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This New Account of Queen Elizabeth II’s Ruling Style Reminds Us Just How Much People Don’t Want to Cross Her

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It goes without saying, but disappointing the Queen of England might be one of the most embarrassing possible blights a subject of the monarchy’s reputation. Queen Elizabeth II is the longest-reigning sovereign, essentially making her a living monument to history and the person who connects the United Kingdom to its past. But a new account of Queen Elizabeth II details ‘the look’ she gives people who disappoint her, and it’s a scary reminder of how hard people around her work to avoid her disapproval.

“Most know that there are two hazards to be avoided when meeting with the boss: ‘the Line’ and ‘the Look,'” royal biographer Robert Hardman writes in Queen of Our Times: The Life of Queen Elizabeth II, per People. “You do not want to cross the former or receive the latter,” the author continues. Let’s be real, though. How bad can a look really be? Well, according to Hardman, the look Queen Elizabeth gives people who disappoint her is nothing short of terrifying.  

“There’s a withering look, and it looks you up and down, and it was terrifying when it first happened to me,” a senior adviser relayed to Hardman. According to the biographer, Queen Elizabeth’s “look” starts with “an eyebrow.” If the situation calls for it, “both eyebrows” get involved. Then, the sovereign utters three little words that leave a huge impact: “Are you sure?” We’re already shaking.

“The silent reprimand can be triggered by incompetence or else by overfamiliarity,” Hardman writes. Throughout her 70-year reign, Queen Elizabeth has led her kingdom with a quiet confidence and an abundance of poise. It’s really no wonder that her slight, but direct, facial expressions and words carry so much weight. This new anecdote serves as a true reminder of Queen Elizabeth’s power and how fearsome she can be to those around her, and we can’t help but wonder who in the family has been on the receiving end of this look over the years.

Queen of Our Times: The Life of Queen Elizabeth II by Robert Hardman

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Image: Pegasus Books Pegasus Books.

Queen Elizabeth II has been a global icon for 70 years. Since ascending to the throne at the age of 25, the long-reigning sovereign has approached her historic role with poise and quiet confidence. But behind the veneer of monarchy, Queen Elizabeth has been the leader of a family and household through good times and bad. Robert Hardman’s new biography, Queen of Our Times: The Life of Queen Elizabeth II, takes longtime royal fans behind the veil with unprecedented access to royal records, friends, staff, and more, as the legendary leader and the House of Windsor celebrates her landmark reign. This will surely be known as the definitive book on Queen Elizabeth II.

'Queen of Our Times' by Robert Hardman $29.99 on

Before you go, click here to see the best photos of Queen Elizabeth II before she was queen.
Queen Elizabeth II

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