One Badass Broad

In 1973, I went on a field trip with my high school acting group.  To London.  To a week of plays in London’s West End.

Because I was far too cool to be a tourist, I did almost none of the typical tourist things while I was there.  (I was an idiot.  There is a reason folks want to visit the Tower of London, etc.).  There was one exception, though.  I went to Madame Tussaud’s — the famous Wax Museum.  While there, I was still too cool to be impressed by how realistic the wax figures were.  Well, until something happened to really make me smile.

My friends and I had just about finished touring the museum, when we entered the exhibit for The Royals.  From behind me I heard the sweetest voice.

“Mummy!  That’s Our Queen!

A little English boy, no more than four had entered the exhibit.  He wore navy blue shorts and suspenders, and his cheeks were as rosy as a young English boy’s should be.  He lit up the room with his pride.   In his Queen.

“Yes, Darling,” replied his Mum.  “That’s our Queen.”

From Madame Tussaud's Website

From Madame Tussaud’s Website

At that time, Richard Nixon was President of the U.S.  I was quite sure that there was no little boy in my country who would speak with similar pride about Nixon.

The image of that boy comes to mind every time I see Queen Elizabeth.  And I always smile.

Today I read something about the Queen, though, that makes me smile even wider.

The Huffington Post reported a delightful anecdote about a visit from the newly-late King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia to the Queen’s Scottish castle, Balmoral.  The story was recounted by Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, who was the British Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.  He’d been told the story by both the Queen and the King, and relayed it.

“After lunch, the Queen had asked her royal guest whether he would like a tour of the estate,” wrote Cowper-Coles, who is said to have heard the tale from both Elizabeth and Abdullah themselves. “Prompted by his foreign minister the urbane Prince Saud, an initially hesitant Abdullah had agreed. The royal Land Rovers were drawn up in front of the castle. As instructed, the Crown Prince climbed into the front seat of the front Land Rover, his interpreter in the seat behind.”

Queen Elizabeth and King Abdullah.  Photo Credit, Associated Press (but I got it from the Huff Post)

Queen Elizabeth and King Abdullah. Photo Credit, Associated Press (but I got it from the Huff Post)

Little did Abdullah know, however, that his driver for the day would be none other than Elizabeth herself.

“To his surprise, the Queen climbed into the driving seat, turned the ignition and drove off,” Cowper-Coles wrote. “Women are not — yet — allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia, and Abdullah was not used to being driven by a woman, let alone a queen.”

Not to mention a queen who can drive like the wind. According to Cowper-Coles, Elizabeth didn’t just drive the SUV, but rapidly whizzed along the estate’s roads as she chatted, prompting Abdullah to become increasingly anxious.

“Through his interpreter, the Crown Prince implored the Queen to slow down and concentrate on the road ahead,” the diplomat said.

Queen Elizabeth II is one badass broad.  On behalf of drivers of my gender, as well as men far more enlightened than King Abdullah, I bow to you.  I’d curtsey but I’m not that kind of girl.

60 Comments

Filed under Driving, History, Huh?, Humor, Hypocrisy, Stupidity, Traffic

60 responses to “One Badass Broad

  1. While she’s driving a Land Rover is one of the few times you will see her without a purse on her arm! Always a scarf over her hair, but no purse!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The old girl has to have a lot of spunk to have made it thus far in that family!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lord, I love London. It’s the best. And the British. I wish I was British.

    I always embrace the tourist stuff. Admittedly, some of it is tacky but most of it is popular because it’s fascinating.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m giving the royal wave..

    Like

  5. Go, Queen E. Go!! The women of America salute you. (Thanks Elyse for sharing this.)

    Like

  6. Thank you for waxing poetic on your admiration for the Speed Racer herself, Queen Elizabeth, Elyse. I want to see her drive in an exhibition against Jimmie Johnson!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. she is a lot more interesting than many people think she is

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Elyse, there are times when I think we must have been separated at birth. Believe it or not I also went on a field trip with my high school theatre group. I think it was 1973 but it may have been 1972. We went to London for a week of plays in London’s West End. I wasn’t that cool and did a lot of the touristy stuff and Madame Tussaud’s and the London Zoo (where we met cool boys). We saw Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar and more. It was an amazing trip.
    For the record, I think the Queen is pretty hot stuff too.

    Like

  9. Oh man, that is a cool story… I’m British, to be honest, and have long harboured a thought that the Queen is kind of a hot chick. Knowing that she drives fast, and Saudi Kings at that, kind of makes her hotter. I think I am having unpure thoughts about my monarch. Well… not a bad way to start the weekend, I suppose.

    Like

    • I think she’s cool, but I rarely have impure thoughts.

      I told this story twice already in the comments, and I quoted him differently both times. So here’s for three:

      Years ago (which explains my memory, ummmm, burps), I heard Paul McCartney talking about his life. He said something like this: “Once you see the Queen do the twist, you’ve seen it all.”

      I thought you were Canadian.

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      • I’ve never seen the Queen do the twist… the Queen Mum did pat my head when I was a wee one, though. She was getting every third kid in the line, and I happened to get lucky. I felt like I was being knighted.

        Canadian but born British and grew up across the pond.

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        • I loved the Queen Mum, too. I assume you haven’t washed that spot.

          I was born to be British. My damn parent screwed it up, though. They were Irish. Well, Irish American, which in those days was more Irish than the Irish (what was left of them in the home country)

          Like

          • I haven’t bathed in decades… I’m going over this summer, actually. I love going there. Something magical just in the countryside… for a small cramped country, it’s amazingly open and pastoral. I love driving along the hedgerow lanes, feeling like you’re in some time a couple hundred years ago. But I’m also biased, it’s home.

            Liked by 1 person

            • I fell in love with the UK on my very first trip to Europe ever. It is a lovely country. I’ve traveled around it a bit — always end up in Scotland with my All things Scottish loving husband. But I’ve driven the length of the country several times. Stopped in Oxford and Cambridge and York (I love York, where you can still legally shoot a Scot with a bow and arrow). The Cotswolds. Never been to Cornwall in spite of thousands of Victorian Romances in my teens.

              Be very careful when you do go over there. Every time I turn on the telly someone in England gets murdered. Usually in a church, or behind a hedgerow. So stay in the pubs.

              Like

  10. I love this on so many levels. The fact that the Queen took it upon herself to drive is just the best. Given that she is a women, driving a King from a land where women do not drive, well, that is simply priceless! You go girl!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think she must be a really cool woman. I’ll never know, of course, but I do recall hearing Paul McCartney once say, “Once you’ve seen the Queen doing the twist, you’ve seen pretty much everything.” It’s another one of those things that I think about when I see her on the tele!

      Like

  11. I always knew Liz had a badass side. I guess that was her way of letting him know “Women indeed rock!”

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  12. I’m just afraid that Queen Elizabeth’s driving like the wind didn’t make it easier for king Abdullah to ease up on restrictions on women driving in Saudi Arabia. And by the way, I think Abdullah is a deemed a liberal compared to the new Saudi king.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I still think Maggie Thatcher was more badass.

    Like

  14. I thought you were talking about me, but no you are telling a story about another truly great Queen.

    😉

    Liked by 1 person

  15. AC

    Best story about a woman driver I’ve heard yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Queens are people too. Good for her! Thanks for making me smile, Elyse. :0)

    Like

  17. Never heard that anecdote about the queen driving Abdullah. That was spunky of her– didn’t know she had it in her.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. What a delightful story. It truly made me smile!

    Liked by 1 person

    • She sounds like a cool lady, when you hear the behind the scenes stuff. I heard Paul McCartney say that he’d sen the Queen do the twist, and, “life doesn’t get much better than that”! I love that, but it didn’t fit with this narrative!

      Like

  19. That is a fantastic story! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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