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get nose cold

Queenie

[kwee-nee]
Queenie was a caricature of the historical figure Queen Elizabeth I of England, played by Miranda Richardson in the second series of the BBC sitcom Blackadder, which was set in Elizabethan England. Though only twice referred to as "Queenie" in the series (once by Lord Flashheart and once as self-reference in her poem for Blackadder's voyage), this name is commonly used by the general public.

Character

Far from the usual regal and austere depiction of Elizabeth I, 'Queenie', as she came to be known, is often childish and silly, but possessing a fiery temper. She readily threatens her courtiers with execution if they do not do as she wishes (or even just on a whim).

She is portrayed with the mannerisms of a spoilt schoolgirl who just happened to possess the kind of casual, autocratic power that could have someone put to death if their nose is prettier than hers - a power which she revels in. It has been remarked that she closely resembles the spoilt little girl Violet Elizabeth Bott, who is featured in the William books of Richmal Crompton and who is in the habit of ordering little boys about imperiously, lisping and tantrums; "I'll thweam and thweam until I'm thsick!".

As her fancies are usually based on a fleeting whim, her courtiers, toadies, and favourites are frequently kept on their toes when trying to please (or, just as often, not upset) her.

It would appear that there was nothing Queenie likes more than to "get squiffy and seduce nobles" (and force presents off them on pain of death), when she isn't beheading them. A naughty schoolgirl at heart, Queenie loved to party, play games and get drunk. And if anyone fails to smile, let alone laugh at her jokes, they risk execution, but, to her followers' bemusement and frustration, she sometimes tires of their toadying and welcomes a more cynical approach.

Character Development

Blackadder II

Throughout series two of Blackadder Queenie plays an important role, frequently ordering Lord Blackadder to Richmond Palace (in which she would always be in the company of her deranged former nurse, Nursie and the toadying Lord Melchett). She commands Blackadder to carry out a variety of tasks, some important (such as appointing Blackadder as the Lord High Executioner in "Head") and some petty (such as repeatedly summoning Blackadder to her only for it to turn out as a childish practical joke designed to extract money from him in "Money"). The only times she is seen out of her palace are to visit a prisoner up for execution and to sneak into Blackadder's "boy's party", the latter resulting in her getting drunk then forgetting what she was going to do, which was execute everyone at the party. Despite her behaviour, the audience is occasionally given cause to wonder if her feelings for Edmund actually go beyond casual flirtation and border on something deeper. Queenie tends to have highly suggestive dreams involving her sitting on a tree, or being a sausage roll. Other pursuits she enjoys include writing poetry and attending fancy dress parties. The final episode of series two documents that she was brutally murdered in 1566 by Prince Ludwig the Indestructible, who then, disguised as the Queen, assumed her identity, presumably reigning for 37 years, dying in 1603. This would explain Elizabeth's refusal ever to marry.

Non-series appearances

Miranda Richardson reprised the role of Queenie in Blackadder's Christmas Carol in which she bans Christmas because it bores her, then decides to execute Edmund because he didn't get her a present. Naturally, he escapes his fate, and manages to get Melchett executed instead. She also plays Queen Asphyxia XIX, ruler of the Universe.

In the millennium special Blackadder: Back & Forth, she reprises the role, and also plays a modern-day Sloane Ranger version of Queenie called Lady Elizabeth.

Quotes

  • Melchett: I'm very sorry, madam. Your royal father used to be very amused by my impersonation of Columbus.
    Queen: That doesn't surprise me. He used to laugh at...those people with the funny faces and the bells.
    Melchett: Ah, jesters, ma'am.
    Queen: No... (pauses to remember) ...lepers.
  • Queen: What do you think, Melchy?
    Melchett: I am astonished, Your Majesty, that Lord Blackadder should have eyes for any other woman than yourself.
    Queen: Good point, though slightly grovelly.
    Blackadder: But you see, your highness, when I first saw her, I thought she was a man.
    Melchett: (sarcastically) Oh, of course, that makes it perfectly acceptable.
  • Queen: Is her nose as pretty as mine?
    Blackadder: Oh no no no no no no no, ma'am.
    Queen: Oh good. Because otherwise I would have cut it off, and then you'd have to marry someone without a nose and that wouldn't be very nice, would it?
    Blackadder: No, ma'am.
    Queen: I mean, imagine the mess when she'd get a cold, yuck!
  • Melchett: Grey, I suspect Majesty.
    Queen: I think you'll find it was orange, Lord Melchett.
    Melchett: Grey is more usual ma'am.
    Queen: Who's queen?
    Melchett: As you say, Majesty. There were these magnificent orange elephants...
  • I may have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a concrete elephant.
  • First, I'm going to have a little drinky, and then I'm going to execute the whole bally lot of you.
  • Sometimes I think about having you executed just to see the expression on your face.
  • If we went around punishing people for being stupid, Nursie would have been in prison all her life.
  • Prince Ludwig: After a long and careful deliberation, the Queen has decided to spend the money on...
    (Cut to the Queen writing her response.)
    Queen: ...a big party. Just impossible to choose between my two faves, so I've decided to keep the cash, have a wizard jolly time and try to forget both of you. Hope you're not too miffed. Byeee!
    (Cut back to Blackadder)
    Blackadder: What?!?
    Prince Ludwig: (looks at letter) Hope you're not too miffed. Bye-ee.
  • Queen: It's just like those parties we used to have when I was young. We'd have tea and cakes, and then a little trip with my little friends to the executions.
    Percy: How sweet.
    Queen: If I wanted any of my little friends executed, that is.
  • Nursie! You've killed Nursie! ...That's horrid!
  • 'Leaving a mince pie and a glass of wine out for Father Christmas, and then scoffing it, because I was a princess, I could do what I bloody well liked!'
  • 'Give me something nice and shiny: if you don't, I've got something nice and shiny for you- it's called an axe!'

References

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