Now I'm sure she's traveled by helicopter previously, but why land at Buckingham Palace just before an important announcement such as an election (the date of which was widely predicted), when she knows that it will be covered live?
I wonder whether this is a signal of what the Queen really thinks of Gordon Brown; "I'm taking time out from my busy schedule to see you, you do it when I say".
Although she's famously apolitical, the Queen has form in her subtle nature (my emphasis):
In the midst of the economic crisis yesterday, when news about the nation’s finances dominated every news bulletin, the Queen did something she had never done before; she held an audience with the Governor of the Bank of England, at Buckingham Palace, for the first time since she came to the throne 57 years ago.It was a clear signal that she did not trust Brown's updates on economic matters. Something he acknowledged a few days later by exacting his revenge by resurrecting changes to succession to the throne which her Majesty is known to detest.
And of course this from John Prescott's biography:
I was surprised at how small the Queen was and when it came to my turn [when he tried to refuse to bow when meeting her], she mumbled something. I couldn't hear what it was, so naturally I bent down. She just smiled. She knew she'd got me. As far as everyone watching was concerned, and the local photographers, it looked as if I was bowing. But I wasn't. She'd deliberately lowered her voice and caught me out.The Queen in her own subtle way, in my view, has expressed to the British people how not to vote at the next election.