Famous People The Queen Can't Stand

Queen Elizabeth II is not just the longest-reigning British monarch in history, but one of the last true royalties still living in our time. The high standards of etiquette prevent her from lashing out at annoying individuals in her vicinity, but, through her extensive royal career, there have been many speculations around hidden and sometimes not-so-hidden clashes she's had.

It is no wonder many of them took place within the thick walls of the royal palace — being a monarch and a mother is not an easy job. The queen, firmly defending traditional principles and the monarchy itself, has had to make some tough choices during her reign, which has led to several family schisms. Being royalty acquires following a very strict code of behavior, resisting passions and infatuations, and always putting the monarchy and its principles first. 

Strict rules and protocols dictate the queen must not publicly express any opinion on political matters. Regardless of the fact she has met an impressive selection of world leaders, she has never been allowed to tell them what she really thinks of them or their leadership. Clever as she is, she's still managed to get her message across in a few cases. Here are some famous people the queen (speculatively) can't stand. 

Mick Jagger

Maybe Mick Jagger can impress all the ladies, but not Queen Elizabeth II. As reported in The Telegraph, he did excite Princess Margaret though, according to Jagger's biographer, Christopher Andersen. She was so fascinated with the rock star she built a villa next to him on the magical island Mustique, where they indulged in partying properly, as both well knew how. There is no record of them actually having an affair, but "there was a flirtation going on there, definitely," as noted by Elsa Bowker, wife of British diplomat Sir James Bowker (via Daily Mail). The queen was not happy about Margaret's untamed behavior, fearing scandals or just general moral corruption.

Lady Diana, another stormy female, was in good relationship with the Rolling Stone frontman, as well, speculates the New Idea, so one could imagine how fed up the queen was with Jagger at that point. Lady Di, similar to Princess Margaret, appreciated dancing and good music, not showing much interest in serious dinners and the countryside. 

As stated by Anderson in the Daily Mail, with Jagger calling the queen "chief witch," their relationship was bound to become sour eventually. The queen did not participate at Jagger's controversial knight ceremony, due to her knee surgery. And apparently, she it preferred it that way, allegedly telling hospital staff, "I would much rather be here than at Buckingham Palace knighting at a certain party," Anderson told The Telegraph.

Donald Trump

While the queen has had reasonably warm relations with several United States presidents, Donald Trump is not one of them. He continuing his childish tantrums even when meeting the royals, managing to breach the protocol on several occasions on his visit in 2018. Although the rumors about him being late for his meeting with the queen turned out to be false — he was actually late by only a minute — he turned his back on and walked ahead of the queen during their protocol stroll past the family and officials, creating a storm of British disapproval (via Time). Was that intended or just a consequence of his excitement — he is one of the queen's biggest fans after all, according to HuffPost – no one knows. It is true, on the other hand, he broke the royal code, one wonders if he ever read it at all.

With Trump being excited about his relationship with Queen Elizabeth II, her majesty might not equally share the fascination. During Trump's United Kingdom visit in 2018, the queen wore a brooch she got as a present from the Obama's, as reported by the Independent. Since it is known she likes to communicate through her jewelry and fashion accessories, one can only guess what her message was.

Boris Johnson

According to journalist Vincent McAviney, Prime Minister Boris Johnson made his first mistake during his very first audience with Queen Elizabeth II in 2019. Breaking protocol, he told everyone she stated that she does not understand why anyone would want to be prime minister. He was consequently told off by palace staff.

Johnson was an outspoken proponent of Brexit, using it as part of his election platform and his victory speech, notes The Brookings Institute. However, there was previous speculation that the queen had subtly expressed her opinion on Brexit, making it clear that this is not what she thinks is the best for the country (via The Washington Post) — perhaps cause for contemplation on how their relationship would shake out. 

POLITICO reports that Johnson later threw the queen into quite an unpleasant position by demanding Parliament to be shut down for weeks, preventing a veto on a no-deal Brexit. Part of the British nation started to speculate whether the queen could save the country and intervene with the process herself, expecting her to take a stand (which she is not supposed to as a monarch). The queen stuck to her policy of not getting involved and granted the prime minister his request as is tradition, disappointing many.

On another occasion, Johnson allegedly insisted he would have his live bi-weekly meeting with the queen during the pandemic as well, saying, "I'm going to see the Queen ... that's what I do every Wednesday. Sod this. I'm going to go and see her" (via CNN). Downing Street staff denied such accusations, and Johnson ultimately postponed his visit.

Margaret Thatcher

The complicated relationship between the infamous Iron Lady and the queen was depicted many times on screens and on paper. The Netflix series, The Crown, emphasizes respect the two women developed through the years, despite the numerous disputes, personal and official, they shared. Both were exceptional women with a mission, born only six months apart (via Biography). Even if they had conflicting views on how to handle Great Britain, they did share some fundamental similarities, such as gender and age, which is rare in an environment so specific.

Opposing political views turned out to be the biggest obstacle, with Queen Elizabeth II defending a centrist and consensual position while Thatcher had a more rigorous approach. According to Sunday Times (via AP News), things got very complicated in 1986, when Thatcher refused to impose economic sanctions on South Africa, opposing other commonwealth members and the institution itself — which didn't sit well with the queen, taking commonwealth organization very seriously. The queen felt Thatcher was destroying everything that was important to her, including their home country, and labeled Thatcher's policy as "uncaring, confrontational, and divisive."

But even the toughest ladies have a heart (mostly), and the queen is no exception. After the Iron Lady was pushed out of Parliament by her own cabinet, the queen invited her to a horse race event to show some support. Thatcher refused the invitation, but as reported by The Independent, felt flattered.

Chinese officials

In 2015, Chinese president Xi Jinping's U.K. trip did not quite go as planned. According to CNN, the queen's complaints were actually caught on camera by a member of her staff. She made a remark to a Metropolitan police officer that she found Chinese officials quite rude, especially during their talk with British ambassador Barbara Woodward. Whether the observation was based on personal or cultural differences, it is hard to say. 

Former British diplomat Kerry Brown told the BBC that it was "striking" the queen still found it tough dealing with the Chinese, despite her decades of experience: "In terms of the atmospherics between diplomats in China and the UK, it's not an easy relationship and that comes through in the freight of emotion that was in her comments."

But, the royal family has never really had a close relationship with the Chinese government, which is not surprising, looking at diametrically opposing views of British and Chinese ideologies. Following a "golden era," the relationship between the two nations has worsened over the years

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Dislike between Queen Elizabeth II and the charming Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was reciprocal, with both ladies being suspicious towards each other. The traditional queen did not appreciate the glamorous American, with her theatrical style and command of the media. Problems started in 1961, when the Kennedy couple visited Buckingham Palace and allegedly made some harsh comments about the appearance of the palace and the queen herself. Onassis found the queen's attire modest and not in line with the latest fashion, while, to her, the palace seemed outdated and worn-out feel. According to The Telegraph, Cecil Beaton, well known British photographer and designer, reported in his diaries that Onassis stated she was simply unimpressed.

But the conflict was stirred before the two women even met, according to The Readers Digest. They disputed over the guest list at the protocol dinner. Onassis wanted to bring her sister, divorcee Princess Lee Radziwill, which did not sit well with the queen, who opposed any kind of separation between married couples. Radziwill did attend the dinner at the end, but as a "way of retaliation," the queen withheld invitations for Princess Margaret and Princess Marina, both of whom Onassis was eager to meet. Onassis stated that she felt uncomfortable through the dinner, thinking "the Queen resented me. Philip was nice, but nervous. One felt absolutely no relationship between them."

Camilla Parker Bowles

Regardless of the fact that the queen has had the opportunity to meet almost anyone who matters during her extensive career, it seems she saves the most poisonous spikes for the people close to her. It is no secret how Camilla Parker Bowles, now the duchess of Cornwall, came to the royal family. Always being the one and only for Prince Charles, Bowles was not a good match for him on paper, and the love affair had to be terminated. That did not stop Bowles or Charles from keeping the close connection, regardless of their marriage status. Their love survived, and in 2005, they finally got married. According to The Insider, the queen and Prince Phillip did not attend the ceremony, although they did visit the reception after it. To make the situation even more bitter, Prince Phillip died on the exact day of Bowles' and Charles' wedding anniversary, April 9.

The fact that the duchess has remained in the royal family is a fair reason for the queen to be annoyed. Biographer Tom Bower claimed in his book on the royal family that the queen never approved Camilla from the start, calling her a wicked woman on one occasion and stating she didn't not want to do anything with her (via the Express). She did not even want to meet Bowles until 2000, The Insider reports.

Diana, Princess of Wales

The complete opposite of Camilla Parker Bowles, Diana Spencer seemed like the perfect wife for the royal successor. But no one predicted how different she actually was from the rest of the royal family. Her emotional and sincere reactions puzzled the queen, and while she was trying to be supportive at first, there were just too many things she did not approve of.

One of the things Princess Diana did differently was how she brought up her two sons. Unlike other mothers in the British royal family, she wanted to spend as much time as she could with the children, which confused the queen and broke royal protocol. Andrew Morton, a royal biographer, observed the queen commenting at one point: "I don't understand why Diana has to do this. There are millions of housemaids around" (via British Heritage).

According to Good Housekeeping, Diana's choice to publish a biography, "Diana: Her True Story," in 1992, written by Morton, aggravated the queen a lot. Revealing too much of one's personal life is never an option for a royal, especially not talking about a flawed marriage or an imperfect relationship with the queen.

There was just too much drama between Diana and Charles' breakup process for the queen to curb her disapproval. Several scandals later, the princess died in a car accident, a year after the divorce. The first comment that the queen made after hearing about Diana's death, according to royal expert and author Ingrid Seward, was "someone must have greased the brakes" (via Cheat Sheet).

Meghan Markle

By now one can justifiably ask whether the queen likes any of her daughters-in-law at all. While Kate Middleton manages to stay on the queen's good books, this is not true for Meghan Markle, an American divorcee and actress who has brought turmoil to the royal family. Even those who know nothing about the royal drama are aware of the immense friction between these two.

According to the queen's strict standards, everything is wrong with Markle –- she was married before, her celebrity status added even more fodder to the British tabloids (of which the royals were regularly a constant), her liberal views and openness as another "people's princess" at odds with royal establishment's more hands-off approach (via The Atlantic). She's wanted things she cannot have, like that special tiara for her wedding day that might have been stolen from some Russian tsar, as noted by Marie Claire. In short, everything she does has seemed to be a mistake, firmly leading Prince Harry away from his family or the throne. The fact that Harry and she formally stepped down from their royal roles implies much (via BBC).

In addition to an explosive interview with Oprah that caused strife within the family (with the queen none to pleased that the broadcast competed with her Commonwealth Day address), the latest faux-pas that Markle caused, according to the BBC, was naming their new baby Lilibet. There are conflicting sources on whether the couple asked the queen permission about using her special nickname as a name for their daughter.

Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York

The Queen's resentment towards her daughter-in-law Sarah Ferguson started in the '90s, just before the divorce between Ferguson and Prince Andrew. According to Good Housekeeping, the marriage itself was bound to fail, but with Prince Andrew being queen's favorite son, Ferguson stood no chance. She did the worst crime a respectable woman could commit, being followed by paparazzi and pictured on holiday with her lover, while still married to her royal husband. 

Ferguson was then excluded from the royal family, stepping into the already familiar role of the royal renegade. She did push it quite far, trying to sell access to her former husband to a News of the World reporter (via ET Online) at some point, which cost her an invite to the royal wedding of William and Kate. As she told Town and Country, "It was always that Diana was portrayed as the saint and I was portrayed as the sinner. Bad Fergie sold an awful lot of papers." And, as The Guardian notes, the crown has had a turbulent relationship over the decades with the tabloids, so royal family members (and ex-members) making headlines is never good.

All of the queen's grandchildren

The queen's refusal to follow the Scottish initiative to cut carbon emissions shows a blatant ignorance towards climate change issues. According to The Guardian, she lobbied in secret to achieve exemption from the rules for her land and estates — which is not a small portion of Scotland, with the Queen being one of the major landowners in the country. The lobbying took place through a measure called Queen's Consent, which enables the queen to familiarize herself with the proposed legislation before it is confirmed.

The Queen's Consent has been in practice in numerous cases through the years, revealing her majesty's reluctance to play by the same rules as the general public (via The Guardian). But her rejection of the green bill is a step further, a special form of hypocrisy, displaying a worrying disregard for not only her own grandchildren but also the future of all humanity.