Queen Elizabeth Couldn’t Stand 1 Buckingham Palace Visitor

Queen Elizabeth smiles and shakes hands with everyone she meets but that doesn’t mean she likes everyone. In fact, the longest-reigning monarch in British history has a few subtle clues that show when she’d like to end a conversation with someone that they surely don’t even notice.

The queen is an expert at looking like she gets along with all her visitors. Since she follows the royal tradition of never voting or expressing political sentiments, no one knows precisely which of her honored guests have been friends or foes.

That is, except for the one time she hid from a communist dictator to avoid speaking to him.

Queen Elizabeth and Nicolae Ceaușescu
Queen Elizabeth and Nicolae Ceaușescu | Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images

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Queen Elizabeth has hosted plenty of controversial guests

Over her 65 year reign, the queen has hosted hundreds of foreign dignitaries, including many communist and other controversial guests who she most likely didn’t agree with. Queen Elizabeth has famously met every single United States president since she took the throne except for Lyndon B. Johnson. She most recently invited President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, the visit her at Buckingham Palace.

Some other controversial leaders she hosted include Russian president Vladimir Putin, Syrian leader Bashar-Al-Assad, and Robert Mugabe, the dictator from Zimbabwe.

The queen secretly couldn’t stand Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu

Queen Elizabeth and Nicolae Ceausescu
Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh with President Nicolae Ceausescu of Romania and his wife Madame Elena Ceausescu | PA Images via Getty Images

Her Majesty has done a fantastic job pretending to get along with her Buckingham Palace visitors who she didn’t like. But there was one incident in 1978 that proved the queen is human, too.

Nicolae Ceaușescu and his wife Elena arrived at Queen Elizabeth’s home for a four-day state visit in 1978 and though the queen was on board with hosting the Romanian dictator, she did not enjoy making conversation with him. The ITV documentary Our Queen: Inside the Crown, recalled how the press questioned Her Majesty’s decision to host them, Insider reported.

“The press started to question the foreign secretary,” Robert Hardman said in the documentary. He claimed the media began asking, “Why are we inviting this monster to come to Britain?”

Queen Elizabeth hid from her guest

How do we know the queen didn’t like Ceaușescu? She hid from him.

“On the occasion when they were staying she took the corgis out for a walk in the palace gardens and she could see the Ceaușescus coming the other way,” Hardman continued.

“She thought, ‘I really can’t face talking to them,’ so the first and only time in her life, she actually hid in a bush in the palace gardens to avoid her guests.”

This extreme measure wasn’t typical for Her Majesty, but it proved she had her limits. “The queen puts up with many different people, but Ceaușescu was too much for her,” former British Foreign Secretary Lord David Owen said in the documentary. “She made it quite plain she didn’t like that visit.”

That wasn’t the only person Queen Elizabeth didn’t like

Queen Elizabeth and President Mobutu
President Mobutu of Zaire and Queen Elizabeth II | PA Images via Getty Images

Though the queen probably doesn’t love most of the visitors to her home, a few besides Ceaușescu got on Queen Elizabeth’s nerves. President Mobutu, the leader of Zaire, made the queen angry by smuggling his dog through customs for her visit.  

“President Mobutu of Zaire was definitely a low point,” Hardman said. “The queen was very unhappy about that.”

She’s kept mum about leaders she hates. But at least she doesn’t hide in the shrubbery for most of them.