April 2nd, 2009
10:20 AM ET

God save the Queen…and those Netflix DVDs she keeps forgetting to return

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/WORLD/europe/12/25/britain.queen.speech/art.britain.queen.gi.jpg]

Jack Gray
AC360° Producer/Writer

Ah, England. The land of tea and crumpets and Posh Spice. I’m enjoying watching President and Mrs. Obama spend time over there, particularly their meeting with Queen Elizabeth II. It seems like just yesterday I was living temporarily at Buckingham Palace after Julie Andrews threw me out of our love nest in Notting Hill.

Lucky for me, I met Her Majesty late one foggy London night. It was either during intermission at the Royal Opera House or during a game of strip poker in the back seat of Mick Jagger’s Bentley…I can’t remember which. The details are a bit fuzzy. Placido Domingo was there, but I also recall the Queen jabbing Paul McCartney with her scepter, insisting that socks did not count as a layer of clothing.

Anyway, the Queen and I hit it off, bonding over our mutual affection for coconut rum and Chevy Chase movies. And as soon as she found out I was sleeping at the bus station, using Amy Winehouse’s wig as a pillow, she insisted I move into the palace until I perfected my Tony Blair cabaret act.

I was hesitant about the arrangement, knowing how sensitive British taxpayers are about supporting the royal family. I could only imagine what they’d say about some American interloper who had faked his own death to get out of working for Naomi Campbell.

But the Queen insisted I stay with her and said that if I was so concerned about pulling my own weight then each morning I could work off my boarding expenses by helping Prince Charles tape back his ears.

At first things were a little awkward. Apparently starting off with, “Good afternoon, Your Majesty, I’d be honored if you would favor me with your version of Pat Benatar’s ‘Love is a Battlefield,’” is against protocol.

But, to her credit, Queen Elizabeth did her best to make me feel right at home. “Philip will take the futon in the Churchill Parlor. You can have his side of our bed.” I objected, of course, but the Queen was insistent. “Please,” she said as she opened up a new tin of cherry Skoal, “you ain’t got nothing I haven’t seen before.”

I was nervous, to be sure, but deep down I was dying to find out if the Queen snored and/or shared my habit of snuggling up with a bag of goldfish crackers and a bottle of orange soda. Plus, just imagine the pillow talk: “I think Camilla and Charles are totally wrong for each other, too,” I’d purr, as we moved from goldfish to mint milanos.

The Queen even brought me with her on weekend trips to her estate in Scotland, where I spend many lovely days shouting pirate sounds at Sean Connery.

But, as they say, nothing lasts forever. Eventually it was time for me to go back to the states. At least that’s what the people from Scotland Yard said when the found me with the crown jewels hidden in that Amy Winehouse wig.

And to add insult to injury I still don’t know what a crumpet is.


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Recent posts by Jack Gray:
Love Shack, Baby
Just between you and me and Twitter 

soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. victor

    Hey Jack....you are the Godfather of cnn and Wolf Blitzer is your under boss. The cnn cosa nostra! yea...

    April 3, 2009 at 1:50 am |
  2. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    Hellooo Jack!!!!
    You're so funny man I read your comment....... I agree with you..... I wish I want made tea with you and the queen in London...... Well, You're right about that!!!!!! I love that joke..... you made me laugh so much!!!! very funny! you cracked me up!!! I love Richard Quest just kidding Anderson and Ed Henry!!!!!! they were so awesome teaser! Thanks for cheer me up!!! See you tonight on Live Blog! LOL!

    April 2, 2009 at 7:33 pm |
  3. Rose

    I can't even breathe right now...you are absolutely hilarious!-rapid fire today. Thanks for the laughs:)

    April 2, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  4. Chris Ballard


    As an englishman living in the US, I should be indignant with rage at this blog post (monarchist that I am). But I'm not...Anyway, a crumpet is a bit like an English muffin, but only in the same way that a hot dog is a bit like a hamburger. Much prefer crumpets myself, they're always in the aid package that I have friends bring with them when they visit. (together with Devonshire clotted cream – my home county – and Quality Street sweets. Er, 'candy')

    April 2, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  5. Carolyn Woodruff

    Very creative writing. Your imagination is envied by us all. Fun to read and your pictures from yesterday were great. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

    April 2, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  6. Tammy, Berwick, LA

    I think this whole article may be against protocol 🙂

    Too many mental images for one day. Funny stuff.

    BTW, I hate to tell Her Majesty, but socks do count as a layer. At least as far as I remember they do. I think Bacardi Black Label may have been involved.

    Pillow talk with Sean Connery. Now we're getting somewhere...

    April 2, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  7. Annie Kate


    Funny as usual. How do you come up with all this?

    I was wondering – did Liz let you try on any of her hats while you were there? One thing the Queen can really do well is wear a hat – they look fitting on her, even good. You would probably look good in a Viking hat with one of those horns sticking out of it on top. The Queen hasn't worn hers in ages so maybe she wouldn't mind you borrowing it. We want to see a picture of you in it though if she does.

    Oh and by the way on the crumpets you probably wouldn't like them but Sammie ate your share so we probably will never know.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  8. vanessa, El Paso, TX

    Hey Jack..I, too, don't know what a crumpet is either, but when I say it, I say it in a British accent....weird. So that week of vacay a few weeks ago turned out to be kind of an exciting adventure after all, huh?
    BTW did you show HRH how to twitter? cuz I def. need to be following her if she takes any stranger from the U.S.....I also like those Chevy Chase movies, nothing wrong with that!
    Did Sammy also cuddle with those darn Corrgis?..oh wait, thats right, you left Sammy @ home, she kept twitter under your username...I was wondering why kept referring yourself as dorkyhumancnn...yeah, now we know how that wonderful "vacay" you had was somewhat damaging to the US economy, thanx Jack..we were kinda hoping we would get bailed out by the Queen...
    Another funny post, Funnyman Jack..or should I say, dorkyhumancnn..Luv ya lots, thanx for the laugh 🙂

    April 2, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  9. BettyAnn, Nacogdoches,TX

    Bloody Hell Jack!
    How about a little Sarah Brightman to go with Placido Domingo?
    Don't you just know that the Queen listens to Sir Paul on her ipod while she puffs? She is real "cool".
    I'll bet her blooming tea is a "spot" of delight too, with crumpets and trumpets. I do love London. I've only been there a couple of times, but it was swinging. It did help that I was listening to Mick Jagger though.
    Jack you are too funny! Royal jewels in your Any Winehouse wig? Stupendous!
    I can just hear your British accent as you write your blog.
    Well, as Sarah and Placido say, "Time to say good-bye!"
    I think all your fans are royal. I for one am a blooming idiot!
    XO's and King Charles Spaniel tail wags!
    Queen B. Anne~ of TX

    April 2, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  10. Helen, Reading, UK

    Hey there my little piece of New York crumpet! Another triumph of journalism today, but I should warn you, if Her Maj ever reads your blog, it'll be a one way ticket to The Tower of London and a date with a man and an axe, you know what I'm saying? Lucky for you my family is distantly related, apparently Anne Boelyn's real name was Bullen, like mine, so I've managed to smooth things over at Buck House for now! For all those Jack Junkies out there, I've started a Facebook group in honour of our hero (I'm determined to get The Boss to give him a payrise or at least his own show) called Gray Groupies. It currently has 36 members and none of them are related to Jack as far as I know! Please come and join in, it'll make Mama Gray so proud.. Love to my Twitter and Facebook peeps, special mention to Pati Mc, thanks for the shout on Anderson's blog, I did get a kick out of that this morning! Big hugs to you Jack and an extra special tail wag for Sammy, I hope she joins the group!

    April 2, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
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