The Queen Reportedly Used This One Phrase to Signal a Conversation Was Over


Queen Elizabeth II Meets Dame Judi Dench
(Image credit: Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library / Getty)

When someone has to speak to as many people as the late Queen Elizabeth did, it makes sense that they would develop shorthand to move swiftly from one conversation to the next.

So, it sounds like the Queen had a very well known phrase she used to signal the end of a pleasant chat.

Author Sophia Money-Coutts took to Twitter to share a reader letter from the Times, which included a funny anecdote about the late monarch.

The letter's writer said that a previous article about Gyles Brandreth's upcoming biography, Elizabeth, "reminded me of an anecdote from my time teaching in 1980s London," they wrote.

"A leading teachers' union official was due to meet the Queen. As he queued for the honour an equerry informed him that as soon as Her Majesty said 'how interesting' the encounter was over and she would progress to the next person in line.

"When the Queen eventually reached him, she asked: 'What do you do?'

"He duly informed her that he was a leading union official. 'How very, very interesting,' she replied, and moved on."

Although I don't feel quite qualified enough to translate what the Queen meant by this repeated phrase, I've found a kind British-Australian journalist who has previously translated it, as a gesture of public service.

Writing in the New Zealand publication Stuff, Gary Nunn claimed, "When the phrase 'very interesting' is muttered, an American might hear 'they are impressed.' But the Aussies and Brits would de-code it for what it really means: 'that's clearly nonsense.'"

Honestly, that's so brutal.

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of British Vogue, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29 and SELF. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.