The Queen’s death has left a nation in mourning. But as people from around the globe share stories and anecdotes about Her Majesty, a picture is emerging of the Elizabeth behind the crown – and one who was often very, very funny, as this story shared by Lady Pamela Hicks shows.
In the 2021 ITV programme, My Years With The Queen, Lady Pamela – the daughter of Lord Mountbatten, Prince Philip’s cousin, and the Queen’s friend – shared memories of various trips with the young Elizabeth. Reading from the diaries she kept, Lady Pamela painted a fascinating picture of the young Queen, with the weight of duty on her shoulders, but full of mischief, too.
Reading from her diary, Lady Pamela shared one funny story from a trip to Australia which had been particularly long and gruelling. She said: “I sat with Lilibet under a tree, listening to her holding forth about being marooned on a desert island.
“But she cheered up considerably, when a boatload of trippers appeared shouting whether we had seen the Queen, where is she?
“Lillibet, in slacks, tore down to the beach, pointed to the other side of the island and yelled: ‘She went that-a-way!’ and jumped up and down with joy as the boat disappeared around the corner.”
The Queen’s friend also shared insight into how Prince Philip was handling the six month tour of the Commonwealth. Lady Pamela wrote in another diary entry: “Philip and Lillibet have to keep waving nearly all day long. She’s developed tremendous muscles in her arms.
“Sitting still in a car, being yelled at and having to wave is part of the tour that Philip loathes.”
Lady Pamela also summed up her admiration for the Queen, praising her “inner strength” and her many years of service: “The Queen’s life has been entirely dictated by her sense of duty.
“It’s a word that’s barely used and certainly not understood but duty was good. It gave you a goal.
“She is an amazing person. There’s such inner strength there. And she has just remained like that throughout her life.”
READ MORE: Mourning King Charles III facing ‘fatigue’ from intense schedule
Many other people, whether it be those who worked closely with her or big names in the world of showbiz, have told of the Queen’s willingness to have a laugh. During this year’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, her former protection officer Richard Griffin told a similar story about the Queen’s interaction with American tourists at Balmoral.
A couple, who did not recognise Her Majesty, asked if they had ever met the Queen. Mr Griffin recalled how she went along with the joke, saying she hadn’t met the Queen but said Mr Griffin had.
After taking a photo with the Queen without realising, Mr Griffin remembered the Queen saying: “I’d love to be a fly on the wall when he shows those photographs to their friends in America — and hopefully someone tells him who I am.”
And in his 2019 book ‘Me’, Sir Elton John shared a story about an incident at Prince Andrew’s 21st birthday party.
New book will show Camilla’s journey from ‘outcast to Queen Consort’ [INSIGHT]
King Charles ‘visibly moved’ hearing God Save the King for first time [ANALYSIS]
US Professor slams ‘violent oppressor’ Queen AGAIN [INSIGHT]
He said: “When he repeatedly tried to fob her off, the Queen lightly slapped him across the face, saying ‘Don’t’ — SLAP — ‘argue’ — SLAP — ‘with’ — SLAP — ‘me’ — SLAP — ‘I’ — SLAP — ‘am’ — SLAP — ‘THE QUEEN!’
“That seemed to do the trick. As he left, she saw me staring at her, gave me a wink and walked off.”
Last week, former Prime Minister Theresa May told a brilliant story about the time she dropped a piece of cheese on the floor during a picnic at Balmoral Castle. Mrs May picked the cheese up and put it on her plate, only to realise the Queen was watching the entire time.
Mrs May then said: “I looked at her, she looked at me, and she just smiled. The cheese remained on the table.”