Let me tell you why Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II wearing yellow when granting an audience to our Prime Minister and his wife was not a coincidence or a faux pas. As much as UMNO would prefer to think otherwise.
Fact 1. The Queen, contrary to popular belief, is very much well-informed. She is constantly kept abreast of the latest developments and news pertaining to her realm and her government by her team of palace advisers, secretaries and civil servants. They, in turn, gather their information from various sources, including ministries, government departments, Scotland Yard, 10 Downing Street, and members of the press corp in the UK. (Scotland Yard, knowing that the Queen would be granting an audience to the Prime Minister of Malaysia, would have certainly informed the Palace of the many demonstrations in London by Bersih 2.0 supporters.)
When a visiting dignitary is scheduled to meet the Queen, she is always fully briefed on the background of her visitor, the current situation of her visitor's home country, and the DO's and DON'T's to observe. Particularly, she would be informed of developments in her own realm regarding the visitor. Scenes in London like the one in the photo below would not have escaped Her Majesty's team of advisers, who in turn would have briefed the Queen. So, to assume that she was not aware of Bersih 2.0 is untenable.
Fact 2. Royal wardrobe and fashion is strictly regulated, and the Queen and members of the Royal Family are always careful not to make any fashion faux pas or distress their guests. Her advisers would have advised her to stay away from wearing yellow, and explained the significance of the colour in present circumstances. As Sarawak Report suggests, “she MUST have been informed of the sensitivity of the colour yellow”.
Fact 3. Besides attending public events, state dinners, receiving dignitaries and horse races, the Queen actually does paper work! Yes, Her Majesty, like many of us, has her daily duty of working at one of her many desks reading and signing state papers and official documents (often classified as secret). British fastidiousness with information and intelligence gathering is well-known. Her cache of papers would most definitely have included confidential dossiers on Najib Razak and Malaysia. And Bersih 2.0.
Copyright Press Association Images
Fact 4. Besides official papers, she also reads the newspapers. Knowing that she would be meeting the Prime Minister of Malaysia, an article in The Guardian, a respected British newspaper, with the headline "Malaysia's Najib must abandon the Mubarak model", would surely have caught her eye.
Fact 5. The Queen meets her Prime Minister once a week, every week. It would have been incumbent upon David Cameron to apprise the Queen of Najib Razak and Malaysia, in view that he would be visiting the UK on an official trip. News of the Bersih 2.0 rally in Kuala Lumpur, being reported globally the same week the Queen had her weekly meeting with David Cameron, would most definitely have been a topic of conversation. It is also a practice for the British Prime Minister to advise the Monarch on how to appropriately respond to political situations of the day, since she is constitutionally apolitical.
Did Cameron therefore gently suggest that the Queen wear yellow as a message to our Prime Minister and also to the people of Malaysia? Where Cameron could not publicly chastise Najib, the Queen could, with regal aplomb, send a strong message?
Fact 6. The Queen is a politically astute woman who has seen twelve British prime ministers serve under her reign, the list starting with Winston Churchill, no less! Her vast experience in international relations and diplomacy is unchallenged and she would thoroughly understand the subtleties and symbolism attached to what one says and what one wears. To assume that Her Majesty has no political acumen is completely ludicrous.
Fact 7. Everything the Queen does is planned in advance and takes into consideration all factors. Everything has a reason, even right down to the colour of the flowers in her audience chamber! Nothing is coincidental, random or arbitrary where the Queen of the United Kingdom is concerned.
These seven facts alone allow us to reasonably conclude that the Queen was very much aware of Bersih 2.0 and the significance of the colour yellow, besides it being the royal colour for Malaysian royalty.
The question now is, knowing full well the sensitivity of the colour yellow, what was the reason behind Her Majesty deciding to wear yellow when meeting our Prime Minister and his lovely wife? The answer, dear reader, is yours to conclude.
The author read law and politics in the UK from 1989 to 1992, where he was greatly fascinated (and still is) with the British Royal Family, the Queen in particular.