The Queen’s ability to laugh, even at herself, has been laid bare by a royal author. Sally Bedell Smith, who wrote Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch, recalled a particularly self-deprecating joke the monarch was heard making in the wake of the fairytale wedding of her heir to the throne.
Not long after the Prince and Princess of Wales married in late July 1981, the Queen attended a party in London during which Charles and Diana’s ceremony at St Paul’s Cathedral was being played.
Looking at the screen, the Queen spotted herself, which prompted an unexpected reaction.
Ms Bedell Smith told People magazine: “The Queen said, ‘Oh, there’s my Miss Piggy face’.
“She has the ability to laugh at herself.”
The Queen, the author added, is “much livelier” behind closed doors than when she carries out public duties.
Ms Bedell Smith said the monarch has “a big laugh” after a source at Sandringham House claimed the Queen’s laughter can be heard across the palace.
The insider, reported by the author, said: “You can hear her laugh throughout that big house.”
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The Queen has been heard making witty remarks in public even in recent years.
In 2019, the monarch visited the National Institute of Agricultural Botany near Cambridge to mark its centenary.
As a way to mark her visit, the Queen was due to plant a small tree in an already-dug hole.
As she approached the shovel ready for her to be used, the monarch reportedly told one of the attendees: “No, no, give me that shovel, let me plant the tree.
“I’m really not too old to plant trees.”
Recalling the extraordinary comment, royal author Juliet Rieden told Nine News Australia: “And she took the shovel, handed over her handbag and got on with the job.
“It was wonderful and it shows the playfulness of the Queen.
“I think afterwards she said something like ‘oh I expect they’ll replant that now’.
“But it shows she’s still really having fun in her job, which is great to see.”
Despite the ongoing pandemic, the Queen carried out a few face-to-face visits outside of Windsor Castle in late 2020.
In October, she visited Porton Down with Prince William, during which the pair officially launched the new Energetics Analysis Centre.
In November, a few days before the second national lockdown was enforced, the monarch visited the tomb of the Unknown Warrior at Westminster Abbey.
The visit also marked the first time the monarch was spotted in public wearing a face covering.
A few days later, the Queen joined over members of the Royal Family during a socially-distanced National Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph.