When people think of Queen Elizabeth, many imagine her as a formal person all the time. After all, she’s known for having some bizarre rules that her family has to follow, so it can seem as if life is always serious business for her.
However, the truth is Her Majesty is actually not that different from everyday, average people. Elton John recently told of one humorous event he witnessed where Queen Elizabeth showed a completely different side than what we’re used to seeing.
Queen Elizabeth playfully slapped her nephew for disobeying her
In John’s upcoming memoir, Me, the singer recalled watching Queen Elizabeth reprimand her nephew, Viscount Linley, many years ago. John was at a party with a lot of royal family members. Here, David’s sister, Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones, was reportedly not feeling well and Queen Elizabeth asked her nephew to go take care of his sister. However, he refused, which led Her Majesty to make sure he understood who he was speaking to.
John wrote: “When he [Linley] 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!'”
Linley immediately did as he was told. When Queen Elizabeth saw that John had been watching the interaction, she gave him a wink before walking away.
John also added: “I know the Queen’s public image isn’t exactly one of wild frivolity, but… in private she could be hilarious.”
Queen Elizabeth does have a good sense of humor
John is definitely not wrong about the fact that Queen Elizabeth is a hilarious person. Over the years, there have been many instances where she showed her funny side in public.
For example, when Queen Elizabeth and Justin Trudeau were at a formal dinner in Malta, Trudeau remarked in his speech that he was the 12th Canadian prime minister to serve during Her Majesty’s 60-year reign. Queen Elizabeth delivered her own speech after Trudeau and said: “Thank you Mr. Prime Minister of Canada for making me feel so old.”
When she met George W. Bush in 2007, he made a small mistake by saying that the United States “celebrate its bicentennial in 17- in 1976.” Later on, the queen brought up his little blunder and said: “I wondered whether I should start this toast by saying, ‘When I was here in 1776 …'”
In another instance, a few tourists happened to meet the queen near Balmoral Castle in Scotland. According to her former protection officer, Richard Griffin, the tourists did not recognize Queen Elizabeth. They asked Her Majesty if she lived in the area and if she had met the queen. She said that she owned a home nearby, but she had not met the queen. However, she pointed to Griffin and told the tourists that he had.
At another time, Her Majesty also encountered tourists near Balmoral who told her that she looked quite like the queen. She responded with “How reassuring!”
What Queen Elizabeth is like as a mother and as a grandmother
Queen Elizabeth seems like a laid-back person when meeting common folks, and even with her family members, she is quite relaxed and funny as well.
The royal family has a tradition of giving each other gag gifts for Christmas, and the queen reportedly loves many of the presents she has received. For example, in 2013 Prince Harry gave her a funny shower cap that said “Ain’t life a b****.”
In the royal household, nicknames are also abundant. Prince William and Prince Harry calls the queen “Granny” while their children refer to her as “Gan-Gan.” Her husband, Prince Philip, allegedly calls her “Cabbage.”