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Queen Elizabeth II may seem like a prim, proper lady in her royal finery, but don’t get it twisted – Mama don’t take no mess. Cross her, and she’ll cut you. On her visit to Washington, she infamously took what’s left of President George W. Bush‘s masculinity after he made several heavily-reported gaffes; he looked even more like a doddering child than usual in her presence. And when celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz suggested that she remove her crown during her historic photo shoot with the Queen, Her Majesty’s composure turned icy cold. A documentary crew got it all on tape, and The Times describes the scene:

In the footage, the Queen walks into a room in Buckingham Palace, cluttered with camera equipment, wearing her crown and her Order of the Garter robes.

Leibovitz, best known for her work for Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair magazines, tells her: “I think it will look better without the crown because the garter robe is so…”

But before she can finish saying “extraordinary”, the Queen gives her an icy stare and replies: “Less dressy, what do you think this is?” – pointing to what she is wearing.

Television cameras follow the Queen storming off with an official lifting the large train of her blue velvet cape off the floor as she tells her lady-in-waiting: “I’m not changing anything. I’ve had enough dressing like this, thank you very much.”

Too delicious. A Year with the Queen will be a six-part, six-hour documentary series that promises even more “intimate moments” with HRH as she celebrates her 80th birthday and prepares to travel to the U.S. OK, we must get this documentary here on BBC AMERICA. I know some of you send me e-mails about getting certain shows on the network, but here’s the proper way to voice your opinion: fill out this handy little online form. It will be sent in to Viewer Relations to be logged, and they take comments very seriously. So, if you want to see this Queen documentary or any other cool show on the channel, get your voice heard.

In other news:

  • In the ten years since Diana‘s death, it is Camilla who has had the most dramatic image turnaround, says The Daily Telegraph‘s Elizabeth Grace. “From reviled marriage-wrecker to calming wife and consort, Camilla’s image reversal has been beyond the dreams of PR strategists and royal spin-masters.”

  • Diana biographer Tina Brown says she wouldn’t want her 16-year-old daughter to marry young like the late princess did – to which her daughter replied “Well, she can’t talk, because she married a guy 25 years older than her.” Oh, suki suki…(NYMag)
  • Kate Middleton is No. 1 on Tatler’s list of most sought-after party guests in London. Mischa Barton is No. 10, if that says anything either about the list’s credibility or the quality of London parties.(Daily Mail)
  • British MPs report that the UK’s Press Complaints Commission failed to protect Kate Middleton.(Guardian)
  • Al Qaeda enters the Salman Rushdie fray, threatens an attack on the UK over the author’s recent knighthood.(The Independent)
  • Author Sebastian Faulks has been commissioned by the late Ian Fleming‘s estate to write the next James Bond novel. He gives us a glimpse at his interpretation of 007: “He has been widowed and been through a lot of bad things … He is slightly more vulnerable than any previous Bond but at the same time he is both gallant and highly sexed, if you can be both. Although he is a great seducer, he really does appreciate the girls he seduces and he doesn’t actually use them badly.”(Guardian)
  • Is there anything good on British telly right now? Two Telegraph writers debate it.
  • The Stage is covering all the changes happening over at the BBC. In these belt-tightening days, BBC should make fewer shows if they are going to save money, says BBC director general Mark Thompson. In the meantime, could stars like Graham Norton and Jonathan Ross see their multi-million pound salaries re-considered? However, The Stage is also reporting that BBC3 has ordered six youth-skewing drama pilots, including Things I Haven’t Done from the producers of Robin Hood; W10 LDN, from Life On Mars producers Kudos, about teenagers living in a housing estate; and The Six, from the writer of Hotel Babylon.
  • The BBC is developing a drama around former EastEnders actress Jessie Wallace. Apparently, some of Wallace’s recent shows for the network have been successful.(The Stage)
  • Could BBC’s Waterloo Road become a daily soap to replace Neighbours?(What’s On TV)
  • Xan Brooks of The Guardian thinks Sir Laurence Olivier‘s film career is overrated. “More often than not, cinema leaves Britain’s Greatest Actor looking stiff and mannered. Olivier is easy to admire but hard to love. His playing is altogether too polished and too refrigerated – which means, of course, that it hardly qualifies as ‘playing’ at all.”
  • No, Orlando Bloom will not get his kit off for his West End debut in the play, In Celebration, despite web chatter to the contrary. Talking to Mark Lawson in The Guardian, Bloom says, “I heard what they’re saying. But you’ve read the play. Where would I possibly get my clothes off in it? It’s bizarre.”
  • In today’s Telegraph, Lee Mead, the winner of Any Dream Will Do, fights rumors that favoritism played a part in his casting as Joseph in Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. (He’d already played Joseph before, and he was already performing Phantom of the Opera when he entered the competition. All of it sounds somewhat damning, doesn’t it?)
  • Gordon Ramsay is set to open his very first restaurant in Ireland.(999)
  • Footballers Wive$ star Joan Collins on aging gracefully: “I was 49 when I posed for the cover of Playboy magazine. I looked good, so why not? As you age, you get the face you deserve. Looking young is all about attitude – you look as old as you feel. I’m a very happy person, I was born with the happy gene. If you are a bitter and twisted person, it will show up on your face.”
    (The Times)
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By Kevin Wicks
Kevin Wicks is the founding editor of Anglophenia.