind you again about the rules about commenting more than once on the same post. Each comment must advance the conversation. Just saying.

Since my good friend Soubriquet is obviously already quite pissed at my cavalier attitude to the royal family, I suppose I no longer have any reason not to remind you of the following:

1. The queen put her arm around Mrs. Obama first "in a gesture of spontaneity" and Mrs. Obama then reciprocated. This according to the London supermarket tabloids, so it must be true.

2. (This is the one that is going to piss off Soubriquet again) George Bush winked at the queen because he was a ________ (fill in the blank) and thus should not have been expected to observe proper protocol. Ummm... well, I guess that one probably won't piss him off any more after all.

3. There is no number 3 now that I think of it. Just remember the 1 comment rule unless you really have something to say. Thank you.

@Soubriquet - Sigh. I suppose I can't realistically get away with the above. So.

First let me apologize for using Wikipedia again. I should know better. Upon consultation with the official royal website, you are very correct. Unless they are lying. Which they may well be, just to justify his medals. But probably not. Wikipedia only followed his naval career through WWII, to 1946, and I was an idiot for thinking he would get out of the navy after WWII was over. Seeing as how he was about to start a family and all. Silly me. He continued on in the navy and did indeed rise to the rank of Lt. Commander and then, just before he retired in 1952, to Commander. Again, with just hard work and industry and no help from his family. I personally think he would have stayed on and become ummm something even higher, but then his father-in-law died and he was called home to help care for the womenfolk. His father-in-law had many medals as well.

You remember Lurch? [Max begins smiling again and stops shuffling his feet, happy to have the subject changed]. Lurch was my favorite. Next to Uncle Fester, I mean. That goes without saying, of course.

[Max begins nervously shuffling again as he is forced to return to the royal snafu]

Actually, that is not quite true. At least not with regards to the present monarch. Here is what Buckingham Palace had to say about your misguided assertions about touching the royal person (or playing with any of their clothing, I assume):

"It was spontaneous. We don't tell people not to touch the queen."

Lying limey bastard.

The palace spokesman, I mean. Not you.

I personally have more faith in your version. Thank you for your comment. Take care.

[Max backs cautiously away. "Why the FUCK do so many Brits read and comment on this stupid little blog? I can't get away with ANYTHING anymore." Of course, Max doesn't say this out loud.

Relax Max said...

@Stephanie - William demanded that his soldiers be faithful to little Maudy as well??? No wonder she was all worn down. Har! A subject for another post as soon as I get it researched. :)

Stephanie B said...

Faithful to their own wives. Geez, Max. Although I guess I should be grateful that you decided to put more thought into your response than--and I quote--Pfft.

Do all the research you want. I'm descended from them. Seriously.

soubriquet said...

Ah, Max, let me clarify. I'm all for the mutual back rubs, I think it's very telling, and everything I have ever read before on the subject states that touching the Queen, other than when initiated by her is absolutely forbidden.
"where does this rule about not touching the Queen come from? The sovereigns of England and France at some point in their nations' long histories claimed a divine right to rule, a right often amplified by titles bestowed by the Pope in Rome. (The Queen, in fact, still has the title Defender of the Faith, an honor given to Henry VIII before he broke with the Catholic Church and established the Church of England.) That touch of holiness once gave the occupant of the throne the supposed ability to cure certain diseases — most famously, scrofula, a terrible skin ailment that was called "the king's evil." Thus, the miraculous contact had to be conserved. And so, whether a touch or a nod or a gaze, royal favor, like that of God, is not a subject's on demand; it is dispensed by kingly prerogative."

Relax Max said...

@Stephanie - Really? Truly? You are descended from William's soldiers?

Relax Max said...

@Soubriquet - Bear with me, it is going to take a while to come up with any logical response to that. :) But don't think you've heard the last of this.

Relax Max said...

@Stephanie - I'm sorry Stephanie. I knew what you meant. I don't know what came over me. I apologize. I do want to remind you that if you can prove William is your direct ancestor, you don't have to pay U.S. taxes anymore. At least that's what Treasury Secretary Tim "pay no tax voluntarily" Geithner says. So please don't think the luck of the genes is completely without reward. (Tell them I said that If you happen to get audited.)

Stephanie B said...

You know, I'm quite possibly descended from some of William's soldiers. Back then, nobles were involved in the fighting more than "common folk". Many of William's children married nobility, some wandering back in to the royal line, some not. However, the genealogical chart I have doesn't mention whether someone was in William the Conquerer's entourage.

Serves me right for getting lazy with pronouns. Besides, my husband is always playing lawyer on my statements. *Sigh*

Whoa, just because my ancestors were British, I can be disowned by the US (wow, a lot of us are at risk). That surprises me. I thought one could not be disowned unless one were born in Hawaii and didn't have one's birth certificate chiseled in stone at the time.

frostygirl said...

Very funny pic thanks for posting it very good for a giggle

Janet said...

William gave a piece of land to one of my ancestors after the conquering. My great aunt traced the line and my mother has the entire book somewhere. It's pretty scare really, especially considering that she did it without benefit of internet, or even computer or typewriter. It's all handwritten.

Janet said...

Did that advance the conversation? I'm not much for following rules anymore . . .

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