Friday, October 29, 2004


Originally uploaded by Ampersand Duck.
Caption at top: "May God bless this type-room and all who print in her."
Caption at bottom: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

This has been on the studio wall for longer than I remember. My favorite anecdote about this picture is about an open day a few years ago, when lots of people come through the art school and ask all sorts of fun questions while you work. A woman came in, walked around the room, looked up at Liz, did a double-take, then glared at me and walked around a bit more. At first I thought she was just an affronted republican, but she kept wandering back to the image and seemed to be getting more and more agitated.
Finally she sidled up to me and said 'You realise she's a fake, don't you?'
Thinking she meant that it was a poster not a photo, I said 'oh yes, but she's been here for ages.'
She replied 'Nobody realises that she's just standing in for me. I'm the real fucking Queen Elizabeth!'
Uh oh.
I looked at her and said something like 'Is that right?'
She spent the next ten minutes telling me a terrific story about how she'd organised a double so that she could lead a life of plebian freedom, but now Liz was really fucking her off by taking the whole thing too seriously, and she was beginning to doubt that she'd ever get back to the throne. At this point (just when I was quite getting into the whole thing), a security guard came along and gently removed her from the building.
It turned out that this woman was a regular on previous open days and the school had a restraining order out on her! She apparently had the potential to be violent, but I'm sure Liz kept her (and I) engaged enough to keep things rolling along amicably.
I like the idea of the Queen being an imposter; makes reading Royal reports in crap magazines all the more fun.

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