Queen Camilla to immigrant children: ‘You speak very good English’

Here are some photos from Day 2 of King Charles and Queen Camilla’s “surprise” visit to Northern Ireland this week. Day 1 saw them opening up a public garden and staggering around a garden party. Day 2 saw them visiting a library, attending some multi-faith church thing and meeting with immigrant children. From what I’ve seen in the British papers, the king and queen’s visit didn’t get too much coverage. Perhaps that’s a good thing, judging from the photos and this Times article. Camilla looked like she was getting sh-thoused at one of the stops, and she told the immigrant children that they “speak very good English.” Deep sigh.

Like the King, Queen Camilla is an avid gardener. However, on a visit to Northern Ireland she has admitted that, aged 75, all that weeding and pruning usually leaves her “creaking”. The Queen was visiting the 252-year-old Armagh Robinson library on the second day of the couple’s two-day visit to the province.

While there she was shown parts of Joseph Paxton’s Magazine of Botany, which is a collection of illustrated advice for gardeners. Speaking to members of Dementia NI, she said: “I love gardening. I’m a passionate gardener. And it’s very therapeutic. But I always stay too long. Everything creaks and groans.”

Camilla was greeted by a table of library volunteers, a group of children from Drelincourt School, whose English is a second language. She told the volunteers: “This is very special what you are doing. The whole country would collapse without volunteers. Thank goodness there is a lot of you about. Volunteers also get as much out as they give.”

Speaking to children, some who only arrived in Northern Ireland two weeks ago, she said: “You speak very good English.”

Angela Baleva, six, who was born in Portugal and whose first language is Bulgarian, handed the Queen a picture she had coloured in from the Lindisfarne Gospels. She said: “I told the Queen I thought she was beautiful and she said thank you.”

[From The Times]

“The whole country would collapse without volunteers” – pay people for their work, my god. A country built on volunteerism (unpaid labor) cannot be sustained. “You speak very good English” – I’m sure Camilla meant that as a compliment but it irritated me, thinking about how difficult it is for immigrant families in any country, how quickly they’re forced to acclimate and for the sole comment on their experience to be about how well they speak English. Irritating. As for everything creaking and groaning with Camilla… yeah, the orthopedic kitten wedges speak volumes.

Photos courtesy of Cover Images.

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127 Responses to “Queen Camilla to immigrant children: ‘You speak very good English’”

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  1. Tessa says:

    What is with her pose in that first picture. The children look embarrassed. She is so bad at these appearances. Of course the.media will cut her some slack for her tactless comment

    • Gossipgirl says:

      She always looks like she just had her 3rd martini for the day….with more to come

      • zazzoo says:

        To be fair, I’d guess that she’s drinking a Sea Breeze in that picture, which is much lighter in booze and contains a dash of vitamin C.

  2. Tessa says:

    Pleats do not look good on her.

    • windyriver says:

      I don’t know, I don’t think it’s too bad. I don’t like the dress, but that could mostly be because I dislike that shade of green. It’s interesting that this dropped waist style seems to be her alternative to the front zip housecoat style she’s so fond of. She wore the same style to the flower show, though in that case the skit was flared, with some very narrow pleats on top that seemed a bit much given the busy floral fabric.

      • SussexFan says:

        Looks like her girdle rolled down from stomach pressure. I think she needs a long-line girdle if she wants to emphasize her waist. Or a full body shaper.

        With those new immigrant children? Some will let it go by, but in a few years, if she’s still talking like that, those same children won’t be soooo appreciative. Classless. Imagine if they were black.

      • Tacky says:

        I think her dresser secretly hates her. There is no excuse for this look.

    • Bananie says:

      yeah the dropped waist is hitting her at EXACTLY the wrong place.
      Does no one advise on foundational garments? What a mess.

      • Princessk says:

        Well she is 75. I don’t see the problem with a 75 year old body showing lumps and bumps rather those who continue to try to look like they are 25.

    • The Recluse says:

      The dress is serviceable. It’s the ugly soul in it that’s the problem.

  3. Andy Dufresne says:

    I don’t like that comment too. It’s actually quite triggering. I heard that a lot when I was 12/13 years old, as a new immigrant to Canada from adults/teachers.

    It may appear harmless at first but it just sounds condescending to me.

    • ML says:

      SAME! I come from a family of immigrants, am an immigrant myself, and I have heard this kind of comment (you speak [language X] very good for a foreigner) aimed at family members or myself my whole life. What I hear is I don’t speak, or (family member) doesn’t speak the language properly. When I was in grade school I thought it was a compliment and by junior high I realized how condescending and othering that is. If I speak English to my children, they get this as well, even though their father is Dutch, they’ve lived here their entire lives and no one notices anything different about them until I enter the picture. Well said, Andy!

      • Kingston says:

        I hope the day will come when immigrants who always get the: “you speak [my mother tongue] so well!” will learn that what the speaker is saying is: “youre so much better than me; I cant speak any other language but [my mother-tongue.]”

        I hope the immigrant will recognize that the speaker is really expressing their personal sense of inadequacy; their inability to learn new things as well as the immigrant person about whom theyre being unwittingly condescending.

        And I hope the immigrant person will learn to respond to that age-old backhanded compliment by saying: ” why, thank you. Dont worry, you too can learn to speak a second language if you put your mind to it.”

    • AlpineWitch says:

      This is quite common in the UK, not sure if it’s the same in other English-speaking countries. As soon as they hear you’ve a different accent the “your English is very good” is the first thing they say. It has irritated me to no end for years.

      I arrived to the UK almost 20 years ago and to this day I still have people remarking that, while I’ve been schooled here up until Master’s degree level and speak/write English better than a big part of the native speakers.

      So in this case alone, Horsemilla is behaving like the peasants.

      • Julie says:

        Agreed on how triggering this is.
        i annoyed me when it was from British white people, but i expected the racism, however i was surprised how often i heard this from British POC , including relatives of mine who were born in the UK from parents who had immigrated from our native country 40 years ago. British POC had a word for people like me : Freshie, as in Fresh off the boat.

      • SenseOfTheAbsurd says:

        Friend of mine (white New Zealander, never spoken any language other than English) was working in the UK, and some idiot posho said to her “you speak very good English, for a Colonial”. This was in about 2005, not 1925.

      • Princessk says:

        My daughter has a high powered job, and people keep referring to how well she speaks…..?
        I doubt she would keep getting these comments if she was white.

      • EBS says:

        Aristos, especially older ones, really live in a different world. It might as well be 1925 to them. (Can’t stand them, for the most part).

      • Agreatreckoning says:

        As with most royals, I believe, very few of them are fluent in a 2nd language, some might be. Meghan is. Oh lordy, another strike against her! Something else she could do others could not! Tar and feather her.

        Does Camz speak a language fluently outside of Illhaveanother? Or, Kate? Kate can’t speak fluent understandable English? Is she on record speaking any other language intelligently/fluently? These are supposed to be highly educated, worldly people. Betters! lofl

    • Honey says:

      Not sure if I’m ready to pounce on Camilla for her English comment. I volunteer teaching conversational English at a school with many immigrants and they work hard to learn the language out of necessity and, in many occasions, to be able to translate for their families with doctors, stores, landlords, etc. And frankly, not all school systems are equipped to properly teach ESL, so non-profits are a helpful resource. In this case, it appears that ESL is a great part of this school (but maybe not?). If that’s the case, my experience is that students really want validation for their hard work. So I guess her words depend on the context of this appearance. And as a volunteer, it’s nice (but not necessary) to be recognized. Just my two cents.

      • Agreatreckoning says:

        @Honey, that’s a lovely sentiment in theory. Except, the children are speaking English better than Camz is speaking their language. Camz is now the *cough* Queen of a lot of places. She’s had more decades preparing for this than Kate.

        Yet, she has shown just as much disinterest in other peoples cultures/language as Kate.

        “You speak very good English.” isn’t cutting it for me when these effin diplomats should be speaking to people in their own country’s language.imo

        It’s condescending because whilst so many people are taught English as as a 2nd language..royals get away with not speaking other languages, (that they are a figure head of), fluently.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      I found Cowmillas comment completely inappropriate as well as I am an American born person. IF I find that comment offensive so would the rest of Britain.

    • Acha says:

      My mom is a first generation immigrant from Asia. She had a British nanny, so her English is impeccable. People have said this to her very condescendingly, and I always want to ask how well they speak an Asian language.

    • zazzoo says:

      Andy – First of all *high five* on your awesome name. Second, I hear that so loudly. I’ve caught myself saying things like “you articulated that very well” meaning as a compliment on one’s rhetorical skills not their language ability, but there’s a historical context to remember and be aware of. Now I try to be very specific in my comments to not sound like I’m praising someone on basic English skills. Like “I love how you compared x to y. Brilliant analogy!”

    • Mrs.Krabapple says:

      Even if the final “conclusion” is that an immigrant speaks “good” english, it doesn’t erase that they were being judged on it in the first place.

      • zazzoo says:

        This exactly. The points is not whether a compliment was well intentioned in the moment, the audacity to comment at all one one’s command of English is establishing a hierarchy of who belongs.

      • LahdidahBaby says:

        Yes! This is the primary point to be made.

    • Alice says:

      I kept (and keep!) hearing it from adults, also in Canada. Totally condescending and disrespectful. Not to mention that their grammar is often significantly worse than mine.

  4. Amy Bee says:

    Camilla’s just an awful person and press saw nothing wrong with her comments because they’re right wing like her.

    • Mary Pester says:

      @AMYBEE, exactly, and if I was the child, or the child’s parent /guardian, I would have said, yes she does, and just how many languages do you speak? And @BRASSYREBEL, yep of to the nearest optician for that poor child!!

  5. Brassy Rebel says:

    Get that child who told Camilla she is beautiful to an eye doctor. Immediately. I suspect she was only being polite and had no idea what to say to the gin-soaked side piece.

  6. Tessa says:

    She looks like a wedding guest at a reception looking worse for wear.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      As I read your comment, I read it as horse for wear and not worse for wear!!!!

    • square_bologna says:

      I want to know what that pink liquid is in the glass! 🧐

      • Mary Pester says:

        Probably gin, with passion fruit juice, AHHH BLEACH MY MOUTH, I JUST PUT CAMILLA AND PASSION IN THE SAME SENTENCE, BUT it probably was pink gin 😭

  7. UNCDancer says:

    Painkillers and alcohol. She was probably always a highly function borderline alcoholic. But I am betting she is taking some heavy duty opioids to keep the pain at bay.

    • WiththeAmericann says:

      Oh is that it? For her foot injury for the injury of her selfish greed causing her to marry a psychopathic child?

      • UNCDANCER says:

        Oh, that’s because she is a trash human. The reason she looks soused at events is because, imo, she is hopped up on booze and pills.

      • VibaLasVirgos says:

        Or you both could be right. I thought that she injured her big toe after repeatedly kicking Diana while she was down.

      • ThatsNotOkay says:

        Her horseshoe needs to be reshod.

      • WiththeAmericann says:

        @viba so true. That’s what did it for sure. A permanent injury to her soul.

        @unc I agree, she’s always boozed up pills wouldn’t surprise. She’s a disaster.

        @thatsnotokay hahahaha. Put a wiglet on it and call it done.

  8. Bee says:

    Those aren’t wedges, and are perhaps a bit taller than kitten.

    But… the orthopedic kitten wedges she wore last week… ngl I would wear them all summer if they were all black. (with my Angelina sack dresses.) LOL! And nobody would even notice!

    • Renae says:

      Cam is pure trash. I know I’m fashion UNconscious but even I hate most of what she wears. (Exception was her wedding day. It was appropriate and appeared to fit well). One thing I will not criticize on her are her shoes. I’m about her age and spent most of my working life on my feet. My rule : if the shoes fit and are comfortable… I’m wearing them, if they work with the outfit, so much the better. Her shoes are fine. (Call the royal farrier and have her hooves trimmed)
      As for her comments, this woman appears absolutely plastered almost 24/7. Totally embarrassing. I just can’t decide if its the booze or her basic character.

    • B says:

      Omg that toe injury from repeatedly kicking Diana while she was down line you gave us is the funniest thing I’ve heard all day.
      God. Please leave more saucy comments.

  9. To her you “speak good english” comment I would reply that she drinks like a horse at an alcohol filled pond.

  10. WiththeAmericann says:

    The fart detective is also copying Meghan’s blush angle, finally. The entire royal family have been doing 80s blush until very recently. I’m betting they were laughing at MM for doing it in the modern era way until they realized it looked better.

    She’s just a horrid person, so of course talks down to immigrant children.

  11. Inge says:

    So basically that whole family suffers from foot in mouth desease…

    • BothSidesNow says:

      They suffer from a myriad of diseases, not simply racism and foot in mouth disease.

      Cowmillas comment was inappropriate and appalling. As soon as I read the article, I imagined PP making that type of off cuff remark.

    • Renae says:

      Or hoof in mouth.

  12. Giddy says:

    I don’t know if it’s the booze or what, but she already looks older than QE did at 90.

    • North of Boston says:

      Yeah this reminds me of Charles’ “tell everyone in back in (person’s home country in Africa) I said hello”. Their ignorance and othering of people comes out in their words.

    • booboocita says:

      Osteoporosis is a HELL of a disease. It bows the spine, bends the shoulders, and makes even just walking about a trial. And it’s exacerbated by alcoholism (some researchers think alcoholism is a contributing factor to its development).

      Queen Side Piece has been looking pretty unsteady on her feet since the Clowning. I put it down to exhaustion and nerves at first, but I’m wondering now if it’s her disease, the one that eventually took her mother. I’m sure the heavy drinking isn’t helping. And karma. Karma gets us all, eventually, and she’s due for a reckoning.

      • Nicky says:

        Is it just me, but I think the way she stands looks also like when people have Parkinson’s you know, leaning forward and palms to the back?

  13. Pinkosaurus says:

    I like the dress, nice color and lovely embroidery. What are the rules in hats for royals? I suspect the Queen would have worn a matching hat to this type of event. Serious question, are there no “rules”, expectations or norms? We well know the Rota just make them up to criticize biracial royals.

    • Ms single malt says:

      I’m not a Camilla stan by any means but she is at an event attended by volunteers from a school for students who don’t speak English as first language. I’m not sure Camilla would understand why it is a comment that would peeve some people as she is not really exposed to such a reality.

      I get annoyed with anyone who says, “I love your hair, can I touch it?” I am often asked, “Where are you from?” And then a follow up, “but where are you really from?” if I answer Canada.

      • Michelle says:

        OMG. People have asked you more than once to touch your hair? You should never have to put up with that kind of rude behavior. I’m so sorry there are so many a**hats in the world. I’m in my 50s and I’ve never asked another human if I could touch their hair. WTH is the matter with people?

    • Mary Pester says:

      @pinkasourus you got it in one

      • B says:

        I used to teach high school and the kids had very different hair than mine.
        One day at the end of class the girls grouped up and asked if they could touch my hair. I was surprised then shrugged and gave them a kid kosher version of IDGAF. They spent the rest of the class time playing with it.
        But I suppose the difference was that we were all on good terms with each other…. They were just kids and they were curious, and we had been working side by side for a year.

  14. LolaB says:

    When you become queen of England, do you just stop wearing support garments? Is that part of the deal?

    • windyriver says:

      I have noticed in the last few outings she seems to be at least wearing a better bra.

  15. Lili says:

    this woman is so ignorant i cant even with nonsense. i bet someone in the media is going to come along and Racesplain that she didnt mean it like that.

  16. Lily says:

    English is my second language and yeah… When a native speakers compliments you it comes off as condenscending, because if you were that good, they wouldn’t even notice! It’s a weird thing to say to these children… Is she trying to say they’re “good” immigrants? Can she even speak a foreign language?
    And anyway, I thought it was supposed to be, “You speak English very well.” Didn’t Serena Williams caught some flack years ago about saying she spoke “very good English” in the middle of a match?

    • AlpineWitch says:

      When you apply for nationalisation in the UK there’s a test to pass (about history and life in the UK) that not even UK-born people can actually answer… just to show we’re good immigrants, right….

  17. Cassie says:

    Oh my god they are an ugly old pair.
    Must be frightening to se them in real life,

  18. PunkAss BookJockey says:

    Reminds me of the awful racist comments Prince Phillip used to make at his events.

  19. Southern Fried says:

    Disgusting they make innocent children props for Cowmilla and Kate. It’s always a fail.

  20. Seraphina says:

    I hope Cams understands the child, Angela, was being kind and not honest – because Cams is not beautiful inside or out.

    • Lilly (with the double-L) says:

      I’m certain lots of vetting and coaching went on to find one child to do and say something they could report on as positive. Children can be so kind.

  21. The Old Chick says:

    She’s so awful.. A racist, nasty lush and the worst bully. . She’s rude to everyone, remember the Maori performers she strolled past? I freaking loathe her. Whilst she’s conniving, she’s not intelligent. She’s too self absorbed. No one should speak like that.

  22. Smart&Messy says:

    Re orthopedic kitten wedges: she IS 75 with osteoporosis and I keep saying she has been looking unwell lately. Not just physically, but also a kind of uncertainty in her eyes. It wasn’t there before QE died and she went to the India “cleansing trip” or whatever they called it. After the trip, she also appeared thinner and started wearing different make-up. My guess is that she had some real medical issues during that time that didn’t really go away.

    • Chaine says:

      I agree, third photo down, she looks completely lost like she doesn’t know where she is or what’s going on. Guessing she’s on some type of pain medication and in a daze.

      • Blithe says:

        Yes, she looks lost or stuck or something in that picture.

        As for the shoes, I’ve slipped into the demographic that prizes comfy over cute, so my only criticism about her footwear is that she needs more flats in a wider range of colors. If they still make them, I can highly recommend the ballerina flats by
        Doc Martens.

      • Jan90067 says:

        Birdies are *great* flats! Padded insole and a bit of arch cushioning. I have about 9 pairs in different colors (incl. a pair that is a slipper mule, nice enough to wear out of the house!). Y’all should check them out. I live in these shoes! SO comfy and chic!

      • Blithe says:

        @Jan90067, Thanks for the Birdies recommendation! I’ll have to try them. I just checked out their website — and see several beautiful options. Swoon.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      When was this?? Oh, I missed this bit of news!! My chronic pain has been on a tangent these last two weeks and it’s been hell lately.

      Oh, I see it was last October. I will have to read up on it.

      • B says:

        Also Orthofeet. They will never win a style contest but they are passable mostly and they have great arch support and a nice toe box and solid heel cup!

    • Hannah says:

      Camilla has also had Covid twice. Not ideal in your 70’s. The last time she had it was late Feb of this year. So I imagine she is battling. She’s long battled neck & back problems and “seasonal illnesses” 🤷🏻‍♀️

      • Justjan says:

        Covid-related. This was my guess, too.

      • Giddy says:

        She has earned her ill health and I have little sympathy. I’ll save my empathy for kind, caring, gracious people, those who have genuine warmth and interest in others. That in no way describes Cam, whether she’s medicated or drunk, she’s never genuinely interested in others.

  23. Maxine Branch says:

    These are uncouth people living in unimaginable luxury which shields them from ridicule.

  24. Eurydice says:

    I suppose it depends on context. If she was speaking to a class of ELS students, then her comment is a compliment on how well they’ve been studying. As for volunteers, I don’t know that the whole country couldn’t function without them, but certainly non-profits and libraries depend on volunteers.

  25. Laura D says:

    I’m going to keep on typing this until someone from the palace(s) take notice! Where is the Diversity Tzar that was promised straight after the Oprah interview? If they had been truly committed to making a difference and setting a positive example someone would have been employed by now. With fewer working royals surely there’s something in the budget for “Equal Opportunity” training? Whoever, told them that getting their photo taken with a POC or someone in a wheelchair shows the BRF awareness of “difference” really is showing how out of touch the whole institution really is.

    *Rant over until the next gaff! 😉

    • Blithe says:

      I recently saw a picture of the supposed Diversity Tsar. It might have been part of the coronation photos. I’ll come back and add a link if I can track it down. She seriously has her work cut out for her.

      • Laura D says:

        @Blithe – I’ve Googled but, can only find references for 2021. It would be a step in the right direction if they have hired one.

      • Blithe says:

        @Laura D – I’m not sure why my responses aren’t being posted. 🤷🏾‍♀️

      • Giddyi says:

        I guess the Diversity Tsar is not a high priority. That would shock no one.The best I can say is that at least they are consistent.

  26. Blithe says:

    English is my first language. When someone condescendingly tells me that I speak English “so well” — I usually smile politely, and say : “ Thank you. So do you.” Some of the responses have been quite amusing.

    I’ve learned to sort out the genuine compliments from the seemingly racist condescension.

  27. Ameerah M says:

    She looks drunk AF. And sounds it too.

    • SIde Eye says:

      She’s 3 sheets to the wind! You’re right @Ameerah. Is it part of her contract that they serve her alcohol on site? Seems weird to be drinking at this event middle of the day. You’re meeting volunteers and children, but they have the bar set up for her. Am I seeing all of this correctly? Charles really has the woman he deserves.

  28. Tamra says:

    The children should of told her to spit the marbles out so they could understand her!

  29. Surly Gale says:

    Well, bummer. I suck. We have a very large immigrant population and when one has said, sorry I don’t speak much English, I’ve said well, I don’t speak ANY Farsi so you’re waaay ahead of me. And I have said those words: You speak English very well
    (You speak very good English is not very good English and Camille ought to know better),

    I had no idea I was being insulting; I thought we were simply chatting. On the bus. In the grocery lineup. How many times have I triggered someone? This really bothers me. I’ve done my best to own my white privilege, I know its there. I’ve said .. ‘wow, you’ve been here two months and we’re holding a conversation in your second language, what a lot of work you’ve been doing. English is such a difficult language to learn’, etc. I’m sorry. I had no idea complimenting an immigrant’s language skills and obvious work to learn the language would be triggering. I mean to be welcoming and admiring. Are there other phrases? Should I stay away from language as a topic of conversation? Now I’m second guessing myself. I never want to sound, or be, condescending or triggering. Shite. How do I do better?

    • Ms single malt says:

      You don’t suck. It’s clear you are an ally.

      The nice thing about our Celebitchy community is that you can learn things from different perspectives.

    • SIde Eye says:

      I concur! You don’t suck. I like to think we look at the heart – sometimes that comment is made to “other-ize” someone – we look at Camilla and see the history of racism, of ugliness, or bullying, so she doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt. You don’t have that history. And in your context, you’re being genuinely sweet. I’ve said this too – when people say to me “my English is not so great” I say actually I disagree, it IS great! I understand you perfectly.” And usually it makes a person feel good (I hope). Learning another language is difficult. It’s an acknowledgment of that.

      Keep being awesome. You don’t need to change. People when they interact with others on the bus, in public, they know who is being an ass to them and who is being welcoming. Clearly you are the latter!

      I get asked where are you from a lot from people. I know they are politely (or sometimes not so politely) asking me what my race is. How I respond depends on a lot of things – one of them is the spirit of the person standing in front of me. You know when a person is being welcoming, when they are curious, when there’s a compliment coming. I tell those people everything. And usually I get more questions, they are comfortable asking me about my experience growing up in Canada as a POC etc. And I’m happy to share/talk. If it’s a mean girl trying to make me feel unwelcome, I know it too, and I tend to be more short in my response then.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      @ Surly Gale, I can’t help you with an immigrant having tackled the English language, but I can tell you of my experience when I lived in Argentina. I became fluent in Castilian in the less than 3 months and spoke it brilliantly!! From my perspective, when someone would compliment me, I wish someone had asked me, as a gown adult, how I was able to master the language. Many thought that I somewhat spoke the language before I arrived but I was only fluent is swear words, from my father.

      Possibly ask how they were able to capture the English language and to how they felt about learning it, if they had difficulty or reservations as they learned the language. And ask how they learned the language and if tutoring helped or assisted and if they are still having difficulties with certain phrases of usage of the language. Ask them too if they were still seeking help as well, and if you are willing, offer to help. Just my two cents!

    • bisynaptic says:

      My only note would be to not assume people didn’t know any English before they came over.

      • Eurydice says:

        Yes, this exactly. The US is such a large country that one can live comfortably one’s whole life without needing to speak another language. In Greece, we had to study English, German and French. If I’d only ever known Greek, I wouldn’t have been able to go anywhere else.

    • Blithe says:

      @Surly Gale, in the example you gave, people are bringing up their own proficiency in what is a new language for them, and your response is very supportive. That’s very different from someone initiating a conversation about someone else’s proficiency. My guess is that your comments have been fine, and you can probably sense that from the tone of the responses that you’ve received.

    • AnneL says:

      I’m in the same boat here. I believe I do compliment people on their English skills. I mean it as a compliment, and am genuinely impressed by it. I live in Texas and speak Spanish reasonably well, but that’s it. I wish this country would be better about introducing other languages to children very early, in school and at home.

      It’s never been my intent to otherize anyone or condescend to them, but maybe I have. I need to watch myself and try to be better.

      • Surly Gale says:

        @BothSidesNow, thank you for the great ideas!
        @Thank you ms single malt, for being so kind
        And Side Eye and isynaptic make excellent points. Y’all are my ‘miss manners’ community for 2023.
        And Annet, like you I have the smattering of a second language (grew up in Montreal) and appreciate your comment
        I freaked myself out there and needed to check myself to be sure I am being consistent with my values, especially considering I do walk under the mantle of systemic white privilege. I don’t ever want to not be aware and thoughtful.

    • Iolanthe says:

      It depends on context ..as a ” working royal” it is condescending to make remarks about spoken English . English is my first language . I was at a boarding school taught by Irish nuns . I also speak five languages and love picking up the basics of a new one wherever I travel, because people appreciate the effort. I know we would be delighted if a foreigner made an effort to at least try speaking ourl anguage . But we know when the compliment is sincerely meant or not . Incidentally I just rewatched ” The Jewel in the Crown ” and when someone asked a young man where he learnt his English because it was ” very good”, he said ” England “. There are plenty like him , probably second generation, public school and so forth, and in colonial times maybe it was not politically correct to remark on it even as a compliment. Depends on who says it , when and why . And by the way when I watch many British TV serials , I actually turn on subtitles because there are so many accents and dialects ..Shetland was one .

  30. QuiteContrary says:

    So they went to Northern Ireland and she wore green. And she told some beautiful children that their English is good.

    These people operate as if they’re following the Guide to Being Basic and Borderline Offensive.

    They can’t just be human around other humans.

  31. Whyforthelovel says:

    Jeez I am an American born English speaker and that comment makes me flinch… so insensitive. Of course with the new Queen it is on brand. She looks like she hates this job.

  32. Flower says:

    “Speaking to children, some who only arrived in Northern Ireland two weeks ago, she said: “You speak very good English.”

    ^^Unpopular opinion but I don’t think Camilla was being racist. Rather I think this was a statement of fact that these kids as kids often do had adapted very quickly to their new home.

    I have a boss who used to tell me I was ‘very eloquent’ until he had to do some ‘diversity and conduct’ training for many reasons not related to our catch-up chats. That it my mind was racist as he never made the same comment to my white colleagues.

    In fact I’ve been subject to a litany of racist comments from teachers, lecturers, bosses and even civil servants when I had to renew my passport recently.

    – “You’re very eloquent’
    – “Oh that’s a funny name, where you from, you speak very well’ (whilst renewing my British passport)
    – You’re very posh aren’t you

    Any my eternal favourite
    – ‘I like the way you talk and you’re different to all the other black people’ (said in front of a room of colleagues, senior and junior – that employee later got a roasting from the head of dept and HR)

    • AnneL says:

      I kind of agree that in this particular context, it was OK for her to say that. I am sure she would and has said similar things in ways that WERE totally inappropriate and offensive. But I don’t think this is one of them. She’s still a racist boozehound, though.

      My husband immigrated to the US at age 13. He came from an English speaking country (South Africa) but he had an accent and it still lingers a bit. So when I meet someone who sounds like they might originally be from SA, I ask them. I hope it’s not offensive for me to do that. I’m just trying to find some common ground.

    • Kim says:

      I agree. They picked up English really fast. Maybe she just wanted to reassure them. English is not an easy language. People think it’s easy because they don’t actually learn it. They memorize a few words and phrases.

      Im native American and african american. I learned english from specially trained teachers. Because they wanted us to think english. It was to assimilate us.
      I can read a 16th monks pray book but I can’t conjugate be.
      Because of my background I have been around tons of different immigrants.

      Some immigrants like to be assured that you actually understand them. In this instance Camilla wasn’t foul. Now if she would’ve said that to the Irish kids they should’ve thrown her out.

  33. NotSoSocialB says:

    She looks like she’s about to pitch forward onto her face in the last photo.

  34. Begonia Bologna says:

    I suppose the comment depends on context, although I’d never give QC the benefit of the doubt. I’m always amazed by people who apologize for their English b/c my first though it always “your English is better than mine and it’s the ONLY language I speak.”

  35. j.ferber says:

    Has she always been this sloshed on the daily or is it only lately? Is this her celebration of bad deeds come to fruition after decades of craftiness and manipulation? And that she can “rest” (drink a lot) now?

  36. TheCrankyFairy says:

    The article referred to Northern Ireland as a province. I would say I’m flabbergasted, but this tracks with everything I know about English media types. I just….A Province. SMDH

    • PunkPrincessPhD says:


      Just some common, garden-variety imperial ignorance showing.

      “Ulster” is a province (of Ireland), but Northern Ireland does not equal Ulster 🙄

      NI is one of the four constituent nations of the United Kingdom, and if they want it to stay that way, they might want to read up a bit.

  37. Tamra says:

    Nobody is covering this trip! So much for being a Diplomat and Statesman! Where is the other pale, flabby legged statesman come to think of it? Did the rowing wear him out?

  38. SenseOfTheAbsurd says:

    OMG WTF. Patronising racist cow.

    Those may be the ugliest shoes I’ve ever seen. Boring, look like they’re sagging, and in the worst colour possible.

  39. Frequent Traveler says:

    Ok, so this ignorant slob:
    1) Can’t speak English properly and is obviously unaware of grammar rules;
    2) Can’t dress worth a farthing and lets her undergarments take center stage;
    3) Is drunk all the time and/or loaded with narcotics;
    4) Makes inappropriate racist comments right out loud and no one blinks; and
    5) Sniffs farts and laughs about it with others.

    Hmmmmmm…some Queen.

  40. kirk says:

    U.K. relying on lots of children as “volunteers” sounds a bit Dickensian. Kids are way ahead of me with 2nd language. Fart-smeller’s comments are just gross. At least she pulled up her nylons for these pix.

  41. j.ferber says:

    Another good day for the Royal Family making enemies in the United Kingdom and all over the world! Maybe Northern Ireland would like to stop being a “province” of England and become part of a United Ireland? Because that’s what the cow was pushing for, even though she didn’t know it (all that gin dislodges diplomacy and statesmanship from the brain).

  42. InVain says:

    I fucking hate this nasty wench.

  43. AC says:

    Yep, another day of the BRF living in a bubble , thinking the world hasn’t diversified and thinking they’re still superior to all. Let’s see how long they survive in the 21st century 🙄

  44. Myeh says:

    Isn’t she supposed to be a role model? To whom? Entitled elderly racist white women who day drink and take zero responsibility and accountability? Is she teaching younger white women this is your final form! Take notes. Smh. I can’t believe people from this family are tolerated with their inappropriate behavior in public. Telling someone their English is good is not the compliment you think it is. It’s a back handed compliment at best used to otherize the person and at worst it outs you as so entitled that you can be casually racist consequence free. Immigrants and poc I’ve heard this colonizer talk for a long time now. Usually it’s a form of testing boundaries with the white supremacist crowd. If an old white woman says this to you be assured that she will try to touch your hair without consent or find another way to marginalize you next without consequence. So next time you hear this ask them why they’re so comfortable saying this to you and not to a white immigrant or another white person who they see as a peer holding equal value to themselves. Shut their colonizer talk down. At best they will stop testing your boundaries and maybe think about their casual racism and at worst they will label you difficult, intimidating, a complainer etc. Those labels while being racist af are still much better than them getting away with devaluing you consequence free from responsibility and accountability.