Entertainment

Respec to da Royals… Can you guess which leading Windsor was a fan of Ali G (and made Prince Harry laugh with her  impersonations)?

She was known as the last great Edwardian Lady, a stickler for royal protocol and a firm keeper-up of appearances – at all costs. 

In her later years, The Queen Mother became a celebrated hostess, throwing glittering parties at her Royal Lodge home featuring guests from music and the arts. 


According to author Tina Brown, these occasions allowed Queen Elizabeth (as she was more formally titled) to show off one skill in particular.

Ali G poses after the MTV Europe Music Award at the Festhalle in Frankfurt, Germany, Thursday, 2001

Ali G poses after the MTV Europe Music Award at the Festhalle in Frankfurt, Germany, Thursday, 2001

Queen Mother was not only a bon viveur but a great mimic

Queen Mother was not only a bon viveur but a great mimic

The Queen Mother's rendering of Ali G was much appreciated by Prince Harry .

The Queen Mother’s rendering of Ali G was much appreciated by Prince Harry .


The Queen Mother was a talented mimic, says Brown, with some unlikely impersonations up her sleeve.

‘Her Blackader was said to be very good,’ writes the author in her best-selling book, The Palace Papers.

‘But even better was a rendering of Ali G, much appreciated by Prince Harry.

‘She would say, “Darling, lunch was marvellous – respec.”’


The Queen mother was not the only humourist in the family. Her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II, was known as a skilled mimic – strictly in private of course – of those she had met.

There were fewer constraints upon the Queen Mother, who was happy to tease her daughter, The Queen.

‘Have you been reigning today, Lilibet’ she would apparently ask when Elizabeth returned exhausted from an engagement.

The Queen Mother was ‘famous for her irreverent toasting games,’ writes Brown, ‘and would lift her glass high-high-high for people she liked and low-low-low under the table for people she didn’t, a gesture met by gales of laughter and accompanied by copious amounts of alcohol.’


According to historian and biographer Hugo Vickers, an invitation to an evening at Royal Lodge was one of the hottest tickets in town. 

In her later years, The Queen Mother became a celebrated hostess, throwing glittering parties at her Royal Lodge home featuring guests from music and the arts

In her later years, The Queen Mother became a celebrated hostess, throwing glittering parties at her Royal Lodge home featuring guests from music and the arts

When the Queen seemed drained by her engagements, her mother would ask 'have you been reigning again, Lilibet'?'

When the Queen seemed drained by her engagements, her mother would ask ‘have you been reigning again, Lilibet’?’

The Queen Mother was ‘famous for her irreverent toasting games

The Queen Mother was ‘famous for her irreverent toasting games


‘On cultural evenings John Betjeman and Ted Hughes read their poetry. Noël Coward performed at the piano, Raymond Leppard and Ruth, Lady Fermoy (maternal grandmother to Diana) played duets,’ he told MailOnline.

‘In 1984 a Canadian baritone sang Schubert and Britten songs directed by David Willcocks and Lord David Cecil read from pieces from Mary McCarthy and Max Beerbohm.’

The Queen Mother died in March 2002 at the age of 101. Since then, Royal Lodge – a Palladian mansion in Windsor Great Park – has been the home of the Duke of York.

His former wife, Sarah Ferguson, also spends time living there.


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