This photo of Queen Elizabeth & Boris Johnson talking on the phone is bonkers

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Reunite With Prince William and Kate Middleton for Final Royal Engagement

Hear me out: what if all the Duchess of Sussex-bashing was merely one massive deflection away from the fact that Queen Elizabeth is no longer seen as the noble, stable, hard-working sovereign? QEII has taken some massive PR hits over the past few years especially. From where I sit, the dichotomy of how Elizabeth handled the Andrew situation versus how she handled the Sussex situation is both remarkable and catastrophic. She did permanent damage to the crown, in my mind. And now the entire world in the middle of a pandemic. This is the moment where people are crying out for stable, even-handed leadership. And what they’re getting is local politicians (mayors, governors) across Europe and America taking the reins while the national leaders (Trump, Boris Johnson, QEII) are sitting on their hands and/or making things worse.

Yesterday, the Royal Family released this image of Boris Johnson at 10 Downing Street speaking on the phone to QEII at Windsor Castle. The purpose of the image was “steady leadership, even in isolation and crisis.” But the Queen’s expression and BoJo’s expression don’t really match up? And it’s just a f–ked up two-shot. This phone call apparently counts as the Queen’s weekly Audience with the prime minister, which she has done throughout her reign. The point is: nothing to see her folks, just steadiness and calm. Nevermind that the crown prince is a 70-plus man who just tested positive for coronavirus.

Also, I found this interesting:

Yeah. I’ve been saying that for two weeks? The Windsors have really screwed up their response to the pandemic. Considering all the public and private events they were still doing just one week ago, it definitely feels like they were sending some terrible messages at every level.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (C), followed by Britain's Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex (L), Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (2L), Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (centre R), Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, (2R) and Meghan, Duch

Photos courtesy of WENN, Avalon Red, The Royal Family Twitter.

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95 Responses to “This photo of Queen Elizabeth & Boris Johnson talking on the phone is bonkers”

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  1. Chica71 says:

    That phone! They have modern secure phones that don’t look 1970′s..
    While QEII and BRF screwed up I don’t think they have anyone who can give them the truth about how bad things look. Everyone is compromised and looking after their own interests including Boris Johnson because he is coming off of his. Brexit “win” but the financial hold as he tries to negotiate the financial exit next year is gonna be interesting. How many Britons will want to find the RF following pandemic that will leave catastrophic financial mess? Sussex is looking ever more prescient.

    • So agree, Chic71. The moment I saw those phones I knew those were props for photo ops. Also, you can’t tell me the Queen and BoJo offices are incapable of setting up visual, state of the art communications. But I guess the photo op of the Queen looking at a screen isn’t as good a visual message as an old fashioned phone in her hand. (PS. Sadly, I’m sure that phone she’s holding is an actual working phone given how the Queen likes to keep everything just the way it was during her father’s reign!).

  2. Flying fish says:

    The Royal Family is a useless bunch, It is time to send them all packing.

    • Sojaschnitzel says:

      Completely useless.

    • Jules says:

      mere props on the scene

    • Rita says:

      Fascinating angle on Sussex departure — that they saw the RF couldn’t go on for much longer. In hindsight, makes so much sense.

      • Princess Punchy says:

        Oh please. The RF was there long before MeGain and will survive long after the door hits them in the ass.

      • Silas says:

        Princess Pushy is the nickname for Princess Michael. Why would you use that for your username?

    • Zazu says:

      That sums it up nicely. So many ideas come to mind on how they could be helping.

      William and Kate could be joining podcasts or releasing video chats on mental health, thanking first responders (William), homeschooling kids right now (Kate), or just getting football stars and celebrities to share the message to stay home, save lives.

      The Queen should already have released a few televised speeches to rally everyone.

      Prince Charles (before being sick) could have done a fireside chat type virtual interview and written an editorial in the times or somewhere on joining together to fight the war on the virus.

      • JesNay says:

        I love that you just came up with a half dozen great ideas @Zazu, and the royal family with their full apparatus of staffers and advisors can’t seem to pull anything off to save their face.

  3. Marjorie says:

    Well, if I were part of a billionaire family and dependent on handouts from the de facto CEO, and he got COVID 19, I’d be quiet as well.

  4. Scal says:

    We all know these folks no longer handle a crisis well. Sophie did a video on the royal family Instagram (shot by her daughter) about how her royal patronage’s were doing so that’s something.

    Charles is infected so needs to isolate.

    The queen released a written statement but is 93 and needs to isolate as well. I don’t know. I feel like that picture is old hence why it doesn’t match up, as I can’t see her allowing a photographer in. But I am surprised someone hasn’t suggested a cellphone message Like Sophie did for TQ.

  5. Ali says:

    Landlines? In 2020.

    They are both out of touch with reality.

    • I'm that person says:

      Uhm, I use my landline at home and in the office, thank you very much.

      • Chrissy says:

        Same here.

      • Ali says:

        Landlines are not used by the majority of people.

      • Original Jenns says:

        Ali, many people still use land lines at business AND at home. Not everyone has great cell phone service, and a lot of people do it so schools and businesses have one main number to reach. Most people I know (in a large city) still have one.

      • Sojaschnitzel says:

        I strongly prefer landline over cell phone. Not only because the connection is bad in my area, but also because I keep getting headache from the cell phone. Probably psychosomatic, but headache nevertheless.

      • NotSoSocialButterfly says:


      • LahdidahBaby says:

        I use my landline, too. Of course I have a mobile, but I never use it unless I’m out somewhere. For internet business at home I use my iPad, unless I’m in my home office on the computer.

      • (TheOG) jan90067 says:

        We have a landline; in CA you need one in case of earthquakes (cell towers DO fail/fall). We also need one in our condo complex that is tied to the guard gate, front door to the lobby, and garage (to let us/guests in and out).

        However, I do not have a metal phone that looks like a colored version of the one Lucy Ricardo used in the 50s 😄

    • Ohpioneer says:

      Most likely secure landlines. Cell phones are far easier to hack. QEII is known for her penny pinching so the retro phones are not a bit surprising. Why buy a new phone when this one is working fine? Raise your hand if you’ve heard your Gran say that. Lol.
      As for facial expressions those photos weren’t taken at the exact same moment during the conversation obviously so I don’t think that is at all relevant to what the conversation may have been. And to me QEII almost always has that same exact look on her face.

    • C-Shell says:

      Eh, you know? I live in a stone house, out in the country (US) and the cell reception inside sucks and doesn’t work much of the time. I can’t always stand outside to take calls what with snow and all. I also have to have the landline for the security system. I wouldn’t be surprised if Petty Betty can’t use a cellphone in Windsor Castle or because they’re hard to manage for elderly people who lack dexterity. Boris J? who knows, but that call does look secure. Not that they talk about anything classified anyway.

      • whatWHAT? says:

        I used to live in a VERY small ‘burg where I got terrible cell reception in my apt, and I would literally have to cross the street and stand on the opposite corner to use my cell phone. used my land line all the time.

        I still do, because there are some people/businesses that I don’t want having my cell number, so they get the home phone.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Most rural America – at least – still use landlines. Businesses as well.

    • Michelle says:

      I still have my landline and it is just because it is bundled in with a cable package. Perhaps they need a landline in case power were to go out and they would still need to contact someone? Who knows….

      • lucy2 says:

        Same here – I never answer it, and it’s a good number to put down if I don’t want a person or company or whatever calling my cell.

    • lucy2 says:

      We use landlines at my office. Actually I can’t think of an office that doesn’t use them.
      For a prime minister, I’d imagine they are more secure. They’re still used in the White House as well.

    • Anonymous says:

      The reliability of old school landline copper wires would put cell phone service to shame.

    • Jaded says:

      We use a landline. It’s reliable. I’m sure they use landlines because cell phones are so easily hacked into.

    • Genessee says:

      Landline user here. So important to have in California

    • Charfromdarock says:

      I work in emergency services.

      I will never give up my landline.

    • BeanieBean says:

      Not just a landline, but a landline with no speaker capabilities. These must be short meetings, because I can’t imagine a 93-year-old could hold a phone to her ear for over an hour. I couldn’t, that would hurt.

    • Juniper says:

      I lost my phone for a few days, and you’d be shocked at how many things are tied to it. Ever since, I’ve seriously reconsidered my choice of unplugging.

  6. Zapp Brannigan says:

    Worst remake of Telephone by Lady Gaga and Beyonce, ever.

  7. Becks1 says:

    The picture with the queen looks like they just plopped a chair next to a 1980s telephone – doesn’t she have a desk or something at Windsor?

    I found the Palmer tweet interesting – I didn’t go look at his twitter to see what else he had to say – he definitely is pretty anti-Meghan and encourages the crazies over there, but he has made some snarky comments about Kate before too. The royals could have done a few very obvious things in this crisis – they should have backed off the public events before they actually did, the queen should have issued a statement way before she actually did, and the queen should address the nation, which still has not happened.

    no one needed to see W&K out and about….two weeks ago?last week? The days all run together now.

  8. Talie says:

    They were also quiet because one of their own had been diagnosed. They are very secretive about their own health and you do have to wonder if Charles’s symptoms are actually worse than what is being reported. Was The Queen tested? Did William and Kate also get tested to be safe – who knows. They especially can’t say because there would be public backlash if they have no symptoms.

    • Livvers says:

      I try to avoid conspiracy-type thinking for my own peace of mind, but I do wonder about Charles’ symptoms. First, if he did only just start to feel symptoms, there is no guarantee that his mild case will stay mild – many severe Covid-19 cases seem to take 7 to 14 days to reach that stage after first onset of symptoms. And second, 30% of cases in Charles’ age group reach the serious-severe level, and I think the royal communications should be willing to acknowledge the potential seriousness of this situation, not just an “its mild” *shrug * sort of thing.

      • AGreatDane says:

        Oh honey while Dominic Cummings and Boris were suggesting the general public sacrifice their grandparents for “herd immunity”, the whole BRF was getting a test, tout suite.

      • AGreatDane says:

        Oh honey while Dominic Cummings and Boris were suggesting the general public sacrifice their grandparents for “herd immunity”, the whole BRF was getting a test, tout suite.

    • Ang says:

      Of course they have all been tested, multiple times! They have access to the best of everything there’s no question they’ve all been tested.

    • Bella DuPont says:

      I’m starting to wonder that we haven’t heard anything from the Queen, but they felt the need to send out that picture. Wouldn’t a video be far more reassuring?

      If the Queen has it, would they tell us right away? Or would they hide it for fear of causing mass hysteria? If I had to guess, it would be that she does have it and is quietly receiving treatment, which we will never hear about until the pandemic is over. Or unless the worst happened. (God forbid).

      I wish them all the best of health. For all their mistakes and failings, I wouldn’t wish this sort of “exit” on anyone.

      (Except for certain mouldy, evil, short-fingered american oranges).

      • MsIam says:

        In “The Crown” didn’t they hide/lie about the King’s health? And yes I know it’s fiction! But maybe that really is SOP for this bunch.

      • Lady D says:

        Why would the Queen’s death cause mass hysteria? She’s going on 94, I doubt it would come as much of a shock.

      • Bella DuPont says:

        @ Lady

        A couple of reasons:

        - Despite being 93/94, most people aren’t really ready for her to die yet. He generation of royals seem almost inexpendible; her mother died at 103 (or so), her husband is almost 99…..
        - it wouldn’t even be her death per se, but the fact that this interminable monarch was brought down by the mighty Coronavirus…..(again, God forbid)…..I think it would send shock waves of fear and panic around the world.

        But who knows? You may be right and people would take it in their stride. Hopefully, we don’t find out.

      • bluemoonhorse says:

        JMO but these are faked up photos to reassure the public. There’s a reason why they are so quiet: it’s called fear for their own sorry hides.

      • ravynrobyn says:

        @ BD~your final sentence-YAAASSSSSSSS!

        NOT A BIT SORRY 😤😤

    • MeghanNotMarkle says:

      I’ve wondered this myself. Being up front and honest would be better for showing the public the seriousness of the virus, since so many still think it’s just a flu. I do hope he’s not worse than what they’re publicly saying, but if he is, they need to share that.

  9. L84Tea says:

    This photo is begging to become a meme.

  10. minny says:

    Kaiser the deafening – (lack of sound) you hear coming from the Palaces is part of the Patriarchy crumbling. How long before masses begin to wake up and see Bojo and the Palaces as the do nothing useless 1%. In America- our financial system has been exposed- our government is passing out trillion dollar stimulus packages like lollipops- this pyramid skim- “the dollar is based on the gold standard” was never a thing, just some nonsense cooked up by the 1%. So watch- a trillion will be passed out every other week to keep the facade of the Dow Jones- another brick from the Patriarchy falls. That wont go unnoticed. So when we get through this – are they going to TRY and tell us there is NO MONEY for Health Care for All. Remember all these jobs losses are connected to individuals/families healthcare insurance. Things will never be the same and I think that’s a good thing. Our lives be very different from before the virus then after the virus. We will get through this. Be safe.

    • Original Jenns says:

      Question – if the monarchy is abolished, will the government step in and begin turning most of the castles/royal homes into museums, and categorize and take back all of the art and jewels that belong to the crown? I would love to see that happen for you folks, I am just wondering how much art/jewelry/land would suddenly become private and not part of the crown through shady inventory…

      The upside is that they they could be the socialites that they want to act like, and do a charity gala once a year to pretend to be relevant.

      • ArtHistorian says:

        The question of what property would belong to the royals and what would belong to the State is very likely a murky mess. Somethings are strictly outlined but I bet a lot is not. That is probably one of the reasons why there isn’t much enthusiasm for abolishing the monarchy among those that could make it happen. It would take a lot of work and it would be expensive to untangle everything.

  11. Alexandria says:

    Of course they need to be quiet because William’s joke that he and Kate are spreading the coronavirus is being brought up again since Charles got diagnosed. They are keeping quiet to lie low and hope it dies down. Also, the less said about Charles’ condition, the better for them.

  12. KellyRyan says:

    The word, “stable, is key. Almost every family member suffers from mental instability and most do not look healthy. Chuckie has swollen hands and a pouched belly. PA is overweight, pouched belly, Duchess Middleton looks haggard, (smoker?), Queenie has swollen legs and feet, her only value is in being a prop.

    I hope the isolation is permanent.

  13. Citresse says:

    Has she become a hoarder?
    That room looks so cluttered.

  14. vertes says:

    Lizzie & Phil should just go to Phil’s hangout near Sandringham & stay there, forever, if they can stand each other. Her time as a valuable figurehead (not a national ruler as she rules nothing but her family) is over. She’s made so many bad decisions lately (Andy, Harry, Boris) that one might think she’s losing any marbles or good sense she might ever have had. She looks like a sweet old lady whose youthful pics are on stamps & money, but she has no real relevance, she ain’t sweet, and her care & feeding cost the citizens a lot of money.

    Time to give it up to Chuck for the time being. Maybe the UK can dismantle the whole royalty scheme before Willy can climb onto the throne.

  15. Golly Gee says:

    Boris reminds me of Tom Hanks in Big; like he’s a six-year-old in a man’s body. That picture where his arms are thrown open wide to Harry started it for me. His facial expression above is like a kid who’s just gotten away with some prank or managed to steal some cookies from the cookie jar.

  16. Frida_K says:

    Well, at least in this photograph she is not next to her gold piano. See, kids? Her humble 1980s phone is sitting on a battered old wooden thing. No gold piano for Liz, nope, not a one.


  17. MeghanNotMarkle says:

    What is the purpose of releasing this photo? A taped statement from TQ would be much more useful.

    I do have to wonder if things are worse for Charles than they’re letting on. I don’t wish ill on him but if he’s really sick, they need to make that known. People still aren’t taking this seriously. Maybe seeing a member of the RF battling this virus would bring it home for some of them.

  18. Livvers says:

    At my last workplace there was an 80 year old man who was still working (he was raising his teenage grandchild and needed income). A bunch of us in the office had watched IT Crowd, and we familiar with the episode where Denham is told his computer is voice activated, so he keeps yelling “Hello!” at the computer to wake it up. This man used to answer his Skype calls the same way. “Hello! Hello! Hello!” We used to crack up silently like 3 times a day.

    Anyway, the image of the queen on the phone reminds me of this. I can just imagine her yelling “Hello! Hello!” over top of Johnson while he tries to tell her about the state of the country.

    • JaneBee says:

      This story comes across as mean spirited (and I’m a millennial).

      • Livvers says:

        I’m curious. Does it come across that way to you because an older man answered the phone in a funny way? Or because I provided context to why a spry older man was still working rather than living out his retirement? He would have enjoyed the joke himself but it would have been hard to explain the TV show to him so we just let him get on with yelling and interrupting us for months on end. I also left out the stuff about his bigotry and foul sailor’s language which definitely makes it less funny, especially the fact that he was on constant probation for sexual harrassment. Is that mean spirited? Life is complicated. We found humour in the situation despite working with someone who otherwise made the workplace a more uncomfortable, hostile place to be. And seeing the queen’s rather stern phone face reminded me of that exasperating but funny situation.

      • Jaded says:

        I saw nothing geriatric-shaming in her comment. Mr. Jaded’s daughter and granddaughter often poke fun at us because we don’t have a smart TV or spotify, we don’t download movies, we play DVDs and CDs and occasionally videotapes because we still have a VCR. We don’t care, if it gives them a laugh so be it.

      • Livvers says:

        I do appreciate the feedback Jaded because I don’t want to target anyone for their age. This man in particular was a weapons system analyst regularly working in 3D computer models and doing complicated analysis – he was technologically adept for a person of any age! But he answered Skype calls like, well, a curmudgeonly older man who wouldn’t let the person on the other side of the call get a word in edgewise, and it was hilarious.

  19. Lizzie says:

    Right now it would be reassuring to see a video of TQ. Not for any pretend leadership but because it’s getting very worrying that we haven’t seen her. Hope all is well with her and PP.

  20. Sidewithkids says:

    National leaders doing nothing. Couldn’t agree more. Wish we had a stronger leader in the US, for sure. One that cared about all people not just a few people.

    • Lady D says:

      Thank all the powers that be we have Trudeau now. Harper would have been a secretive nightmare.

      • Charfromdarock says:

        Yes. Full credit to Trudeau and the Cabinet for the openness and transparency every single day.

        He stands up there every day taking questions from the press. Something Harper never did even in the best of times. It would be an absolute sh!t show now if it was Harper 2.0 aka Scheer was in charge.

      • Lady D says:

        Thanks, Char. I meant to say Scheer. but either of them would have been very bad for us.

  21. Darcy says:

    Seriously, does the man not own a brush? That is the only thing I can ever think whenever I see photos of him.

    • Hollah says:

      I remember a journalist recently remarking that the crazy hair is his trademark and he purposely musses it up to look like that.

    • thea says:

      he messes it up on purpose. he’s been caught doing so right before going on camera. it’s part of his “i’m not an elite” persona – even though he was in the same secret society that david cameron was in (the one with piggate) when they were at oxford, but somehow cameron is elite and bojo is just a regular old bloke. ugh.

  22. Le4Frimaire says:

    Looks like a scene from a comic book. The only thing missing from that photo is the bat signal and Austin Powers. Fighting 21st century pandemic s with 1960s technology. Yeah baby!

  23. Ruby_Woo says:

    Richard Palmer is such a joker!

    He was the one who said that the rest of the RF had dropped Harry and Meghan ‘like hot rocks’. Then when William was accused of bullying Harry, and the Palace had to spin the story as William the all caring brother, Sussex fans kept on referring to this comment as proof.

    He also said that the Royal Rota was so angry at Harry that they wanted to boycott his engagement where he did his ‘farewell’ speech, just after they announced the Sussexes were leaving for Canade. But guess what… the Royal Rota still reported it… including him!

    But my favourite has to be when they all followed Harry to one his engagements the last time he was in the UK (I can’t remember if it was the racing museum or the song recording for the Invictus games) and he complained that all the media were shoved at the back of the room and couldn’t get access to Harry!

    Yes, that’s cos he hates you!

  24. Beach Dreams says:

    It WAS pretty curious how the BRF seemed so cagey over the past couple of weeks, and now we know why. Frankly I think the palace is also being rather taciturn about QE with their “we won’t speak on this further” comment about her “good health”. I do wonder if she has COVID-19 too and they’re trying to keep it from getting out. Between the BRF’s latest announcements and the tone of the recent PR campaign for William, things just seem off right now.

  25. Gertrude says:

    US Presidents only use landlines as well as all world leaders. Please stop speculating at these times when emotions are high. This is a disservice on your part.

  26. Awkward symphony says:

    Someone had a hilarious thread of mems making fun of this silly little photoshoot! It took her long time to release a bland statement and despite going back and fort to BP they didnt do a televised message and eventually put out this strangely stiff picture as if it would help people!!🙄
    She should’ve mentioned the British red cross or thanked the doctors and nurses working around the clock to save lives whilst she’s away at one of her castles.

  27. Trillian says:

    The only thing I miss about these phones is you could really SLAM down the receiver when you were mad at someone. Very satisfying. Furiously poking your smartphone just doesn’t come close.

  28. Olenna says:

    Had to come back; just knew there’d be more cuttin’ up. Thanks for the laughs, CBrs!

  29. Diamond Rottweiler says:

    I have it on good authority that the pig tail landline Liz is using is the same one Henry VIII used to break up with Ann Boleyn. They get it out of the vault for special occasions. Lol.