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January 2007
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A waxwork model of The Queen

A waxwork model of The Queen at Madame Tussaud's. Her Majesty has modelled for the museum on several occasions. 

© Press Association


Q: Luigi, Rome - Italy
When I visited Madame Tussauds in London I was amazed at how life-like the waxwork of The Queen was!  How was such a likeness achieved?  Did Her Majesty model for the waxwork?

There have been a number of waxworks of The Queen on display at Madame Tussauds over the years.  Her Majesty has sat for the models in the following years: 1946, 1966, 1976, 1984 and 1991/2.  The most recent time was in 2001 for the Golden Jubilee.

Q: Ingrid - Stockholm
I recently read that The Queen is also The Duke of Normandy.  Is this true?  Surely she is The Duchess of Normandy?

William I (the Conqueror) , Duke of Normandy became King of England in 1066.  On his death in 1087, his eldest son, Robert 'Curthose' succeeded him as Duke of Normandy and his second surviving son, William 'Rufus' became William II of England.  When William II died in 1100, William the Conqueror's youngest son, Henry 'Beauclerk' became King Henry I of England and in 1106 seized the Duchy of Normandy from his brother Robert, thus reuniting the English Sovereign with the Norman dynasty.   Since that time, the English Sovereign, whether male or female, has always held the title Duke of Normandy and assumes the title upon accession to the throne.

Q: John - Washington DC, United States of America
Does the role of Gentleman Usher still exist and, if so, what does it involve?

Gentleman Ushers date back to the 15th century.  In Tudor times they were responsible for 'keeping' the door of the room in which the king was present and 'ushering' visitors into his presence. 

Nowadays there is an establishment of ten Gentlemen Ushers, including three former officers of varying ranks from each of the Armed Services who continue to wear their service uniform.  They are usually appointed between the ages of fifty and sixty and retire at seventy.  The majority have some civil employment from which they are made available for royal duties. 

Gentleman Ushers are on duty at a variety of occasions, including at investitures, where they look after recipients and guests; garden parties, where they help bring forward guests to meet The Queen and other members of the Royal Family; at the State Opening of Parliament, conducting members of the Royal Family, and as part of the royal procession; marshalling guests at evening receptions and banquets; and at royal weddings and funerals. 

Q: Sebastian, Tonbridge
Can you tell me the date of The Queen's official birthday in 2007 and how to apply for tickets to Trooping the Colour?

Trooping the Colour, or The Queen's Birthday Parade, will take place on Saturday, 16th June this year.  To apply for tickets for the Parade, you should write to the Brigade Major, Headquarters Household Division, Horse Guards, Whitehall, London SW1A 2AX by the end of February and enclose a stamped addressed envelope for acknowledgement.  The demand for tickets if usually very high and a ballot is held in mid-March.

Q: Michael - Hove
During casual conversation with colleagues and friends, it is not uncommon for the subject of Her Majesty The Queen to arise.  This has always been a quandry for me, as I am unsure how to refer to our Sovereign in the simplest yet most respectful manner. Is it proper to refer to "Her Majesty", or "The Queen", or some other appellation?

In written or spoken form, The Queen can be referred to as either 'The Queen' or 'Her Majesty'; both are correct and are interchangeable.  On presentation to The Queen, it is correct to use the title 'Your Majesty' and subsequently in conversation 'Ma'am' (to rhyme with 'ham').

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