My grandmother the Queen

What with the English Royalty making the news recently (royal baby 2.o, weeeeeeeeee!!!!!), it got me thinking about how much the Queen looks like my late grandmother, my Baba. As an adolescent, I used to dream of what life would have been like had Baba actually been the Queen – I’d be a princess! I always knew I was destined for greatness!

I suspect Baba and the Queen would have gotten along famously. For realz, yo, despite the obvious class differences (Baba came from a long line of Belarusian farmers and peasants – except for, I believe, one ancestor that made it as a chef, for the Tsar. #celebrity). Areas of similarity and compatibility include, but are not limited to:

  • Love of outdoors: the Queen spends every summer in Balmoral, wearing tweed, and going for long hikes and horse rides. Baba would spend every day in her garden, growing excessive quantities of tomatoes and cucumbers, and walking around barefoot.
  • Ability to wear scarves: The Queen has frequently been pictured at polo races, wearing a scarf tied around her head, like a real Baboushka. My Baba was a real Baboushka.
  • Pretty dresses: the Queen wears pretty dresses. Baba loved clothes. The Queen has sometimes been spotted in questionable fashion choices. Baba had some odd taste in patterns, stuck in the 60s vibe.
  • Gloves and purse: The Queen always has a neat little black purse. Baba had the same purse, and wore gloves, like the Queen.

Proof #1

So convinced am I that the Queen is Baba’s doppelgänger, that I have stated as much to colleagues, friends and strangers. My colleagues, expressed doubt as to the validity of my claim. To prove my point, I showed them this picture:

Baba (far left) as Queen

I anticipated silence, and amazement. I got silence, and amazement. So much silence, that it finally pierced my cloud of rapt appreciation of this picture, and I looked questioningly at my colleagues. And one of them finally hesitantly asked: “So… ummm… who’s the tall dude rocking a sombrero?”

I hadn’t noticed.

To me, the order of interesting features in this picture has always been as follows:

  • Baba the Queen
  • How cute I look in my red dress

I’m not sure why the presence of a 7ft tall sombrero-wearing giant never struck me as odd. Perhaps, because he is my father, I just accepted it, since it is in no way incoherent with his personality.

Proof #2

Let me therefore attempt once again to prove my point about Baba the Queen. I propose the following evidence.

Fancy headgear

Fancy headgear

The Queen has been known to wear equally glittery crowns.

(Fine! I will explain this one. It was a birthday party. My family does not always wear unusual headgear.)

Christmas present

Christmas present

It’s true, my grandmother forgot to smile. But can’t you imagine her breaking out into a grin, just like the Queen?

(Additional footnote: that almost-bald baby on that t-shirt is the same adorable kid wearing the elephant hat in the previous photograph. I hope she doesn’t repudiate me for sharing this with the blogosphere.)


They look alike, yes? Just accept it, by royal decree! After all, by this royal connection, I am almost a princess.

P.S. For those of you who need further convincing, the photograph of the Queen crying at British Legion Remembrance Service particularly reminds me of Baba. Both knew grief, both went through World War II. Both are part of that same sisterhood.





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