It’s no secret that my favourite actress is Lucille Ball and my favourite show, I Love Lucy. Whenever I’m having a bad day and/or my anxiety is really bothering me, I tune into I Love Lucy.
Flipping through the season where they tour Europe led me to one of my favourite episodes “Lucy Meets The Queen.” And if you love this classic programme and royals, this is an episode for you, and I had to share.
Obviously, the entire episode revolves around Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball) trying her hardest to meet Her Majesty while in London.
Don’t read any further if you don’t want the episode spoiled!
Lucy, her husband Ricky and their best friends, Fred and Ethel Mertz are in London for one of Ricky’s performances on his tour of Europe. One of the first things Lucy mentions is wanting to meet The Queen. So, Lucy and Ethel go looking for Her Majesty in London and visit Buckingham Palace where they hope to catch a glimpse of the monarch who’d been on the throne for just four years (the show was released in 1956 and the Queen ascended to the throne in 1952).
They wait at the gates of Buckingham Palace for Her Majesty to come out for an appearance. They peak in the guidebook about the palace and see it has 500 rooms to which Lucy quips, “No wonder she hasn’t come out. She’s probably lost!”
As soon as they see a man in the forecourt, Lucy questions if it is Philip, and Ethel tells her Philip wouldn’t be out dumping ashcans.
Lucy, of course, has to attempt to make the guard smile and like all others, she fails. However, while she’s doing that, Her Majesty makes an appearance in her car driving out of the gates which Ethel sees and Lucy doesn’t. They find out from a passing Brit that The Queen is due at a charity luncheon at a local hotel, so they plan to spot her there. After failing at this, they return to their hotel where Lucy finds out that Ricky will be performing for the Royal Family with his band and will be presented to The Queen.
Lucy works to learn how to curtsy in the show for her meeting, and she struggles for quite a while. She then finds out that she will not meet the monarch as she isn’t performing in the show. Finally, she convinces Ricky to let her get in on the act, so she will get her wish.
Of course, Lucy ends up getting her to meet her and is presented to The Queen – but not without some hi-jinx.
When she finally is introduced to Her Majesty, she performs before the Royal Family, and she ends up with a Charlie horse from all her curtsy practising. She tried to practise her curtsy one more time and got stuck. However, that didn’t stop her from meeting The Queen though, and she was carried to Her Majesty in the curtsy position.
When Fred asks Ricky about meeting The Queen, he was full of praise; Fred then wants to know if the Duke is “a pretty good ole Joe,” and Ricky shares how warm and kind the entire family was.
Now I know some are going to ask, did Lucille Ball ever meet The Queen in real life? No, it doesn’t appear so, but The Queen knew who she was. According to People, a Los Angeles furniture salesman, Michael Stern, he was by The Queen in Kensington Garden’s planting a tree when he told her, “Back home in the States I work for Lucille Ball.” Her Majesty smiled and told him, “Tell her, I said hello and asked how she was doing.”
When he returned back to the US and told Ball, she said excitedly, “The Queen knows who I am?” She then called her second husband, Gary Morton and said, “Guess what! The Queen told Michael to say hello to me!” According to Stern, Lucille was “as excited as a kid.”