Queen Elizabeth II trump brooch trolling

The Queen of England and Her Golden Piano Have Us Angry and Confused

Or better yet, Twitter is yelling about the piano

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Every Christmas, the United Kingdom’s reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, gives an address to get us into the spirit. The problem this year is that she sat in front of a golden piano, covered in jewels, and talked about the hardships that people went through. So, you know, grossly bad optics.

It isn’t that we’re unaware of the monarchy and their wealth. We get it. But the fact that the Queen is talking about poverty and the struggles people have faced while sitting in her very warm enormous palace with a golden piano? Someone wasn’t thinking this set up through.

Of course, the internet began to question the Queen when she began her Christmas speech, the golden piano almost taunting us all as she spoke.

The bright side here? There were some wonderful takes.

Because, you know, sitting in a room of gold while reflecting on the downtrodden isn’t the best look. On anyone. We’d hate it with Trump, and Elizabeth II doesn’t get a free pass even if her family is friendly with the Obamas.

There were a few pro-piano dissenters.

Either way, the piano emerged as the star of the Queen’s Christmas message. When does The Golden Piano children’s book come out to soften this misstep with some charming monarchist propaganda?

Whoever set up the speech clearly didn’t care—and most likely did not consider—that it was sending a mixed message. Yes, we know that the monarchy has a great deal of money, but that doesn’t mean the Queen should be giving her Christmas address sitting in a room with a wildly expensive piano that was given to Queen Victoria in 1856.

Or maybe it was just a cry for someone to finally get her that piano bench she desperately needs?

These are the kind of details that once would have passed with a private shake of the head in the comfort of your own home that the Internet now amplifies and turns into news. I do wonder how the scene would be staged if they could give it another go today post-Pianogate. One thing remains clear: The queen and the monarchy are filthy rich and many, many people are struggling. Once we might have gazed on the piano with admiration as a symbol of power and riches, but in our current environment it feels obscene.

Did we need to see Elizabeth’s classic golden piano? No. Will we ever see it again in such a context? Doubtful. But if the lesson learned here is that there’s a step over the line of ostentatious even for the royal family, that’s an interesting sign that times and attitudes are changing.

(image: Phil Noble – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.