Queen Elizabeth Once Showed Her ‘Unkind’ Side by Calling Someone a ‘Gorilla’

Queen Elizabeth is known for being a private person. The general public often sees her when she is carrying out her royal duties, but she does not usually let people into her personal life. However, in one instance, Her Majesty let cameras follow her around, and it captured an “unkind” side to her when she called someone a “gorilla.”

Queen Elizabeth II | Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

A rarely-seen documentary of the royal family was uploaded to YouTube in January

There have been numerous documentaries made about the royal family, but rarely ever do they give viewers access into the personal lives of royals. However, in 1968 and 1969, the BBC followed Queen Elizabeth and her family around to produce a documentary called “Royal Family.” It gave viewers glimpses into the daily life of royals.

According to Huffpost, the documentary premiered in June 1969 and was watched by over 350 million people. However, it was later locked away and required Her Majesty’s permission to be shown again.

Nevertheless, in January 2021, a YouTube user uploaded the documentary in its entirety and allowed a new generation of royal fans to view it. Huffpost reported that it had 10,000 views before being taken down for copyright infringement.

Queen Elizabeth was seen calling someone a ‘gorilla’ in the documentary

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In one scene in the documentary, Queen Elizabeth sat at a table with Prince Philip, Prince Charles, and Princess Anne. She recalled the time she met with a man whom a staff member called a “gorilla.” Her Majesty thought it was an “unkind” description at first, but she later agreed with it, to the amusement of her family members.

“It’s extremely difficult sometimes to keep a straight face… he came in beforehand like they do and he said to me, ‘There’s a gorilla coming in,’” she shared, according to E! News. “So I said to him, ‘An extraordinary remark to make, very unkind, about anybody.’”

The queen continued, “I stood in the middle of the room and pressed the bell, and the doors opened and there was a gorilla! And I had the most terrible trouble in keeping – you know, he had a short body and long arms. And I had the most appalling trouble.”

Philip, Charles, and Anne all laughed at the story. Charles even commented, “If that happened to me, I would dissolve and walk out.”

Queen Elizabeth has a largely uncontroversial image

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Despite this situation, Queen Elizabeth has been able to cultivate a largely uncontroversial image throughout the decades.

For example, she is politically neutral and does not vote in elections. She also famously follows the royal motto of “never complain, never explain.” It instructs royals to stay quiet in public even in the face of scandals and negative press coverage.

Queen Elizabeth’s reputation took a hit in the 1990s after Princess Diana revealed that she had little support from the royal family amid her husband’s affair. However, over the years, she managed to rebuild her image and continues to be one of the most popular royals around.