If shown a picture of Mario, could the Queen identify him? That’s the question that has filled Twitter with debate as people share their theories on how well read up Queen Elizabeth II is on popular culture.
Floating the question on social media, writer and producer Ben Jenkins wrote: “Do you reckon the Queen could identify Mario? Like if you showed the Queen a picture of Mario, would she be able to say “that’s Mario”. Genuinely quite torn on this. Apologies if it’s been covered in The Crown.”
Since posting the query on Wednesday night the tweet has gone viral, receiving over 123,000 likes and almost 8,000 retweets.
Sharing a screenshot of a text from his wife, Jenkins said his wife makes “a convincing argument”. Her theory? That the Queen would see the picture, and say “that’s a funny little man”.
My wife is making a convincing argument. https://t.co/wjAUarm4gL— Ben Jenkins (@Ben Jenkins) 1635375630
Pointless host and author Richard Osman replied to say: “She definitely watches Pointless and we have definitely had pictures of Mario on the show, so the information has been in front of her for sure. I’m saying yes.”
A Twitter user named Paul said he believes Mario attempted to visit her by going to Windsor Castle while her father was on the throne. As she was in Balmoral, “the princess was in another castle”. The remark that the princess is in another castle is in reference to Mario’s efforts to find Princess Peach, who proves elusive in the games.
Another Twitter user with the screen name Clark Oliver made a very valid point, saying the Queen is “literally the world’s most informed human”. They added that they guarantee she not only knows who Mario is, but she probably knows the cheat codes, too.
Hoping to put the matter to rest, TV writer Alex Lee attempted to go straight to the source by tweeting the royal family’s Twitter account, asking them to show a picture of Mario to the Queen and to report back on what she says.
@bencjenkins hey @RoyalFamily when u get a sec can u show this to the queen and tell us what she says https://t.co/XNoYwSBk8M— Alex Lee (@Alex Lee) 1635377666
Writer Bec Shaw suggested calling her grandmother to see if she knows, saying “if she doesn’t there is no way the Queen does.” Jenkins replied to say: “Don’t you think that, unlike you’re Nanna, the Queen has to get briefed on things on a semi-regular basis? This is the nub of the problem. (Apologies if your Nanna needs to be briefed on things on a regular basis).”
Comedian and writer James Colley wrote: “I’d like to think she doesn’t know Mario but if you showed her Luigi she’d say ‘that’s my friend Luigi’ instantly.”
Amid the theories, some shared memes and jokes:
@bencjenkins Covered in Season 3 https://t.co/CMCLMZAzQI— Jackie, crypto miner (@Jackie, crypto miner) 1635414925
@bencjenkins I think it would probably go something like this https://t.co/SBjys3NkHu— Smile and wave (@Smile and wave) 1635441804
@bencjenkins Wait, this isn't the Queen? https://t.co/0xhYuQzNCD— Wes Mountain (@Wes Mountain) 1635373286
@bencjenkins I spent like 2 minutes thinking you were talking about Peach's mom— Abhorrent Ethics 🤔🚩 (@Abhorrent Ethics 🤔🚩) 1635392655
@bencjenkins Or did you mean some plumber guy? https://t.co/2hDmBKQl5E— El Chupacabra (@El Chupacabra) 1635399038
@bencjenkins At minimum someone would have explained to her why Prime Minister Abe popped out of a green pipe at th… https://t.co/vU7T4u8oMU— Jen Idosaka (@Jen Idosaka) 1635418077
@bencjenkins Princess Peach is actually the Queen's 3rd cousin so it's possible.— Van Gone 🖼️ (@Van Gone 🖼️) 1635373461
@bencjenkins https://t.co/ho0ZECYvM6— Michael Donnelly (@Michael Donnelly) 1635474392
Others decided to ask their own family and friends, with mixed results.
The Evening Standard’s Dan Kilpatrick put the question to his mother, who suggested the character in the picture was Fireman Sam or, er, Stalin — so his guess was no.
@bencjenkins @Brainmage Puzzling my colleagues https://t.co/3I6d1VMcjQ— Dom at the Rat&Olive (@Dom at the Rat&Olive) 1635409897
@bencjenkins she had thoughts on this https://t.co/17ae4NhST6— 𝖎𝖕𝖆𝖉 𝖇𝖆𝖇𝖞 (@𝖎𝖕𝖆𝖉 𝖇𝖆𝖇𝖞) 1635395325
@bencjenkins very useful tidbit from @a_lyssard regarding this important topic https://t.co/et779MN6X9— anna ♡ (@anna ♡) 1635450071
Although the Queen was gifted a gold Nintendo Wii that sadly never made it out of the box, given the Queen has grandchildren and is likely well read on popular culture, our money is on yes — she would recognise him.
Indy100 has reached out to Buckingham Palace to try and get an answer once and for all. We’ll update our readers on this important story if and when we hear back.