Note: Thanks to commenter jules, for the inspiration for this play!
THE SCENE: Buckingham Palace. HER MAJESTY QUEEN ELIZABETH and her consort, PRINCE PHILIP, are lying in bed in their elaborate, gilded suite. It’s been a long day – they’ve just spent it with America’s First Couple, BARACK and MICHELLE OBAMA. They are both exhausted, but not ready to go to sleep just yet. They are wearing monogrammed, silk pajamas with royal crests on them. Reading glasses and old-fashioned nightcaps adorn their royal heads. HMQE is reading The Guardian, while PP is reading OK!.)
HMQE (acerbically, putting down the newspaper): Any good pictures of Britney today, darling?
PP (absorbed): Hmmmmm?
(PP looks over at his wife, reads her mood, and puts down the magazine.)
PP (sympathetically): What is it, darling? Are you still upset about today?
HMQE (bursting out with repressed frustration): Of course I am! I don’t understand how you can just sit there and read that wretched rag, while I’m lying here in a tizzy!
PP: Now, darling, try to remain calm.
HMQE: CALM? (getting out of bed and crossing to her dressing table) CALM? You want me to be CALM? I’m utterly prostrate, Philip, I really am.
(collapses into the chair in front of her dressing table, head in hands)
PP: I’m so sorry, darling. (gets out of bed, crosses to the chair and puts his hands comfortingly on her shoulders) They really are dreadful, aren’t they? I suppose those etiquette lessons were a waste of everyone’s time.
HMQE (despairingly): Oh, Philip, when will the Americans elect a President who has manners and class? We had to deal with that idiotic, brain-damaged Bush for eight years – a man who actually thought it was appropriate to WINK at me. I’m surprised he didn’t ask me to pull his finger!
PP (comfortingly): Well, at least HE’s out of the picture, thank goodness.
HMQE: But now – now they’ve elected Barack Obama. And let me tell you, Philip, I am NOT amused. How DARE he send back that bust of Winston? Winston was a wonderful man and a great ally of Americans in World War II. Does he have no sense of history?
PP: Appalling, darling.
HMQE: And the way Mr. Obama treated Gordon was shameful. He treated Gordon like dirt! You know, Philip, he treated Mrs. Clinton the same way before she became Secretary of State! Brushing her off his shoulder, indeed. The nerve!
PP (shaking his head): I knew we were in trouble when he did that to Mrs. Clinton. Clearly he doesn’t understand how to respect a political opponent.
HMQE (getting up again, crossing to a wing chair in front of the bed): A political opponent? What about a member of your own Party, Philip? Do you know that some people say that he actually (whispering) flipped her the bird?
PP (shocked): I say! That’s not on!
HMQE (back to despair): Oh, why, why do the Americans keep doing this to us? We never should have let them have their independence. Never! (collapses dramatically into the wing chair)
PP (crossing to the wing chair, sitting on the arm next to her): You’re right, of course, but that’s water under the bridge, darling, I’ve told you that many times. I must say, though, I was rather unimpressed with their gifts to us.
HMQE (sarcastically): Really, Philip? Really? An iPod wasn’t the epitome of thoughtfulness? Of consideration? What in heaven’s name could they have been thinking? And why did he give me pictures and videos of myself? I can see those any time I want! As for his speeches, what makes him think I want to hear more of his meaningless rubbish?
PP (finally understanding the true depths of her anguish): My goodness, darling, I haven’t seen you so distraught in months. Let me fix you a nightcap.
(PP goes to the credenza beside the bed, pours them both scotches, and brings her drink over to her.)
HMQE (miserably accepting the drink): Thank you, darling, thank you. I’m really quite beside myself. That awful woman TOUCHED me. And did you see what she was wearing? It didn’t even fit her properly! Can’t she afford a good tailor?
PP: I must say her appearance surprised me as well. The Americans are always going on and on about how sophisticated and stylish she is. I admit, I just don’t see it.
(She takes a sip of her drink)
PP: She might at least have had the decency to wear a British designer.
HMQE: Well, at least we didn’t bother to give them anything special. Poor Gordon felt like a fool for putting so much thought into his gifts. Oh, and wasn’t it lovely the way that Mr. Obama parked in front of the gate our family uses to enter the palace? That gauche American car he calls “The Beast,” squatting like a toad outside our ancestral home! Really, it’s all too, too unbearable!
(HMQE and PP sip their drinks in silence, downcast. Finally, HMQE speaks.)
HMQE (with dawning hope): Tell me, darling. Am I still allowed to behead people?
PP (gently): I’m afraid not, darling.
HMQE (back into despondency): Oh.
(recovering her composure)
Ah well. Chin up, I suppose. One never knows what tomorrow may bring.
(She and PP climb back into bed)
PP: That’s the stuff, darling. Don’t let them get to you! Now, let’s go to sleep. We have a big day tomorrow.
HMQE: Don’t remind me. Frankly, I’d rather go to EuroDisney.
PP: Me too, darling. Me too. Just do what we’ve been doing for the past eight years: Smile, and think of England.
HMQE: You’re right as always, Philip. Good night!
(In unison, they pull out their matching black silk embroidered sleeping masks, reading “QUEEN” and “CONSORT,” and place them over their eyes.)
Cross-posted at Partizane