"You know, when you get it wrong, you really get it wrong! That woman has given her whole life in service of her people. Fifty years of doing a job she never wanted."
Towards the end of the film, Tony Blair has this outburst in an office with his advisors. He becomes exceedingly frustrated with the fact that everyone is so hard on the queen. Having worked with her for a while, Blair can see what a precarious and difficult position she is in, and he has grown to respect her. This line shows us that Blair has changed his tune on the monarchy, and respects its role more than he once did.
"A chorus line of soap stars and homosexuals."
Philip never makes any secret of his dislike of Diana, and does not intend to do so now that she is dead. This is his assessment of the guestlist for her funeral. Diana's relationship to celebrity and celebrity culture is part of what the royal family finds so distasteful about her, as shown in this quote.
"Nowadays people want glamor and tears, the grand performance. I've never been good at that."
The queen realizes that her response to Diana's death is out of step with what her people want. She was raised in a time when it was not considered leaderly to show emotions, but now she realizes that people "want glamor and tears." This is something that the late Diana was able to provide, but the queen knows that it is not natural for her.
"You must show your strength, reassert your authority. You sit on the most powerful throne in Europe, head of an unbroken line that goes back more than a thousand years. Do you really think that any of your predecessors would've dropped everything and gone up to London because a bunch of hysterics carrying candles needed help with their grief?"
When the queen has a crisis of resolve, and wonders whether she should in fact go back to England and show her support for Diana, her mother gives her a tough talking-to, urging her to anchor herself in tradition. She tells her to stay strong and not fold to the pressures of the people. In this line we see the traditionalism with which the queen is contending in her quest to decide what to do.
"Because you saw all those headlines and you thought: 'One day that might happen to me'...and it will, Mr. Blair. Quite suddenly and without warning... So, shall we get on with the business in hand?"
At the end of the film, Tony Blair tells the queen that he never once spoke ill of her, and she observes that he did not because he realized that citizens always turn on their leaders. She suggests that such dissent is inevitable, before urging them to get on with business.
"If you imagine I'm going to drop everything and come down to London before I attend to my grandchildren who've just lost their mother... then you're mistaken. I doubt there is anyone who knows the British people more than I do, Mr. Blair, nor who has greater faith in their wisdom and judgement. And it is my belief that they will any moment reject this... this 'mood,' which is being stirred up by the press, in favor of a period of restrained grief, and sober, private mourning. That's the way we do things in this country, quietly, with dignity. That's what the rest of the world has always admired us for."
When Tony Blair urges the queen to come to England to show her people that she is aligned with them in their grief about Diana's loss, she fires back this response. She suggests that the hysteria around the death has to do with the press, and that she has her only family to attend to. It is a compelling speech that gives us a window into the queen's own ethics and emotional life.
"Yes well, you are my tenth Prime Minister, Mr Blair. My first, of course, was Winston Churchill, he sat in your chair in a frock coat and top hat. And he was kind enough to give a shy young girl like me quite an education."
In her first meeting with Tony Blair, the queen does not hold back from asserting her experience and authority. She alludes to her lengthy governance and the fact that she worked with Winston Churchill, one of the most notable English prime ministers.
Philip: It's not right, you know.
The Queen: No, but further discussion is no longer helpful, either.
When the queen makes the decision to cede to Tony Blair's wishes and go back to Britain to mourn Diana, Philip thinks she is making a mistake. In this exchange, we see that she does not exactly disagree, but she sees no other alternatives.
"Will someone please save these people from themselves!"
Blair, in a moment of exasperation, expresses his annoyance that the royal family is completely unable to read the public mood when it comes to their response to the death. As public opinion nosedives, they only double down in their conviction that they are not obligated to participate in the mourning, which Tony sees as a horrible error.
"I should go to Paris. I told my people to start organizing a jet."
The only person who sees the importance of showing his grief publicly is the royal who wronged Diana the most, Prince Charles. Upon hearing of his death, he makes plans to fly to Paris to see the body.
The Queen (2006 film) Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for The Queen (2006 film) is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.