London - That deadpan expression at the Olympic Opening Ceremony was likened to a battery acid smile crafted by morticians for the Old Queen Mum's trip to the crem.
Worried US commentators such as ABC anchor Barbara Walters put it more kindly, remarking the Queen had a 'sour face' - something that show co-host Whoopi Goldberg put down to 'too tight a corset'.
"Maybe she's sucked one lemon too many," a fan retorted as speculation grew about HM's peculiar state.
Today the proverbial cat's out of the royal bag as Palace lackeys fight a viral rumor mill about Queen Elizabeth 'having Parkinsons', a
condition characterised by muscle rigidity and expressionless mask-like features.
It's thought the story has been triggered by national headlines about a fellow sufferer arrested by Olympics police for 'failing to smile' at a security checkpoint.
"They said later I didn't look like I was enjoying myself," the hapless spectator told QM-NewsCorpse stringers, describing how he was pushed to the ground and cuffed by baton-wielding officers.
The Duke of Edinburgh is 104.