For Tony Abbott, it’s been something of a personal Annus horribilis – losing favour with the public, then his party, and ultimately losing the Prime Ministership, relegating him to the backbench of Federal Parliament.
But the former-PM was not without the occasional honour. Notably, his recent invitation to deliver the Margaret Thatcher Lecture in London, an honour that no doubt pleased the iron heart of a Tory that beats within his chest.
Though his speech at the event – essentially a re-hashing of his anti-immigrant, sloganistic, “stop the boats” rhetoric the Australian public is all-too-familiar with – didn’t exactly get the warmest reception, Abbott had held hopes that his visit would coincide with another sought after audience – one with the Queen.
The staunch monarchist had hoped his trip to London – which was to last from October 26th until the 28th of this year – would also include a visit to see the Queen; being a former loyal servant and leader of the colonies and whatnot.
Except Tony Abbott apparently failed to account for the fact that Queen Elizabeth II is a crotchety old badass who can – and does – precisely whatever the fuck it is that she wants.
Despite Abbott’s entirely reasonable request for a quick how-do-you-do with Her Maj, Lizzy shut him the fuck down for reasons that one can only assume to be “because I seriously ceeb’d.“
The only problem there is that the Queen’s daily agenda is published by the Palace.
Not only was she in London at the same time as Tone, but on those three days she didn’t really have a whole lot on.
On Day One? Two appointments, with the evening totally free.
On Day Two? A morning reception. An evening meeting with British PM David Cameron. Nothing in the afternoon.
On Day Three? No appointments during the day. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. An evening reception, and that’s it.
Other former Prime Ministers have been granted audiences with the Queen in the past, and Abbott reportedly consulted closely with the Governor-General before approaching the Palace to ensure he wasn’t breaking protocol.
And yet poor ole’ Tone – who once described support for the Monarchy with a wistfully romantic, “the heart has reasons that reason cannot know” – got the Royal Move Along.
Queen Elizabeth II, y’all. The ultimate mean girl.