If you’ve watched The Crown, you’ll be well aware that Queen Elizabeth II holds weekly audiences with the British prime minister at Buckingham Palace. The PM keeps the monarch up to date with the latest news and events, and the queen has carried out this routine with 14 government leaders to date.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, and subsequent enforced social distancing rules put in place by the government in the United Kingdom, this week’s audience was conducted over the phone.

A split photo shared on Twitter shows the queen, at Windsor Castle where she is currently self-isolating with husband Prince Philip, and Boris Johnson from Downing Street, on the phone to one another.

We’re not sure whether it’s the divide of the photo, the expressions of the queen and prime minister, the vintage phone the queen uses to speak on (seriously, is that a rotating dial?), or Johnson’s official red box in shot, but when it was first shared there were a number of Twitter followers thinking it was the latest social distancing-related meme, rather than a legitimate picture.

Once the meme ideas had formed, people also couldn’t get enough of the 1970s style corded phone the queen apparently uses for her calls, against the backdrop of corgi and equestrian figurines decorating the room.

The queen relocated to Windsor Castle last week earlier than planned due to the coronavirus pandemic. The heir to the throne, Prince Charles, is self-isolating in the royal residence of Balmoral in Scotland after testing positive for the virus. The 71-year-old experienced “mild symptoms” and is now recovering while working from home, Clarence House confirmed.


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