Despite the discretion and reserve inseparable from her function, Queen Elizabeth II, throughout her long reign, revealed a very ‘British’ sense of humor through mischievous jokes, staged or not, and unexpected and funny appearances. Anthology.
The world mourned the loss of Britain after the death of Elizabeth II on Thursday 8th September. And in the rain of tributes to the Queen, many refer to her sense of humor. Like Joe Biden, Emmanuel Macron evoked “that deliciously British humour” of the monarch, who on many occasions has displayed a mischievous mood and an impressive sense of irony.
“Are you supposed to look like you’re having fun?” she spontaneously exclaimed during an official G7 photo in 2021, provoking the hilarity of the heads of state present at her side.
Her Majesty and James Bond
But her most memorable stunt will undoubtedly remain her participation in a video filmed for the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, in which she plays herself.
Surrounded by her favorite corgis, she welcomes James Bond, played by Daniel Craig, to Buckingham Palace in a tuxedo, the famous British spy’s favorite work outfit. “Good evening, Mr. Bond,” she told him before the couple drove to a helicopter. After flying over the English capital, the two figures with parachutes in the colors of the Union Jack jump over the Olympic Stadium to the musical theme 007.
While the jump was apparently performed by a professional stuntman, the Queen then appears in the stands of the stadium, dressed in the same way, to the applause of an astonished crowd.
Surprise appearance alongside Paddington
To mark the celebrations of her 70th reign last June, the Queen reserved a new surprise for her subjects by appearing alongside Paddington Bear, the icon of British children’s literature. In this clip, released in the preamble to a concert celebrating the platinum anniversary, they sit across from each other and drink tea.
While Paddington offers Elizabeth II a sandwich – with the statement “keep one in case of emergency” – the queen surprises him: “Me too. I keep mine here”, she replies and takes a sandwich out of her handbag.
This appearance is the last in which the Queen plays her image.
A royal response to the Obama couple
Between those two most notorious appearances, Elizabeth II had responded to Prince Harry in a 2016 promotional clip for the Invictus Games, an international sporting event created by the Queen’s grandson for wounded soldiers.
The video in question is a response to the Obama couple who first drew a clip for Prince Harry. “Hey Prince Harry, remember when you told us to give our all for the Invictus Games?” said Michelle Obama. “Be careful what can happen to you,” adds her husband, somewhat provocatively, because in 2014, at the first edition of these games, the United Kingdom prevailed with a total of 111 medals.
Harry appears alongside his grandmother, whom he hired for the occasion. As he pretends to explain the essence of the Invictus games to her, he is interrupted by the ringing of his cell phone, which reads the word “Flotus” – an abbreviation for “First Lady of the United States”. This post contains the video with Barack Obama. At the end, the queen shrugs. “Oh really? Please,” she says in a mock dismissive tone.
“Looks like President Trump”
In 2018, Elizabeth II made a documentary about the environment alongside the famous British naturalist and environmentalist Sir David Attenborough, in the middle of a discussion, was interrupted by the sound of a helicopter flying overhead.
The monarch was quick to joke about the plethora of escorts who often accompany American presidents on their travels: “Why are they always walking around when you want to talk? They look like President Trump or President Obama.”
When the Queen captures two American tourists
The Queen didn’t just joke about the US President’s escort. He also sometimes played pranks on total strangers. According to an anecdote reported in 2019 by Richard Griffin, Elizabeth II’s former security guard, the latter was having fun with two American tourists she didn’t recognize while walking in the grounds of the royal residence of Balmoral, Scotland .
One of the two tourists strikes up a conversation with the Queen, who he asks if she lives in the area. Elizabeth II then replies that she lives in London but has been coming to Balmoral “for 80 years”. “You must have met the queen?” asks the tourist, amused. Elizabeth II immediately tells her no, but states that her boyfriend Richard Griffin “sees her regularly”.
The tourists then ask the security guard to have their picture taken with them and entrust their camera to…the Queen. The tourists take a picture with the sovereign, not realizing their mistake.
After this meeting, Elizabeth II would have confided to Richard Griffin that she would have liked to be a little mouse to be there when the two visitors showed these photos to their friends.
Photobombing Her Majesty
The Queen also framed Jayde Taylor and Brookie Peris, two players from Australia’s ice hockey team, photographed during the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
The Queen signs what is arguably the most significant “photobombing” in history, appearing in the background of her selfie with a big smile on her face. When Jade Taylor discovered the Queen’s presence in the picture, she posted the photo, which unsurprisingly circulated on social media.
“I don’t count, I”
At a reception at Sandringham House for members of the local community and volunteer groups, Elizabeth II is presented with a cake to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee. Lady Philippa Dannatt, Lord-Lieutenant of Norfolk, explains to him that the cake was placed upside down on the table so photographers could see the anniversary logo directly.
The Queen, who was asked to cut a piece of the pie in front of the photographers, was not offended. On the contrary, she took the opportunity to launch a joke full of self-mockery: “It doesn’t bother me, I don’t count myself among them.”
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