No, this is not the time for the "cherries jubilee" one-liner you've been saving.
Michael O'Leary, CEO of the European budget airline Ryanair (the Chinatown bus of the skies) addressed the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly yesterday. The talk went poorly, thanks to his off-color opening joke: "Addressing such an august body as this reminds me much of making love to the queen of England — you know it is a great honor, you're just not sure how much pleasure it is going to be."
What followed was a very stately British silence. The English people, in case you haven't noticed, tend to be protective of their Queen. Remember, commoners aren't allowed to physically touch this woman (a rule that, whoops, Michelle Obama broke in 2009). It's safe to say her subjects aren't encouraged to publicly speculate about what the 87-year-old monarch is like in bed.
Want to talk dirty about Queen Elizabeth II? Tread carefully. Here are some basic guidelines.
Comedian Russell Brand stirred up controversy on The Howard Stern Show last year when he joked indirectly about polishing the Queen's orb and scepter.
"I’ve just had traditional English intercourse with a cup of tea and a scone. A corgi was watching," he told Stern. "I don’t want to give away who it was but there was a crown on my pillow and a clown in the corridor."
A classier tactic than simply saying "I had sex with Elizabeth II," I guess — points for creativity? — but Brand's remarks were not well received across the pond. Proceed with caution.
It's probably not a great PR move to crack wise about this Queen, but what about her 16th-century namesake? The beloved British sci-fi series Doctor Who made an ongoing gag out of insinuating that the Doctor, a time-traveling alien, banged Elizabeth I, to whom he was briefly married. “Let me tell you, her nickname is no longer," the Doctor says of the "Virgin Queen."
In "Her Majesty," the last track on 1969's Abbey Road, the Beatles famously sang of their romantic intentions towards the Queen, who was then in her early forties.
I want to tell her that I love her a lot
But I gotta get a bellyful of wine
Her Majesty's a pretty nice girl
Someday I'm going to make her mine, oh yeah
Someday I'm going to make her mine
The lyrics are hardly sexual, though it's certainly an irreverent way to describe a head of state. But no one could argue that the sentiment wasn't completely innocuous and adorable, and the Beatles got away with it.
Alternately, take a hint from Ronald Reagan, pictured alongside Liz at a state dinner in 1983. Why not shut up and laugh at some of her jokes instead? I suspect Elizabeth II is secretly hilarious — for instance, last summer, she drolly expressed her impatience awaiting the birth of the Royal Baby.
“I would very much like it to arrive," she said. "I'm going on holiday.”
Images via Wikipedia and Reddit.