HM’s rep to Prez: “…do whatever you like, they all do anyway, she’s a professional, it won’t bother her…”

H/T to Jude for pointing me at a little gem for the weekend. He starts by quoting from Mary McAleese’s address to the the Royal Edinburgh Society, and he highlights this little gem:

“I don’t do that. I don’t kiss bishops’ rings, I don’t curtsey to popes and I don’t curtsey to monarchs. It is part and parcel of the make-up, the strong egalitarian sense that runs through me”.

“Neither do an awful lot of us, Mary”, says Jude. But then he misses a wee cracker of a punchline:

She said she went to see the master of the queen’s household, saying that “if this causes embarrassment we should get somebody else to do it”.

“He said, “Ah, curtsey, don’t curtsey, it has gone out of fashion, do whatever you like, they all do anyway, she’s a professional, it won’t bother her. Do whatever you like.”


  • A former Canadian P.M. did a victory twirl when our Constitution was repatriated in 1982 but only behind her back.

  • Rory Carr

    A good spit into the palm followed by a firm handshake and a hearty slap on the shoulder, that is the etiquette that should be de rigeur in all settings.

  • carl marks

    Always thought QE2 was a great head of state, (is that blasphemy for a nationalist) not many people could have held the job as long as she has and made so few mistakes and considering the family history I suspect she is adopted.

  • Anaximander

    I’m unsure whether Elizabeth is bland to the point of being an intellectual non-entity or a supremely gifted diplomat.

  • Anaximander

    Jean Chrétien, Mister Joe, was also reputed to have uttered obscenities in French during the signing ceremony in Ottawa, which amused the Queen.

    Trudeau, of course, was an international socialist as well as a French Canadian, and instinctively disliked the British Empire and monarchy. I sense that he had a personal fondness for the Queen however.

    The discours de la reine in Québec City in 1964, addressing French Canada and its history (to be found here: certainly went far beyond anything she said when she came to Dublin in 2011.

    The difference, of course, is that in 1964, a Liberal Canadian government told her, more or less, what to say, whilst in 2011 a Tory British government did.

  • Harry Flashman

    Trudeau was a ghastly, amoral fraud and poseur perfectly suited to the time he made good in.

    I prefer these guys, three solid workaday Tory prime ministers getting a bit of work done over an non-ostentatious lunch prior to Nelson Mandela’s funeral and without any need for ludicrous selfies. HM is served well by three of her PM’s, pity about that Cameron cove.

  • Mc Slaggart

    I have a friend who is a “frequent flyer” to London to meet various members of the British royal family. The firm he works for is successful but is owned and run by Republicans/nationalists. His invites come from outside the firm and his bosses are only to happy to let him go as their representative at this or that award event.

    He tells me Princess Anne has on occasion called “Irish” as in “what do you think, Irish”?

  • Son of Strongbow

    Whilst the Queen, in McAleese’s own words, was able to do “a simple thing”, “a gesture of respect” at the Dublin Garden of Remembrance McAleese herself was unable to show a similar humility or respect.

    That McAleese tells the story on herself shows just how far the two women are apart when it comes to simple respect, and indeed basic manners.

  • Rory Carr

    You appear to be confused, Strongbow. While Queen Elizabeth’s action of paying respect at the Garden of Remembrance was one of political diplomacy planned by her government, for President McAleese to have curtsied to the Queen would have been, not an act of humility at all but rather, an act of abasement for the head of state of a republic. Republicans kneel only to God or to tend those ailing.

    I do not think that you would find that other republican presidents, of the USA or France for example, would abase their own office by such action. Heads of state meet as equals and the UK head of state fully understands this and would not expect a curtsy or bow accordingly.

    Time to brush up on your etiquette perhaps lest you be accused of anti-republican rancour ?

  • SK

    The Irish head of State should have shown ‘humility’ when meeting the British one. It’s abhorrent that President Paddy didn’t know her place when in the presence of Royalty. Jaysus, to think McAleese probably even went so far as to make direct eye contact with Her Majesty! Maybe even refused to walk backwards when leaving a room containing her Majesty! Insolent fenian cow!

    SoS, for comedy value alone, I’m glad that you have appeared to pop open the Christmas Brandy a bit early this year.

  • socaire

    ‘ …………………… was unable to show a similar humility OR respect.’
    Which one do you mean or can you not tell the difference? Did the English Queen curtsey to our President? Who do you think she is – God’s representative on Earth?

  • Harry Flashman

    “I do not think that you would find that other republican presidents, of the USA or France for example, would abase their own office by such action.”

    You’re right, Barack Obama and his wife were a bit casual about protocol when it came to meeting the Queen.

    Oddly enough a short time later Obama made an ostentatious, from-the-waist, sweeping bow to the King of Saudi Arabia, keeper of the Holy Places of Islam, when he met him.

    Good thing I’m not some nut-job, right-wing, Tea-Bagger, conspiracy theorist, or I might read something odd into that dichotomy.

  • socaire

    Good thing 🙂

  • Rory Carr

    Good thing I’m not some nut-job, right-wing, Tea-Bagger, conspiracy theorist, or I might read something odd into that dichotomy.” – Harry Flashman

    But you will anyway, Harry, will you not ? But, before you do, perhaps you might consider offering some evidence of this “ostentatious, from-the-waist, sweeping bow” that you claim actually happened.

  • Harry Flashman

    Google “Obama bows to Saudi King” Rory, and then click on “images”.

    Jeez, us stump-toothed, red-necked, racist, islamophobe bigots can’t do all the work for you Rory.

  • Rory Carr

    I should add that it is not that I doubt you, Harry, but the mind does play tricks on old goats such as we and, in any case, I should like to see this. In any case I shouldn’t be too taken aback, capitalists will abase themselves and debase their children and grannies before the Great God Money so why should not their leader. I am afraid though that HM QE2 will not receive such treatment – she is too low down the pecking order that really matters these days.

  • socaire

    google ‘Obama bows to Queen’

  • socaire

    The other (not so) subtle difference is that USA can get a loan of one but not the other.

  • tacapall

    Come on Rory its parasites bowing to bigger parasites and there’s no bigger parasite than Mrs Windsor.

  • Rory Carr

    Thank you, Harry. Obama certainly appears to have bowed as you say, deeply, to Abdullah and I, now discover, he has also bowed to Queen Elizabeth on the very same day. However he has also, most strangely, bowed to the President of Mexico, the Emperor of Japan and, odder yet, Nancy Pelosi.

    ‘At a school in Mumbai in November 2010 he “drew his hands together, as if in prayer, and greeted the children with a slight bow,’ according to the New York Times and he has also bowed to the Mayor of Tampa, Florida and to a Japanese man and woman in traditional robes while he was waiting to behold Japan’s Great Buddha.

    Jeez, the guy might even bow to Willy Frazer or even me, if I came up on him unexpectedly. I will make no attempt to hazard reasons for this odd behaviour but let our other readers have a go.

  • Son of Strongbow

    Perhaps Barack Obama bows simply because he is both tall (over 1.80m I believe) and a nice guy as well? Many courteous tall people, who naturally feel uncomfortable looking down on others, tend to automatically dip a little on meeting shorter folks.

    When out and about I spend half my time slightly inclined forward. Not of course because I’m a nice guy but I find a little bow is like tinder to light small-man syndrome’s rage. You’ve got to get your fun where you can.

    I guess all those mentioned as meeting the President are shorter than he is; not sure what height Willy Frazer is though, but the world is weird enough so perhaps sometime in the future there’ll be an opportunity to further test the theory.


    “There is no respect for others without humility in one’s self.” Henri-Frédéric Amiel.

    Read some philosophy. It would be an education, and good for your soul.

  • socaire

    Philosophy is only some other time waster’s ramblings -Jean-Paul Gauthier – or – was it Mary. Anyway I do be envious of you what be so well read. As they say in Irish ‘Tá tú tobar dearg’

  • “As they say in Irish ‘Tá tú tobar dearg’”

    socaire, does it matter what colour the well is? 😉

  • Anaximander

    “Trudeau was a ghastly, amoral fraud and poseur perfectly suited to the time he made good in.”

    Quebec nationalists would certainly have agreed with you, given the fact that he comprehensively outmaneuvered them, and the rest of his political opponents, over a brilliant 19 year political career.

    Trudeau was a strong leader, an engaging orator, and a man with a sense of vision and history, whether one agreed with him or not. His quest for a “just society”, including the liberalization and democratization of French Canadian society, did a lasting service to Canada. Your description of him is thoroughly unmerited.

  • Anaximander,

    Surely Cretien didn’t say Casse-toi pauvre con?

  • Rory Carr

    Forgive me, Am Ghobsmacht if I take from your argument above that you seem to believe that, if republicans had not tried to keep the Irish language alive the all those Orange Lodges who had long ago repudiated it would now instead be enthusiasts for Gaeilge, that indeed the very
    practice of the language by republicans is what effects its taboo status among unionists in general.

    While I can understand that using Irish to order a pint of Guinness in a Shankill shebeen might not have been the wisest thing for a young Loyalist to do I cannot imagine any hostility arising if he happened to equip himself with that old IRA standby, an Armalite rifle, to go on a Taig-killing scavenge. I also happen to notice that so many of his hate-filled songs would have been lifted from Republican ballads with the lyrics badly rewritten to better reflect the darkest corners of his soul.

    You also may have noticed that republican animus towards England did not affect us so that we chose to reject the English language. Indeed I fancy we speak and write it rather well which is more than might be said of many of our unionist counterparts. But then, as a contributor to L.A.D. yourself, I expect that this is something of which you are all too keenly aware.

  • Rory Carr

    I appear to have posted the above in the wrong thread. Apologies. I shall now repost it to the thread on the Irish language revivl among republican prisoners.

  • Anaximander

    Mister Joe, no, he said something like “merde, ostie de tabarnak”. Apparently the Queen found it amusing.

  • Barnshee

    .” Indeed I fancy we speak and write it rather well which is more than might be said of many of our unionist counterparts”

    Hmmm it all depends -I regularly had to “translate” or my English colleagues when involved in discourse with Irish supporters from particularly but not exclusively the west

  • Taoiseach

    More lies and crap from Mc Aleese. As if a flunky in palace would be talking to a head of State about curtseying. Nothing to do with her personal views. President of a country doesn’t bow or curtsey to Queen.