One day an Austrian peasant spotted three men in hunting garb. Thinking they looked tired, he offered them a ride in his cart. The men accepted and struck up a conversation. “Who are you?” the driver asked one of the passengers.
“Im the king of Saxony,” was the reply. The peasant nodded and asked the next man the same question.
“The king of Bavaria,” said the second passenger.
“And you,” the peasant went on skeptically to the third passenger, “I suppose youre the emperor of Austria?” The amazing thing is that it was the emperor of Austria! The man was Francis Joseph I, emperor of Austria from 1848-1916. Would that peasant have acted differently if he had known that we was addressing his sovereign? Of course!
At a reception honoring musician Sir Robert Mayer on his 100th birthday, elderly British socialite Lady Diana Cooper fell into conversation with a friendly woman who seemed to know her well. Lady Dianas failing eyesight prevented her from recognizing her fellow guest, until she peered more closely at the magnificent diamonds and realized she was talking to Queen Elizabeth!
Overcome with embarrassment, Lady Diana curtsied and stammered, “Maam, oh, maam, Im sorry maam. I didnt recognize you without your crown!”
“It was so much Sir Roberts evening,” the queen replied, “that I decided to leave it behind.”