(London)—On her way to the family meeting she called late last week to discuss the decision of her grandson Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle to “step back” from their role as members of the royal family, Queen Elizabeth II was seen carrying her infamous “whuppin’ stick.”

“This is a rarity indeed,” one longtime royal observer said. “The Queen has only been spotted with this on a few occasions—like the time she met with Prince Charles about his decision to divorce Diana… and the time she met with Prince Charles to discuss his marriage to Camilla Parker Bowles…. well, it does seem that she’s mainly used it previously in regard to Prince Charles, doesn’t it?”

The stick, which is estimated to be three-to-four-feet long, shows clear evidence of serious use, as it’s battered below its decorative lower metal plate. As members of the royal family filed into the Queen’s Sandringham estate north of London, where the meeting will be held, reporters shouted out to the Queen, asking her about the stick. “No, no, no,” Prince Charles said as he deflected questions. “This is something we don’t talk about openly. It’s just Mummy’s way.”

Royal observers agreed that it was very wise that Meghan Markle had fled to Canada last week prior to the couple’s controversial announcement and was participating in the meeting via conference call.

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