Saturday, April 20, 2013

R is for Royal Request

In light of yesterday’s post I thought I’d let you know how things turned out with my royal request.

Last night I called Buckingham Palace and spoke with The Queen.

Okay, I’m fibbing… I spoke with a sweet lady, in General Enquiries, who could easily have been The Queen - you never really know, do you - that accent can be tricky.

Here's how it all went down... 

I found this website called The official website of The British Monarchy and there was a Contact Us button. Really, I kid you not - it was that easy. 

Well, okay, maybe not that easy, I did have to press the Contact Us button.

Then, I found myself at a very interesting page: the Contact a member of the Royal Family page; first on the list was The Queen. Just like that!

Now, they do not accept emails; one must phone or write. 

So, late–really, really late–last night, I phoned. I hope I didn't sound tired - like right, I was way too excited... I was calling the Palace... who could possibly be tired. I'm tired now mind you.

I explained to the sweet lady, in General Enquiries–where they want to know what the general reason for your enquiry is–that I wished to obtain a photo of The Queen in casual attire as I wanted to draw a portrait of her. She, the sweet lady that sounded like The Queen, listened attentively and with confidence redirected my call. 

"Where?" you ask -  to another equally sweet lady (I think they have to pass a sweetness test to work at The Palace) in Royal Archives - not exactly the area I was looking for - but a start... or end to what could have been a sweet thing. 

I was informed that she, sweet lady number two, did not know who, at the Palace, would handle personal photos, as they were, after all, personal; she then, very sweetly, suggested I try and to see if they would have what I was looking for. 

Based on my quick perusal of their respective websites the photos are all of official engagements and not what I would like as a reference photo for my drawing.

She, still sweet and still number two, further suggested I could write The Queen a note and request the desired photo of her; so… I’m penning a note as we speak! 

Yes… I will write The Queen and ask if she, perchance, has a photo tossing about of herself sporting that elusive "I'm done with the crown for today" look that I might use as my reference photo.

I want to draw “a glimpse at the real woman beneath the crown jewels”. (I am borrowing said phrase from Linda Grimes, who left it in her comment yesterday - thanks, Linda)

Another Linda I wish to thank is not a blogger, but an off-blog personal friend. She called to enquire about another matter after which we discussed my “Q” post.

Sharing my frustrations with not being able to find more photos of Her Majesty in casual attire Linda piped up–like the woman in the know that she is–that I should google “Queen at Balmoral” - well… what can I say except, “Bingo.” 

Here's what I found following Linda's suggestion... 








Doesn't The Queen have a beautiful smile - she genuinely seems to be enjoying herself in these candid shots. I have taken the liberty of cropping them as I would only be doing a head shot when I draw her.

Which is your favourite? 

What do you think, should I use one of these and just do it?  

Or wait… and see if another option presents itself?

Anyway… one can have a little fun, right! Life’s just too short not to go for it. 

I want to thank all of you for cheering me on with this project, and a special thanks to Martin, for the retweet - every little bit helps.

Also, since we are on "R" I want to give a shout out to Ruth at Ruth's Yummy Stuff. (aka Ruth's Recipes)  If you haven't been by her place you really are missing some great recipes. 

I recommend taking a look at her Blog Archive where all the titles of her posts (and recipes) will be right at your fingertips. Tell her Jenny sent you!

I've been dabbling with wanting some wheat and gluten free dishes and Ruth has been busy helping me out. To which I say, "Thanks, Ruth - you rock!" 


And to my fellow A-Zers - how're you all doing? Hang in we're on the home stretch! No quitting now... we've come too far! Right Al! Eh, Bushman... you good? (sure you are - you're rocking this gig) And Dani... stay strong!  

Cheers, Jenny

Re source information: all these photos were found by googling: “queen at balmoral”, “queen at sandringham”, “queen with her horses”, “queen with her dogs”. These photos have been copied and pasted so many times the original information is hard to find. My apologies to the original photographers - should you see your photos here, please advise and I will be happy to link them to you.  Jenny Pearson


  1. I quite like the one of her leaning out of the door.

    1. I like that one too - it seems the most down to earth, like she's being photographed by one of her grandkids - she has that lit up look of pure happiness.

  2. Hi Jenny, I just wanted to pop over and say a big THANKYOU for your really lovely comment. It's comments and support like this that make me feel ever so grateful, adding a little oomph into my creative journey , helping propel me forward. Thankyou x
    I am so LOVING that I pop over to find you conversing with lovely royal-linked ladies, and penning letters to the Queen! Having grown up with tabloids plastering pictures of the Queen everywhere the notion to do such a thing is a novel idea....but how else would one get a photo of one's Royalness if you didn't have that access? LOVE it :)x

    1. Hi Jenny (great name, hehehehe) You are so welcome - I love your art and your creativity - don't change a thing! While I may not always comment - I do drop in and read and enjoy the energy that pops off the page; colourful and uplifting.

      Thank you for coming by and visiting - I'm having fun with this project and will certainly be sharing it as it unfolds. The Queen has long fascinated me, mostly because she looks so much like my dear godmother, but also because I imagine hers is not an easy life for all its wealth and glamour I think it is a difficult one.

      With smiles, from the other Jenny. :) :)

  3. I love number 4! She usually looks like she's chewing a wasp at official engagements so it's nice to see her smiling and having fun.
    I reckon you should still write to her though. :-)

    1. I like number 4 too - and you made me laugh with that visual!
      I just received some photos of The Queen, that were taken yesterday at a horse race - they are beautiful. I will be posting them, hopefully tomorrow.

      I am still going to write - more out of intrigue and curiosity. :) (my smile is nose-less) hehehe

  4. I also like the peek-a-boo pose. I can't help but wonder where her hairdresser has been hiding. Scarves are usually reserved for inclement weather or bad hair days. Please get down to the bottom of this the next time you phone the Palace Jenny. BTW, I'm still laughing from your comment at Al's!


    1. We're on the same page, seems a few of us are leaning in that direction. It's obvious we all like to see The Queen in a more relaxed mode.

      I think she wears those head scarfs to prevent her "do" from getting blown all over the place. She must have quite a collection. Seldom is she in the same one! I will get the 411 on them the next time I phone. :P :P

      Yes, Al and I are having a wee bit too much fun, wouldn't you say! I think that's what I'm enjoying this time with the A-Z - this bantering in the comment area! To which I say thank you for partaking by leaving your great comments. :) :)

  5. I like number 8. Where she is chopping wood and number 9; weeding her garden. What? You didn't get those? I swear I sent them out.

    As we get to the harder letters towards the end I am a little more excited. Seems weird that you linked me on the same letter I linked you! Al makes me laugh almost every post. Onward we type fellow soldier!

    1. I was awaiting them... but, alas, some crazy dude (not sayin' you know him or anything) forgot to press send! Yup... had to do my post without those photos - end result... a less than stellar post. So, thanks! *cheeky grin*

      The fun is about to begin as we forge into letters that require some thinking... this for me will be the challenge... where to find a thought, so if you have any spare laying around toss them my way, eh... good buddy!!

      Thanks for the huge link back - totally rocked my day! High five!!

  6. What an original idea!

  7. I like number 4 -- she looks quite playful there, almost like she's poking her head out to say "Boo!"

    Whichever photo you wind up using, I can't wait to see the results. :)

    1. Haha, I agree, I figure whomever took that must be dear to her - she just has that genuinely happy to be there look.

      Oh, to be sure, I'll be posting my progress - too good not to share! :) :)

      I hope you didn't mind me borrowing your great line!!

  8. I like the huge smile in #6, but also like how #1 could be anyone's grandmother.

    1. Good call, on both. What I want to capture is just that - the "anyone's grandmother" look. In my letter I am asking that she think of sending a photo that would remind her grandkids of a playful moment. Let's see what happens. :)

  9. So, Mrs. Doubtfire WAS based on a real live person...?
    What I want to know, would I be able to get one of those "We're #1" foam fingers from Buckingham Palace?
    Surely, they were number 1 at something at some time.

    1. Oh, you didn't know that... you must have been out of the country when the whole Robin meets The Queen thingy erupted during his "getting into character" field trip to England. They hit it off and during filming she would fire off a quick note, via her secretary, when he was not quite in character. It's the reason the show was such a success!! Hmm... odd you missed this - it made news everywhere - even in Norway.

      While writing The Queen I might throw in a plea that some desperate American is looking for "the Buckingham finger" - their might be something laying around from one of those world soccer games that leaves carnage, mayhem and foam fingers in their aftermath. Leave it to me!

  10. Now I see the reason for your request on my Blog yesterday. To answer I'm sorry we were not allowed to take photos only the official photographers were allowed to do so inside and I never got the chance outside. TBH I did see the Queen being introduced to some of the managers when I was walking back after seeing the Duke but had to get out of the way till she had gone. If it happens again I'll get official status.

    1. Hi Bill - thanks for dropping by. Yes, I figured in light of your post I would ask - it's the nature of my beast I ask when I need something! I'm not always successful in getting everything I ask for, but the alternative of asking for nothing and getting everything I asked for is not an option.

      I imagine The Queen is quite tightly scheduled and protected at the many functions she goes to, but... should you ever find yourself in camera shot - let me know. :) :)

  11. I didn't know anyone still wore scarves that way. I don't have a favorite.
    Thanks for the shout out. I still have to figure out something for today.
    You are so sweet!

    1. You're too funny! Older women that get their hair done weekly like scarfs to help keep their "do" in place. :) :) As to not having a fav... can't say I'm singling any one particular as an outright favourite either. I do like number 4 - very playful - but not practical for me to draw.

      And... you're welcome - considering all you've done (and are still doing) over at Ruth's Recipes I felt you need to hear it publicly. Besides, I like sharing my great finds out here in Bloggerville.

      Have a great "day off of the A-Z" - see you Monday! :) :)

  12. As I was looking at the pictures here, my husband walked by and said, "Hey, isn't she your grandmother? And I was just staring and wondering where you got pictures of my grandmother, too! Wow! It's not my grandmother! If she were though, I'd get you pictures. I even remember the scarves to protect that "do".

    1. That's so funny - I can relate though as my godmother looks the spitting image of The Queen. In these photos she does look like a happy, loving mother/grandmother which I am sure we can all relate to.

      The scarfs intrigue me - I like hats and scarfs! :)

  13. Sounds like an amazing project. I like pictures 3 and 5. :-)

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    1. Good call - both those rate in my books, particularly #5 - which was the first picture of The Queen I came upon; maybe that was a good omen. :)

      Thanks for stopping by, Misha.

  14. #3, then #6 are my choices. Her smile is more natural and she looks relaxed.

    What an interesting research project!Good luck with it.

    1. I like those too! I like The Queen in head scarfs - seems to make her real and not so staged as she often is when dressed in crown jewels.

      Thanks for stopping by, DG - hope all is well with you. :) :)

  15. Hi Jenny - number 3 I think ... cheers Hilary


Thanks for sharing your thoughts.