A stiff upper lip and a keep-calm-and-carry-on demeanour have always been her way – but Her Majesty can let her guard down, as these wonderfully quirky and candid pictures show. The late Richard Crossman, who got to know the queen when he was a Labour Party politician, once said she “laughs with her whole face”. “She often can’t just assume a mere smile because she’s really a spontaneous person,” he said.
In private moments she’s been known to give in to howls of laughter, especially when she was around her late husband, Prince Philip, and her quips have become the stuff of legend.
Once, when walking in the grounds of Balmoral with her bodyguard, the queen encountered a group of US tourists who clearly didn’t recognise her.