FROM THE ARCHIVE | Turns out the usually reserved queen is rather lively behind palace walls

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Queen Elizabeth (Photo: Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth (Photo: Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Stoic, reserved, polite . . . these are the words that usually come to mind when you think of 94-year-old Queen Elizabeth.

But there’s a whole other side to Her Majesty, according to royal biographer Sally Bedell Smith.

“The queen is much livelier in private than what the public sees,” the author of Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch told People.

(Photo: Gallo Images/Getty Images)
The Queen – seen here at Ascot in 2018 with her trainer Michael Bell – is known for having a great sense of humour and a "big laugh". (Photo: Gallo Images/Getty Images)

She quotes a source at Sandringham, the monarch’s country estate in Norfolk, once saying, “’You can hear her laugh throughout that big house. She has a big laugh!”

Queen Elizabeth is also surprisingly self-deprecating and can take the mickey out of herself.

On spotting herself on TV at her son Prince Charles’ wedding to Princess Diana, she quipped, “‘Oh, there’s my Miss Piggy face’,” Sally recalls. “She has the ability to laugh at herself.”

(Photo: Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Royal biographer Sally Bedell Smith (Photo: Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Her personal dresser, Angela Kelly (53), can attest to that too.

She recalls an incident during a photoshoot celebrating the queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012, when the monarch told photographer Barry Jeffery to “just keep the camera rolling” as she started “mimicking the stances of a professional model”.

“Her Majesty took her position in front of the lens and started striking a series of poses, slipping her hands in and out of her pockets and placing them on to her hips, like a model. I stood in disbelief. She was a natural.

“Barry and I felt we were experiencing something really special: a moment never to be repeated.”


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