At one of her weekly audiences with the Queen, Mrs. Thatcher found to her dismay that she and the Queen were wearing identical outfits. In the future, she decided, she would have to find out in advance what Her Majesty would be wearing. So she instructed one of her staff to ring the palace to arrange this. But the royal aide that took the call pointed out that this would be quite unnecessary, adding, by way of explanation:
'You see. Her Majesty never takes any notice of what her visitors are wearing.'
On King George I:
'In private life he would be called an honest blockhead.'
Queen Charlotte Sophia, the wife of King George III, was never considered a great beauty at Court. In later life however, her appearance mellowed, in the eyes of some of her subjects at least. But when one of her husband's government ministers said as much to her chamberlain, the man could only say in agreement:
'Yes, indeed, the bloom of her ugliness is going off.' On Judge Jeffreys:
'That man has no learning, no sense, no manners, and more impudence than ten carted streetwalkers.' — King Charles II
After the Restoration of Charles II in 1660 there was a sharp decline in the interest paid to preachers and clergymen in general, even those who ministered to the needs of the Court. Dr. Robert South found himself delivering one sermon to the King and a group, of his courtiers only to watch them gently nodding off to sleep. Unable to tolerate their behaviour he spoke sharply to the nearest offender:
'Lord Lauderdale, let me entreat you rouse yourself. You snore so loud that you will wake the king.'
When a young army captain arrived at Versailles, Louis XIV was not the only one to recognize his striking resemblance to the Royal Family. As rumours started to circulate the King asked the young man pointedly:
'Was your mother ever at Court?'
'No. sire,' the captain told him, 'but my father was.'
Nervous at meeting a member of the Royal Family for the first time, the leader of a municipal delegation stepped forward to greet Prince Philip as he came down the steps from the plane, and asked him how his flight had been.
'Have you ever flown in a plane?' the Duke asked him.
'Yes, Your Highness, many times,' he replied. 'Well,' said the Duke, 'it was just like that.'
At one stage in his career Queen Elizabeth I's jester, Pace, was banished from Court for his unflattering remarks on his mistress. Thanks to the influence of a few high-ranking friends he was restored to the royal presence before too long.
'Come now, Pace,' said the Queen jokingly, 'let us hear more of our faults.'
'No, Madam,' the jester replied, 'I never talk of what is discoursed by all the world.'
'Young man, do you play cards?' asked a friendly George HI to a new arrival at Court.
'No, your Majesty,' he answered sourly, 'seeing I cannot tell the difference between a King and a Knave.'
After a dinner, at which King George VI had been entertaining a number of government ministers, he offered cigars to the gentlemen, while they sipped their port. But one of the guests refused His Majesty's offer saying that he only smoked on special occasions!