Queen Elizabeth refuses to speak German during her state visit to Germany

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Things I never get tired of: the Queen with a face like thunder and Brooch P0rn. And we have both in spades this week! Queen Elizabeth arrived in Germany for a three-day state visit yesterday. I’m including some photos of her arrival and from her journey to meet Angela Merkel today. The Queen has a full schedule which includes the sit-down with Chancellor Merkel (they are expected to discuss Britain’s place in the European Union), a visit to a concentration camp and a boat ride, which already happened earlier today. They really made the poor Queen haul her ass down into this tiny little boat too, which just seems mean.

By most accounts, the Germans are very pleased that the Queen is visiting. Queen Elizabeth is quite popular abroad and European leaders especially seem to make a great deal of effort when she visits. However, two really funny things happened with this trip. One, the palace really wants everyone to ignore the fact that the Queen (and the British royal family in total) have very deep German roots and that the House of Windsor is actually the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. Sources told the Daily Mail that the Queen would not be speaking German during the trip because she wants “to avoid stirring up pesky republicans by reminding them how the Royal Family changed their name.”

The second funny thing? The Queen hated the gift given to her. She was presented with a portrait of herself – as a child – on horseback with her father. The Queen really hated the portrait, she hated that the horse was blue and she didn’t think the artist portrayed her father correctly – go here to see the video. The Queen was all “WTF?”

Meanwhile, back at the Queen’s home, everything is falling apart. It’s been reported pretty consistently that the Queen used most of her renovation funds on William and Kate’s apartment in Kensington Palace, and now Buckingham Palace is in a weird state of disrepair. It’s gotten so bad that the Queen might have to temporarily move out of Buckingham Palace while it undergoes about $240 million worth of repairs. You read that correctly. $240 MILLION. No decision has been made about moving the Queen out or even if they’ll do all of the renovations at once. The anti-monarchists want the Queen to move out… forever. And they want to turn BP into a tourist destination. Which honestly wouldn’t be the worst idea.

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Photos courtesy of WENN.

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125 Responses to “Queen Elizabeth refuses to speak German during her state visit to Germany”

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  1. pf says:

    You mean the Queen won’t speak Deutsch in Deutschland, the homeland of her ancestors? Oh no! But those people are her people. Well, at least the Queen is sorta British (through her mother).

    • wolfpup says:

      I lived in Germany for three years – they are such nice people, it’s surprising she won’t chat with them.

      She is related to George Washington thru her mother’s line with an Augustine Warner. I wonder if she is ashamed of him as well. (She did lay flowers at the grave site in Virginia).

      • FLORC says:

        So weird. I was listening to this coverage on NPR. They were saying the Queen was making a point to chat with the average German citizens.

        Wolfpup
        I lived in Germany also. Aachen and Ansbach. Amazingly beautiful and the people spoke perfect English.

      • Liberty says:

        I lived there for five years in Bavaria. Wonderful people, and such a beautiful country. I miss my friends so much!! but FB etc helps. We still force each other to exchange written old-fashioned letters every two months. Mine w my rusting increasingly clunky German, them with such find English, I am shamed back to study.

      • bluhare says:

        I have only visited Germany and I’d go back in a second. Loved the country and the people were really nice. I tried very hard to speak German . . . . pretty unsuccessfully I might add. My best line was Ich moechte ein Berliner, bitte. Did the German Bakery Tour with that one!

      • wolfpup says:

        Florc! I lived in Ansbach as well. Germany is a beautiful country with a great way of life.

    • oneshot says:

      if my 3rd-gen British cousins of Indian ancestry are British, then the Queen is too. I’m no fan of royalty but this is just silly.

      And was she ever taught German, that she’d know enough to “refuse” to speak it? I’d think it highly unlikely, considering she was born after WWI and the Germans were antagonists there too.

  2. Kiddo says:

    Ich bin ein Berliner? Horse of a different color (pun intended).

  3. littlemissnaughty says:

    Of course we love her. 1) We have no monarchy and have to make do with dusty, crusty politicians. Seriously dusty. 2) Germans probably mostly respect the hell out of her work ethic. 3) We’re not paying for renovations to various palaces.

    ETA: Wise of her to not speak German. Why would she? It’s bad enough when our politicians speak English.

    • Norman Bates' Mother says:

      I can understand the love. People like to scream how monarchy sucks, because in theory it does – glorifying people just because they were born in the right family is ridiculous, but one of the newspapers in my country (Poland) did some research and estimated in detail how the royals are much more convenient for the taxpayers than our President (now almost former), even despite the costly renovations and useless grandkids and I changed my mind about it. Our President has the same, mostly representational function as the Queen (and yours as well) and according to that research, we as taxpayers pay much, much more for his and his family’s expenses than the British pay for the Queen and the Windsors. The Brits at least have some money in return from the tourists who pay to see the royals, while no one pays to see our President. Plus – as you mentioned – the Queen is known for her work ethic and does much more than him. It will probably change when William will be the King though, but right now I would gladly exchange most of our politicians for the royals.

      • Dee Kay says:

        One of my British friends says the good thing about a royal family (having only ceremonial and PR-type functions) is that someone has to do that sort of thing, and politicians are often no good at it. Like @NormanBatesMother says, how many people care if a stuffy serious-looking (or just seriously nerdy) politician shows up to commemorate anything, or to make a public pronouncement on a national holiday? People like it when royals do it, they are characters that the populace gets to see their entire lives, and royals provide this statesmanship function so that politicians can go do other things like actually govern. That’s the argument, anyway. As an American, I have no idea how it works but my Brit friend seems to think it’s a very practical division of duties.

      • wolfpup says:

        Our president can have an opinion, and bring it into being in the United States. Our president has executive powers, Norman.

      • Norman Bates' Mother says:

        @ wolfpup – I know that POTUS has an executive power. You don’t even have a prime minister, so what I wrote doesn’t apply at all. I was taking about the situation like in Poland or Germany, where the actual power is in the hands of prime minister or chancellor and the president is only there to do what Queen does with a few official, but mostly useless functions to look more serious.

      • Sixer says:

        NBM – I hear you. I’m a British republican but I wouldn’t replace our system with the US one, where the head of government and head of state is the same person. I don’t like that at all. And yes, we would lose in the romanticism of pomp and circumstance even though we gained in costs and the reducing of heritable privilege. I favour the Irish model, which is pretty cost-effective and well-thought of.

  4. ncboudicca says:

    You know, I can see this being a “thing” for her, after WWII, which she remembers well.

    But all that aside – has she visited Germany before? If she has, has she EVER spoken German there? What’s the BFD about it now?

    • Linda says:

      She did, I think this is her third visit. The first one was exactly 50 years ago.

      I don’t know if she spoke german on her other visits, but I just can’t think so. And I don’t think anyone expects her to!

  5. Viro says:

    Is she fluent?

    • bellenola says:

      I read somewhere that she grew up speaking German at home, with the family.

      • justme says:

        No she did not grow up speaking German. Her mother was a Scottish aristocrat. The Telegraph reports: “George VI had no need to try to get his stammering tongue round German – his wife, Queen Elizabeth, was an Anglo-Scottish aristocrat who distrusted, even detested, the Germans.” For that matter his father George V also could not speak German. (He referred to it as ” this rotten language”! )

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/theroyalfamily/8995350/Todays-Royal-family-is-British-to-the-core.html

        The Queen apparently speaks fluent English (duh!) and French. She speaks some German, but is not fluent. The Duke of Edinburgh is fluent in German as his sisters all married German princes, but he served in WWII for Great Britain and considers himself British.

      • bellenola says:

        Sorry! Must have been thinking of Victoria then? So many German connections in the family it gets confusing. ;)

      • Mary-Alice says:

        Well, it would be very weird if the Duke didn’t speak fluent German and it hasnothing to do with his sisters’ husbands. He is Batenburg, after all. He may have served for anyone but he cannot change his roots.

  6. agnes says:

    If I had to meet our Bundespastor and that woman squatting the Bundeskanzleramt, I would also refuse to speak – in any language.

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      LMFAO I’m SO calling her “Hausbesetzerin” from now on. Excellent. Gauck is not that bad, just really boring. Nobody listens to him anyway.

      • Liv says:

        But much better as Wulff. Gauck is doing a great job.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        Wulff was simply unprepared. Woefully unprepared with no understanding of the position. A petulant child, as it turned out. So yeah, let’s get the priest in there to calm things down. I just find him uninspiring.

      • curlsunited says:

        Gauck does come across rather preachy, but I think he was successful in restoring the reputation of the office after his two predecessors had resigned/had to resign within just two years. Wulff was Merkel’s candidate all along and she originally fought tooth and nail to prevent Gauck from becoming President.

      • Valois says:

        I did an interview with Gauck back in school in 2011. He was incredibly nice and that kind of person that makes you think he’s really listening and paying attention to you.

      • Nonny says:

        You’re sooooo funny. That name should so stick.

    • Sixer says:

      My favourite CB exchange of the day. Thank you, ladies!

    • Lostara says:

      @agnes: Same here!

    • bluhare says:

      Please add me to that list as well. It’s what I love about this place; people from all over the world comment here. What other US based comment site would have a conversation about German politics?

      Vielen dank, Ladies!

  7. tifzlan says:

    Off topic but related: German is one of my favorite languages and i’m always sad that i’m not more fluent at it. I feel like if i actually had people to talk in German to, i’d be really good because grammar isn’t a big problem to me. It’s more of the fact that i always forget vocabulary because i have nobody to talk to. I wish the Queen would speak it! I love listening to people speak German.

    • Franca says:

      German is my favourite foreign language, I learned it as a kid by watching german cartoons and learned it in school later. I would say I’m fluent, but I never get to speak it so my pronounciation isn’t that good.

      • Kiki says:

        I love the german language as well. I think the harsh history behind the german empire is lot to bebe but I love how they speak it so fluently and I want to speak german too.

    • FLORC says:

      Same!
      I’ve resorted to foreign movies without subtitles. You keep your understanding and pace of comprehension because you’re filtering and translating at conversational pacing.
      I’ve found it to be a very easy language to become fluent in, but I learned through immersion.
      Get down your mas/fem/neutrals and conjugations and you’re set.

  8. dorothy says:

    Not a bad idea?! Who the phuck you think you the Queen of England? We can’t let that saying go to hell in a handbasket! Pishbposh 240 million is the rent in San Francisco

  9. Jessica says:

    I’m not sure how well BP would do as a pure tourist destination. Obviously a lot better than it does now, but honestly it’s a pretty boring palace that lacks the kind of crazy history that draws people in. There are dozens of more interesting royal sites in the UK, and it’s only a day trip to visit Versailles. Everyone I know who’s actually been inside, been to one of the garden parties etc. was severely underwhelmed, and that was my experience as well. It’s just…meh. At least as meh as a royal palace can be.

    If the UK Tourism Board wants to get something out of the royals, they’d be much better off focusing on the long dead ones. That’s where the interest is, and there’s a lot of good stuff they haven’t even tried to capitalize on.

    • Sixer says:

      Jessica – the point being that the current tours only take in a tiny portion because a) the BRF won’t stop occupying it and b) half of it is in a state of disrepair because they take money to maintain it from the taxpayer and then spend it elsewhere. There is also an ENORMOUS art collection that could be displayed – not quite Versailles, but we have free national galleries in addition, while Versailles wraps a lot of stuff up together.

      If Buckingham Palace were to be vacated by the BRF and become a tourist attraction, it would also get regular loans from the national museums and galleries. And I can predict there would be an endless number of people who would pay top dollar to go and stand on the balcony and look down The Mall. I wouldn’t be one of them, but then I’m always the naysayer in the bunch!

      • FLORC says:

        I would do it. I LOVE touring castles. It’s my “must” on vacations.
        Best part imo is the secret passages. Versailles being a top one because of the secret rooms/living areas/spying corners/outlets to the gardens. And I would stand on that balcony, but just as a checked box.

        More of the point being to go when it’s occupied is pointless. All the good stuff is kept for the dwellers.

        And it’s no castle, but the White House is a dream of mine. All the secrets in there…

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        - (sorry, posted in the wrong place)

      • bluhare says:

        Sixer!!! I think we should go up there, have LAK in the Mall with a camera, and you can moon everyone. You could use it as your avatar!

      • Jessica says:

        Sorry, I should have said I and the other people I mentioned who were underwhelmed have seen quite a bit more than the public see’s when the Palace opens in Aug/Sept. It’s just not impressive. As others below me have said, it has a real government building feel throughout much of it, the dullest of Victorian architecture. Even the grandest of the rooms are just not that grand really (and I first saw them back in the 80′s when they weren’t nearly as run-down), and the few rooms that were probably quite spectacular when they were built were renovated and made dull a very long time ago. I’ve been in dozens of private homes from the same era that were much more lavish and beautiful (and some of them had a really fascinating history too). I’m told the private rooms are nothing special either, that in fact some of them are the worst of the bunch.

        The art collection is the only selling point for me, but still, even if it was just one big art gallery the collection doesn’t really hold a candle to the best museums in Europe. If I wanted art in the UK, an open BP would still just be the place I’d go if I had time, not a ‘must-visit’.

        I can get really excited over a lackluster building if there’s some amazing history there, but BP doesn’t have that. It belongs to a relatively recent era of history. As interested as I am personally in Victoria, Edward VII and even the George’s, they don’t imbue a lot of interest onto the building itself. Imagining Victoria swanning around in full mourning, pissed off that she had to be at BP is about as good as it gets. Whereas if we go back to the most obvious example of Versaille, it’s brought to life by it’s long dead inhabitants. Their history is so tied up with the building it really get’s your imagination going. Imagining Edward VII at BP isn’t quite the same as imagining Marie Antoinette or the Sun King at Versaille.

        The back of BP, where they hold the garden parties, would be very well suited to weddings and other functions. That I could see being a real money-maker.

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      I loved it! LOVED it. And I’ve seen my share of castles here in Europe. What I would pay to see, for example, the staff quarters etc. But I’m a nut for anything historic, museum or castle. Then again, so are a lot of people.

    • Hudson Girl says:

      Yes, I have been inside Buckingham Palace and I was very underwhelmed. It had a very budgety, Governmental feel to it complete with cheap carpeting that was very dirty. The gold furniture looked like they used the cheapest gold paint they could find- definitely not gold leaf.

    • LAK says:

      BP is indeed underwhelming. It’s a Warren of rooms upon rooms typical of the Victorian era, and has been allowed to fall into disrepair.

      HM has no imagination whatsoever, and is needlessly frugal whereby she doesn’t recognise that a building has to be maintained as opposed to falling around her before anything is fixed.

    • Kiki04 says:

      Eh, I was underwhelmed with BP. Plus completely PO’d at the cost (it was something like 22 pounds to go in when I was there). Compared to the royal palace in Belgium that was free, or the royal palace in Madrid or Versailles that was much much less to go in, with much more to see, it’s not somewhere I’d want to go back if they don’t open up more rooms. Plus it was crazy where you had a specific time you could go in……..totally not worth it.

      That being said, once QEII dies, it will be a free for all with the government. It will be interesting to see how things go…..I bet there would be a bigger push to kick the family out of BP once she is unfortunately gone than there is now. If they keep them around.

    • Sixer says:

      While I agree that BH is CURRENTLY underwhelming, isn’t that rather the point? With the artefacts and the art in its possession, plus the cachet and the historical interest (and the balcony!) – it doesn’t HAVE to be. If we stopped ER living there, it could be properly restored, the country could have proper access to its own heritage, and it could generate an income to keep it in a good state in perpetuity.

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      What? You GUYS, it’s BP! Okay, maybe I was distracted by the fact that I knew what I actually wasn’t allowed to see but I agree with Sixer’s point here that if only we could see ALL of it!!! … I don’t know why I’m so excited at the prospect, maybe I’m picturing Downton Abbey or something but I really want to see the staff quarters and kitchens and whatnot. An yes, the balcony.

      • bluhare says:

        A lot of places are underwhelming in person, I think. After all Stonehenge is really just a pile of rocks, isn’t it?

  10. Hautie says:

    What if Elizabeth II, did walk away from the Royal life. She has more personal money and land…. than she would ever need in three life times. She does not need the hassle. Her own private trust is huge.

    Matter of fact… why shouldn’t she walk away from it. Retire. Live out her life in Scotland on her own property.

    Let the British people have Buckingham Palace. And no Royal family. I vote for her to pack up her stuff and gather the Corgi’s. And let them have what so many British people are harping for… no Royal family. It is what they want, isn’t it. But who would they harp about then? Ummmm….

    The only person who would probably throw a hissy fit about it… is Charles. He has waited since the late 1960′s to be King. And it would kind of suck for him, to have that all yanked out from underneath him. Can you image the fit he would throw?!?!

    • sienna says:

      She will NEVER walk away. In her 21st birthday speech in 1947 she said, “I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.”

      She was greatly affected by the abdication of her uncle, and I truly believe that she will live and die by those words. Say what you will about the royals who came after her, I think she’s a national treasure and her dedication is remarkable.

      • Franca says:

        What remarkable thing has she done? Apart from living long?
        I’m really asking, because when I learned about British history in school, her great deeds weren’t mentioned.

    • Laura R says:

      The Queen will never abdicate. Why does she need to do remarkable things? What other present day monarchs have done anything remarkable?

      Also, I don’t believe the British public do want to get rid of the Royal family. Yes, it has its detractors but there are a lot more Royalists. Even people who don’t care either way love all the pomp and ceremony.

      I’ve been to Buck House to see a family member receive an MBE. The ceremony was in the ballroom, which was very grand, in my opinion. But then I was only 14 at the time.

      • Sixer says:

        There are probably an equal number of ardent royalists and outright republicans, I think. But the vast majority of Brits wouldn’t want to change the status quo. We don’t like upheavals, do we? Plus, in any poll of most despised professions, Britons always go for politicians by a country mile. Not many people outright hate the royals but almost everyone has total contempt for politicians. If we had a referendum tomorrow, I think a majority of people would say, “Get rid of ER and replace her with a POLITICIAN? I don’t bloody well think so.”

        In 2012, 11 major cities had referendums on whether or not to have directly elected mayors. 9 of them said no, councillors were quite enough politicians, thank you.

  11. Franca says:

    Doesn’t Merkel have more imporant things to do than meeting someone with no influence?

    • Zip says:

      Mrs. Merkel does not do anything, she is letting things go their course without making decicions. This has been working for her since she became chancellor.

      • Lostara says:

        @zip: Exactly. And IF she even is making decisions, she is making them “from her stomach”. This woman makes political decisions according to her “Bauchgefühl”. I really hope she will be gone with next election……

    • Mila says:

      you are talking about President Gauck? ;)

  12. Taylor says:

    That video is hilarious. In her defense, the pictures really is bad. The Queen tells it like it is. Love it.

    • chaine says:

      i think she’s gotten to that stage of elderliness where she has stopped giving a flying f*** and is just going to say whatever she’s thinking, lol.

      • Mila says:

        thats my life goal. other women want to be mothers, i want to be grumpy grandma who tells others bluntly whats on my mind.

      • Anne tommy says:

        Chaine, She’s paid very well by taxpayers to give a flying fu&ck or at least to have the grace and manners to fake it.
        I think you have to be a mum first to be a grandma Mila

    • Nancy says:

      Like she wasn’t impressed by Kate’s wedding gown exhibition. If I recall, she was actually pretty rude about it.

      • Zombie Shortcake says:

        Ha Ha! In the video of that wedding dress exhibit she made some sort of odd gesture to Kate, like she was dropping a bowling ball onto the floor to demonstrate a point that was virtually inaudible in the footage. Walking into the exhibition room she said “I don’t approve of this,” and then she called the dress set-up “horrid” and “horrible” if I remember correctly. It was amazing to watch.

  13. H says:

    I say turn BP into a tourist attraction and let the Queen retire to Scotland. Not sure why the British taxpayers should fork out $240m on renovations they will never see.

    • Chrissy says:

      I agree. She has so many other properties she could use: Windsor, Holyrood, Sandingham etc, Since the allotted money has been misdirected under her direction, the least she could do is vacate BP. It’s not like she would be doing the packing and unpacking herself!

    • sara says:

      Well, BP is a historical building and even if she moves out I’m fine with my taxes being used to renovate BP.

    • Anne tommy says:

      Why the hell should Scotland be lumbered with her?

  14. ShazBot says:

    Isn’t it Charles’ plan to move out of Buckingham Palace and make it a museum/tourist destination or something?
    If that’s the case, it seems like a bad idea to sink so much money into it right now.

    • Liberty says:

      PC: …. and right there, I think, a nice Zara shop! And next to, a Joseph and a Mulberry!

      KP: But, sir, those are the Queen’s apartment rooms!

      PC: They’re going to be my Kitty’s personal indoor high street now! Throw in a Caffe Nero for her sister, what’sername, Orangina, too! har!

  15. Liberty says:

    AM: Say it! Say “Kniestrümpfe”!!

    HMtQ: No! No! A thousand times,, no!!

  16. G says:

    Well she spoke a few words of Gaelic when she made her first trip to Ireland a couple of years ago – a visit that has HUGE historical important if you know anything about those two country’s relationship. It was her attempt at a peace offering.

  17. The Blitz says:

    Good. I’m glad she didn’t speak German (as opposed to when she spoke Gaelic as a symbol of healing in Ireland). People don’t remember history. And those who forget are condemned to repeat it. The Germans cost the British A LOT during the Blitz and WWII. In fact, it was the British who sacrificed the most to save the world from fascism. The Queen remembers this well. Furthermore her father and mother did a tremendous amount to prop up moral during that time and thus, yes, the royal family deserves respect from Ms. Merkel. It’s one thing to have cordial relations, it’s another thing to go overboard.

    • Franca says:

      Oh really? The British sacrificed the most to save the world in WW2? How does one measure that?
      Because my country was demolished by every army that’s been trough Europe, all 4 of my grandparents were left orphans after WW2, their parents slaughtered and their houses burned down, so I would really like to know where we stand on the “saving the world from fascism” list.

      • Melanie says:

        I’m replying to Franca only because she is at the top of this thread. I’m posting this link in the hopes that more people see it. If you haven’t seen this short documentary called The Fallen of WWII, I highly recommend it. It’s 18 minutes but the time flies by, trust me. From the director:

        “An animated data-driven documentary about war and peace, The Fallen of World War II looks at the human cost of the second World War and sizes up the numbers to other wars in history.”

        Seeing the numbers of dead in this manner drove it home in a way I never imagined. I knew about the incredibly high number of Russian soldiers that were killed, but to see it this way…it just numbed me to the core. Also, I feel embarrassed to not have known how many Poles were killed.

        https://vimeo.com/128373915

    • Betti says:

      Yes, Wilhelm II left his cousin George V with no choice but to declare war on Germany (WWI) as he was determined to invade France (via Belgium a neutral country). He used the assassination of Arch Duke Ferdinand of Austria as an excuse. He started the ideal that Hitler took to the extreme – the resurgence of the German empire.

      Its a lot more complicated that what i wrote above but its just highlights how much of a powderkeg it was at the time.

    • Mila says:

      “In fact, it was the British who sacrificed the most to save the world from fascism”

      i know you are trolling but crapping on way over 20 million dead russians is really uncool.

      to troll a little myself: i hope the Queen does not speak english in Africa or India.

      • Lauren says:

        I wonder of the Blitz knows about all the African troops who sacrificed so much during WW2 only to return home to their native lands and still be treated like second class citizens by the European colonialists? I mean many tried to point out the hypocrisy of the situation and ask how this was any different than what the Nazis had done in Europe. The answer of you are all wondering is that it was more important because Europe was the centre of civilization and things like fascism should not happen there but in Africa it was fair game. The African troops at camp Thiaroye were massacred by their French officers simply for wanting their pay (which the Europeans planned on never giving them) and to be paid equally as their European counterparts. But who talks about these contributions in history books?

      • Roundtable says:

        @MILA In terms of soldiers it would be Ukraine that sacrificed the most not Russia (Ukraine had the most losses). Many Eastern European countries had big losses and dealt with fighting throughout their land (I read somewhere that every village in Belarus saw fighting) but somehow just get grouped in under Russia. Also, don’t forget that Stalin agreed to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact which helped kick off WWII.

      • Sixer says:

        Roundtable – I’m afraid westerners tend to use “Russia” and what became “the Soviet bloc post WWII” as synonyms, which leads to faulty assumptions. We should apologise for that. I apologise!

    • morc says:

      People should remember more history than only that of Germany.
      500 years of invading and conquering “lesser” nations and stealing their ressources and labor does not give the Queen, or any Brit for that matter, moral highground over Germany and a 13 year span of aggression.
      I’m sure the British Empire was built over tea and cucumber sandwiches. What a lovely fantasy.
      The reality is a country that fought many vicious wars for financial gain, one of which resulted in widespread opium addiction in China, you might remember that?

      Put your house in order first.

    • Sixer says:

      I was going to say, The Blitz, you might like to ask the Russians who sacrificed most, but I’m late to the party. You can honour the people who fought for our country without crapping all over the heroic deeds of others, you know.

      And, much as I’m not a royalist, I doubt ER is expecting grovelling deference from Chancellor Merkel (and I would be ashamed if she was). As we all know, ER is actually there to *suck up* to Chancellor Merkel, in the hopes she’ll direct her country to support some moves or other that David Cameron can sell to the eurosceptics in the country for the upcoming referendum.

      I’m afraid your view of the actual power and influence balance in this visit is totally inverted. Britain, as represented by ER, is the supplicant here.

      • morc says:

        APPLAUSE! I feel like you might be someone who checks people’s xenophobia on dailymail.

      • Sixer says:

        I studiously avoid the place, morc! I like to retain a realistic view of the world and at least a modicum of national pride!

        Although, one could make an argument that Britain sacrificed the “most”, if you define “most” as the start of the ceding of its empire rather than the cost in bodies – which certainly was the cost to Britain of winning WWII.

        Personally, though, I’d see that as a good thing. Superpowers, all of them, whatever time they existed or exist in, are not blessings to the other countries in the world. That’s how I see it.

    • HH says:

      Ditto to what everyone else has already said!

      This post reminded me of something my British professor said and we were all kind of shocked (we meaning millennial, American students). He stated that having American troops stationed in Germany is one of the reasons tensions between the Western European countries remains low. He elaborated by saying plenty of people in Europe still remember WWII, and that if the US were to leave, people would actually start to become a little uneasy (particularly of Germany). Does anyone find this to be true? It was a shocking thing for me to hear, but I found it interesting.

      • Sixer says:

        I don’t think your professor’s opinion would go down very well in Europe! American bases aren’t generally regarded as bastions of peacekeeping, I’m afraid. Sorry, HH!

        The EU, for all its faults, is widely regarded as having kept the peace in Europe since WWII.

      • HH says:

        @Sixer – No need to be sorry. It was very surprising to hear; but, as a U.S. millennial who has not been to Europe, I had no basis for objection. Despite his outlandish statement, I felt like I couldn’t object, since he was talking about his own region.

      • Elisa the I. says:

        No. I’m pretty sure the average European isn’t even aware that American troops are still in Germany. I wasn’t until my Mum recently asked me why they are still there.
        However, Merkel is really disliked by many Europeans as they are blaming her (rightly so?) for many unpopular decisions by the EU over the last years…

      • Elisa the I. says:

        Ha, learnt sth new today – these are the EU countries with US military bases:
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_military_deployments#Europe

        does anyone know why they are in these specific countries??

      • FLORC says:

        HH
        Ditto to your ditto.

        And hmm… Much of Germany would not return that way. American troops or not.
        Sadly, I think what happened there could still happen anywhere. If a perfect storm of events were to happen. Not Germany specifics.
        Having lived in Germany and various other countries within Europe I never got the impression from the surroundings or from anyone there was a continued distrust.

      • Mary-Alice says:

         Does anyone find this to be true? 

        HH , certainly not.

        Elisa, for different reasons: geography, political situation, readiness to collaborate, etc. My country covers all thosebases plus someothers and we have the US base, of course, with two more locations holding machines and supplies.

    • poppy says:

      The Queen’s uncle was a Nazi and many people considered the bombing of certain cities in Germany by the British army as war crimes. I don’t think the queen should put herself on a high horse.

      • bluhare says:

        My father, a staunch British royalist if ever there was one, always said that the bombing of Dresden was an abomination.

    • Mary-Alice says:

      Appalingly ignorant. By all historical numbers it was actually what would become later the Soviet Union which losts enormous numbers of lives to stop the Germans. Including tje most frightening number of children lost. May it never happen again ever! Learn your history!

    • jwoolman says:

      The Soviets lost 10% of their population in the German invasion. Whole cities, towns, villages destroyed (that’s why in that area, you see relatively modern buildings, all the old stuff is gone and they had to completely rebuild). A generation grew up without their dads, since so many of the dead were men of military age.

      There were others in the direct path of the Nazis. The British had just felt more protected as an island and so were shocked when they were targeted by modern weaponry. Other areas had experienced such things before in their history, such as when Napoleon decided invading Russia was a neat idea…. Certainly the effects on the British were very significant for the British and traumatic for that generation, but realistically they got off easy compared with many others.

  18. Betti says:

    BP badly needs the renovations due to asbesto’s, old electrics and plumbing. But it never got the work it needed due to the Lazybridges who (read Kate) wanted to completely renovate Apartment 1 at KP with several kitchens so that they didn’t want to live there.

    The German’s love the BRF primarily as TQ is the closest thing they have to a monarch – they’d have her as their Queen any day.

    • Franca says:

      Germans, at least the ones I know, are far to sensible to want a royal family.

      • Betti says:

        Prob true but the ones i used to work with loved anything to do with the BRF – never really figured out why but i was basing my comment on them. They were always gushing about TQ.

      • curlsunited says:

        @Franca: With the exception of some Bavarian monarchists who still mourn King Ludwig II and his exceptional taste in palaces and castles.

      • morc says:

        Yep, while there is joking that a benevolent king would be better and more cost efficient than a parliament, people generally support the end of aristocracy and people being rich and privileged by birth.

      • Franca says:

        @curlsunited I actually visited Neuschwanstein and it was beautiful. Really really beautiful. At least Ludwig had good taste.

      • curlsunited says:

        Not sure about Ludwig’s taste (he’s known as the mad king after all), but it certainly is eccentric and dazzling. And it is a good source of income to the Free State of Bavaria, despite the costly maintenance of such historic grandeur. Which brings us back to Buckingham Palace …

      • FLORC says:

        Franca
        I love Neuschwanstein! The designs were interesting, but I never looked at them from an interior designing angle.
        Curlsunited
        Dazzling is a great description.

    • Kay says:

      Why blame that exclusively on Kate? It’s not like william’s shown himself to be particularly frugal.

      • Betti says:

        Kate loves to decorate – she’d decorated an apartment (can’t remember where) twice in the first few years of marriage (the first time when pregnant with George and the 2nd time after cause she didn’t like the colour she’d chosen – purple).

        Also it was well documented that she was leading on the renovation plans at KP and Amner, it was all done to her specifications. Stories at the time were that Wily was happy to let her do it as it kept her busy.

      • FLORC says:

        Betti
        She decorated and did a massive renovation for KP. Some to remove hazzards (that were just fine for the charity that occupied previously) with decorations rolled in. Then a 2nd time after the full renovations were complete for reasons you stated. New carpeting, paint, fixtures, fabrics, and furniture were a part of the 2nd round. And it appeared for a time that renovations never really stopped with small additions constantly going.

        Anmer got a huge overhaul as well. Rerouted driveway, trees removed and added for privacy, new structures and additions to the main home and apart. A big stir over how Kate approved of tiles considered tacky that were used by new money to make their homes look older.

        This was much larger news because they had both rounds of KP renovations expedited. To be ready so they could make it their full time residence and home base. To have spared no expense with time or detail and then to lay claim to another residence receiving income from renters with years left on their lease so that can be the new home base was a bit too much for many.
        And while there were some shots of the Cambridges at KP Kate was spotted for the large majority at her parents home. Which was also updated by taxpayers to suit security needs since Kate and George were taking residence there for an extended period of time.
        I’ll end this mini rant there as my point being Kate appears to be the one spending like she’s trying to win a race or just doesn’t understand where this money is coming from.

      • Helen says:

        Because women love to pick on other women, and weave a lot of fantasies about what a spoiled nasty brat Kate is when actually they have no clue what goes on in her marriage.

  19. boredblond says:

    Lord, cut this woman some slack. She represents England to the world, and the monarchy represents a unique stability that spans the ages. Britain’s allure is the history..nobody travels the globe to see another glass building or a big ferris wheel.

    • bluhare says:

      There are Theme Park tours available today. So I think people do travel to see ferris wheels (so to speak).

  20. anne_000 says:

    It must be nice that when you let your house get into a quarter of a billion dollars worth of neglect and disrepair, all you have to do is sit back and expect somebody else to pay for it all.

  21. Bread and Circuses says:

    When I toured Buckingham Palace a few years ago, I was a bit surprised how shabby it looked. It’s an old, old building, and the insides do need a refurbishment.

    Not a little reno either — the plaster on the walls need to be ripped down and replaced. I can believe it’s going to cost $240 million to get a building that large upgraded to posh again.

  22. caitrin says:

    The Blitz: Glad it was already posted, but just had to add, again, that the British did NOT sacrifice “more than anyone else” in WW11. Far from it. The toll of 20 million dead Soviets means nothing to you?

  23. Nymeria says:

    So much good could be done with that kind of money. Yet it’s going to these leeches. That’s ultra-borked, man. Ultra-f-cking-borked.

  24. SnarkGirl says:

    I love the Queen, but every time I see her in one of her wonderful ensembles I think of Eddie Izzard’s bit about old ladies …

    ‘They get to a certain age, they get the gran coat & the cake on the head’.

    Giggles every time.

  25. Mary Carol says:

    Brooch Porn. Excellent! You should trademark that.

    RE: Buckingham Palace-Charles has already stated he is moving the ‘court’ to Windsor when he becomes king.

  26. Mary-Alice says:

    I want the white coat with golden and silver drops!