It is always jarring to see the leader of a country, even one who is only a figurehead, toss responsibility and tradition out their gilded window and embrace chaos. Suddenly, down is up, up is down, left is right, etc. The delicate, geopolitical balance of the world is thrown off-kilter. The future looks uncertain. Fear begins to creep in.
Yes, as you’ve surely surmised by the slight chill in the air, and the hurried, anxious way in which people have been rushing around the streets, the unthinkable has happened: the queen of England posed for a photo with her hands in her pockets.
According to the Daily Mail, an undated portrait of Queen Elizabeth — which was published in the magazine Hello! today, and which you can see here, if you dare — has sent royal fans “into meltdown.”
The picture shows the queen in a cream, Chanel-esque dress, with her hands resting casually in the dress’s pockets, and a big smile on her face. Chilling. It appears in The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, a new book by Angela Kelly, the queen’s longtime dressmaker and confidante.
Kelly writes that the queen had long wanted to strike a more “informal” pose in a photograph, but had been dissuaded by the Queen Mother and staff, who worried that such pictures “would bring the Monarchy down.”
In arranging a photo of the queen in a casual, hands-in-pockets pose, Kelly says she wondered “if I might have a wonderful opportunity to make the Queen’s wish come true,” a statement that is very sad.
The queen looked at Kelly “in amazement” when her dressmaker asked “whether she knew the implications of the photographs,” (meltdowns; the dissolution of the archaic political system she has been tasked with upholding). The queen, presumably tired of the institution that has kept her hands out of her pockets for so long, said she knew exactly what she was doing, and shoved her hands into her pockets, sending the world as we know it into disarray.
Is it bleak that the queen should yearn so deeply for — and be long denied — something as simple as putting her hands in her pockets? Yes. Will these pictures bring the monarchy down? TBD. Currently, the institution is still reeling from the last royal faux pas: Prince Harry closing his own car door.