I’m always asking my fella how he’s doing even when I know he won’t tell me.
I ask when he comes in, silent and illegible.
I ask when he’s boiling with fury.
I ask when his eyes are frozen open like a picture of eyes instead of actual eyes.
I ask when I know and when I don’t.
He tends to either lie or joke or deny.
“Great!” he’ll say, when he’s clearly not.
Or today, I asked, “Are you okay?” and he said, “Define okay.”
The Queen here is asking in the third person.
She’s probably asking him in his kingly persona – or she could be asking someone else how he’s doing. Someone who’s gotten to him first – someone who’d know how he is.
Or maybe he’s like my fella and wouldn’t say when he isn’t okay.