Watching An Old Lady Be Rude To Prince William Was Strangely Pleasurable

There's nothing more exhilarating in 2020 than a watching a pensioner tell our future king that he did ‘a shitty job’ as a bingo caller

Prince William Joan Drew Smith

by Rebecca Holman |
Updated on

What is it about rude old ladies that we love so much? From the late Baroness Trumpington, flicking the v sign to a fellow Conservative peer in the House of Lords in 2011 when he referenced her age - she was later described as ‘the first peer to go viral’ - to Nancy Pelosi(who’s 80, guys! We had no idea!) ripping up Donald Trump’s speech after his 2020 State Of The Union address, there’s something intensely liberating about watching an older woman speaking truth to power and saying it like it is. It explains why the video of Joan Drew-Smoth, 87, telling Prince William that he did a ‘shitty job’ of bingo calling on his last visit to her care home in Cardiff has gone viral. Prince William, incidentally, took the insult on the chin - of course he did; of the only two people in the country who outrank him in line to the throne, one is a 94-year-old woman. He’s clearly no stranger to a straight-talking pensioner with a shampoo and set putting him in his place.

READ MORE: Prince William Had King Lessons From The Queen

Firstly, there’s something exhilarating about women whose lives have spanned the Second World War, The Cold War and dozens of presidents and Prime Ministers speaking truth to power. These are women who, until the 1970s were routinely refused a mortgage without their father’s signature. They were grown women before the contraceptive pill went on the market (1961 for married women, 1967 for unmarried women) and let’s not forget that women couldn’t get access to legal, safe abortions here in the UK until 1967 - Joan Drew-Smith would have been 34 by then. They’ve seen the world change unimaginably, and faced challenges and hurdles that we, for the most part, don’t even have to consider. Of course Joan DGAF about offending the heir to the throne. He’s just some balding guy in chinos talking very loudly and slowly to her through a face mask.

READ MORE: An A-Z of The Queen's style


The Queen style (slider)

Queen in Anello and Davide1 of 27


London-based footwear brand Anello and Davide is where the Queen purchases some of her favourite shoes. And it was recently revealed that Her Majesty has hired someone to break in her block heels... If that's not goals, then we don't know what is.

Queen with broaches2 of 27


The Queen's most cherished piece of jewellery? The brooch. Her Majesty is rarely seen without a bejewelled pin on the left of her jacket. She'll even go so far as to pesonalising her brooch depending on the country she is visiting.

Queen colour block3 of 27


The Queen of England? More like the Queen of colour-blocking. Her Majesty has a talent for making anything look brilliant whether its head-to-toe fuchsia or this season's 'It' hue, yellow.

Queen in jewels4 of 27


Diamonds are the Queen's best friend, after all.

Queen on tube5 of 27


Enjoy fashion. What inspires us the most about the Queen is the way in which she embraces fashion. She plays with the colour palette, experiments with hats and is never, ever short of Instagrammable accessorises. But the best part? She's always dressed for the day ahead. Whether she's travelling by horse-drawn carriage or, well, the tube...

Queen in flower crown6 of 27


Believe it or not, the Queen was the original festival girl. Just take a moment to appreciate the flower-embellished hats she donned in the late seventies.

Queen holding baby7 of 27


We can't help but wonder if the Queen inspired Princess Diana's love of colourful gloves?

Queen in headscarf8 of 27


We doubt the Queen ever has a bad hair day but if she does, she's got a failsafe plan. Whether she's out riding her horses or going on a state visit, Her Majesty is sure to don a fabulous headscarf. And of course, the accessory will always match her co-ords.

Queen in chic outfits9 of 27


Invest. The Queen rarely performs outfit repeats. So ensure you have a co-ord for every possible occasion. You never know who you might meet and quite frankly, it could be a little embarassing...

Queen in ceremonial gowns10 of 27


The Queen has reportedly never worn jeans. Or at least, she's never been spotted in public donning a pair.

Queen with corgis11 of 27


Keep your corgis close. The Queen's greatest accessories are of course her beloved pets. You cannot even begin to channel the Queen's majestic aesthetic without the help of the most quintessentially royal emblem there is.

Queen in sparkles12 of 27


Let loose on the sparkles. You needn't be a princess to don glitter. The Queen debuted one of our favourite looks to date back in 1964 when she attended a banquet at Claridges in a gold dress and fur stole.

Queen with handbag13 of 27


The Queen has been carrying the miniature handbag before we even knew they were a trend.

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Queen with handbag

But Her Majesty doesn't just carry them on the crook of her arm for sartorial purposes, as the secret reason behind her growing collection was recently revealed...

Queen wedding day15 of 27


Queen Elizabeth II married Philip Mountbatten on 20 November, 1947. As the second world war had only just come to an end, Her Majesty had to purchase material for her wedding dress using ration coupons. The gown was designed by Norman Hartnell and was made from white satin.

Queen in furs16 of 27


Rule number one when it comes to royal protocall? One can never be overdressed. So don layers of pearls, faux furs and always choose the sparkliest tiara.

Queen in pearls17 of 27


Well, you couldn't possibly rule as the Queen of England without pearls. Her Majesty is rarely spotted without a full set.

Queen in rainbow colors18 of 27


Rainbow hues. There isn't a colour on the spectrum that the Queen cannot pull off. Whether it's primary red or sunny yellow. We challenge you to find someone who wears it better. Good luck.

Queen in royal farms on throne19 of 27


Rule the fashion scene. The Queen is never afraid to don the brightest colour in the crowd or debut the sparkliest tiara. Channel Her Majesty this season with similar flair and enthusiasm. Do Liz proud.

Queen with mum20 of 27


Seek sartorial inspiration from your mum. Her Majesty often co-ordinated with the late Queen Mother. The mother/daughter duo often sported similar hats, hairstyles and miniature handbags.

Queen in trousers21 of 27


The Queen has only ever been photographed in trousers once. Her Majesty was pictured in a suit by Ian Thomas during the 1970 Royal Canadian Tour.

Queen with matching umbrella22 of 27


The Queen is as dedicated to fashion as she is to her royal duties. And if she's going to colour-block her outfit, she isn't one to do it half-heartedly. Her Majesty even goes so far as to co-ordinate her umbrellas to her outfits.

Queen in maximalist clothing23 of 27


Veer away from monochrome. The Queen is no Scandi-wannabe. Want proof? We challenge you to find an ounce of minimalism in her wardrobe. So channel the rainbow and you'll soon bring a smile to your colleague's faces. We'll be paying sartorial homage to Her Majesty next Monday in sunny yellow...

Queen on horseback24 of 27


Oh, one does love to go outdoors. The Queen is renowned for her adoration of horses and always dresses for the occasion. Her go-to outfit? Her Majesty often teams a waistcoat and waterproof with a co-ordinating headscarf and wellies.

Queen Elizabeth as a young princess25 of 27


XCIV. The Queen has been reigning the style stakes for a grand 94 years. Impressive.

Queen in yellow26 of 27


The Queen is undoubtedly able to pull of any hue but our favourite? It has to be yellow. The sunny shade is a failsafe and the Queen has been donning the look long before any of us declared it the colour of the season.

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Zip up. Each of the Queen's outfits is fitted with a zip in preparation for endless outfit changes.

My mum (and maybe everyone’s mum?) is always saying how much happier she is now that she’s older and cares far less about what people think of her, or how she looks, and she’s still got a good 20 years to go before she reaches old lady territory. But it’s powerful, really not caring, it makes it hard for people to control and manipulate you. And for a woman entering her eighth of ninth decade, who has long since given up caring about offending someone or being disliked? That power is huge. Nancy Pelosi is able to irk Donald Trump like no-one else because she doesn’t care, and he knows it.

We live in a world where younger women often struggle to find their voice (a 2004 study found that boys talk nine times more often than girls in a classroom and were encouraged to do so). Adding sorry to the end of every request or question is a very female reflex and certainly one that I find very hard to shake off; and one recent study suggested that six out of 10 women in the UK suffer from imposter syndrome.

Do you know who (probably) doesn’t have imposter syndrome? Nancy Pelosi. Do you know who (probably) didn’t go home and worry about coming across as rude after giving a fellow peer the finger in the House Of Lords? Barnoness Trumpington. And maybe we can learn something from them.

Old women being rude quickly become meme-able shareable moments on social media because we think they’re funny. And let’s face it, it is funny when the old lady in question is being rude to a man in a position of power - watching him flounder as he regains his composure and remembers not to be rude back is where the punchline lies.

But what we’re also seeing, so often, is a woman taking back a little bit of power for herself. So maybe those memes should become teaching moments too -maybe we could all stand to be a bit more Joan.

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