The woman behind the crown: The Queen’s playful sense of humor and quick wit

The Queen is known for her devotion to her royal duty, her composure and her stoicism.

In the words of the late Duke of Edinburgh, she has “the quality of tolerance in abundance”.

As a 70-year-old monarch about to mark her platinum jubilee, her knowledge of constitutional matters, royal diplomacy and national life is unmatched.

The Queen after the official opening of Parliament in 2019 (Yui Mok/PA)

Not liking conflicts, Elizabeth II dislikes direct confrontation and avoids making rash decisions.

She is considered cautious, conservative and attached to tradition.

She was resolved after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, insisting that the flagpole should remain bare above Buckingham Palace, as was the tradition if the monarch was absent.

But such was the public outcry that ultimately, as a sign of respect, the Queen was advised to do so and relented by flying the Union flag at half mast above the palace on the day of Diana’s funeral.

Her love of horses, dogs and the outdoors has been a constant, and she once told her riding instructor “if she hadn’t been who she was, she would like to be a woman living in the countryside with many horses and dogs”.

The Queen
The Queen with some of her corgis marching at the Windsor Equestrian Trials in 1980 (PA)

In public, the Queen keeps her emotions in check – no more so than when she sat alone, holding back her grief, as she wept at Philip’s funeral.

But sometimes the depth of his feelings came to the surface.

His eyes lit up during the memorial service for the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001 and during the dismantling of his beloved Britannia in 1997.

She shed a tear in 2002 as she poignantly took the place of Queen Mother just months after her death at the opening of the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey.

The Queen
The Queen leaving St Paul’s Cathedral after a memorial service for those killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks (Toby Melville/PA)

Author Robert Hardman has told how the Queen cannot stand rudeness and discourages over-familiarity from staff, displaying a “cold stare” if anyone crosses the line.

Yet the Queen also has a lighter side.

She has a playful sense of humor, quick wit, excellent comedic timing, and is a talented impersonator.

When a group of American tourists encountered the queen wearing the headscarf walking in Balmoral, did not recognize her and asked her if she had met the queen before, the queen joked: “No, but he did. ‘, motioning to the policeman next to her.

In a 2018 BBC documentary examining her coronation, she delighted royal fans by manhandling the heavy and priceless Imperial State Crown, pulling it towards her, turning it upside down and saying: “That’s what I do when I wear it.”

And she laughed as she described how you couldn’t look down to read your speech because “your neck would break or it would fall off.”

In 2012, the Queen agreed to make a surprise appearance at Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony for the London Olympics, greeting 007 actor Daniel Craig at Buckingham Palace with the words “Good evening, Mr Bond” .

The scene ended with a brace from the Queen parachuting into the Olympic Stadium.

Seconds later, the real queen, wearing the same peach dress as the stuntwoman, entered the arena to rapturous applause.

Balmoral in the Scottish Highlands is the Queen’s favorite hideaway where, according to friends, she behaved quite differently – “rushing about in ratty clothes, laughing, joking, participating, singing dirty songs”.

But she remains the ‘boss’ of The Firm, advising her family on the right way to do things as she protects the monarchy at all costs.

When the Duke of Cambridge wanted to wear his RAF uniform to his wedding, the Queen insisted he instead wear his red Irish Guards tunic as Colonel of the Regiment – ​​his highest military role – at the place.

Diamond Jubilee Celebrations
The Queen and her grandson William during Diamond Jubilee celebrations (David Jones/PA)

“I was told emphatically ‘no, you’re going to wear that’.” said William. “That ‘no’ is a very good ‘no’. So you just do what you’re told.

He added: “She may be my grandmother, but she’s also the boss.”

When the Duke and Duchess of Sussex tried to step down as senior royals, to perform royal duties while earning their own money, the Queen stood firm – there would be no role to play. half for Harry and Meghan.

Ultimately, after a peak of crisis, they resigned as royals altogether and moved to California.

Prince Harry at Sandhurst
Harry smiles broadly as the Queen inspects him and other officers during the Sovereign’s Parade at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 2006 (James Vellacott/PA)

But the Queen has long been accused of being an ostrich when it comes to difficult family matters.

The Duke of York stepped down from public office more than two years ago, but only now has she stripped her son of his prestigious honorary military roles.

Eventually the Queen, no doubt backed by the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge, also made the difficult decision to stop Andrew using the HRH style, in a bid to steer the monarchy away from the Duke the year Jubilee as he faces a civil sexual assault trial.

De facto and resolute, she simply remarked, “Okay, let’s go. Stop messing around,” after being told by her private secretary that she would have to start paying income tax in 1992.

The Queen, despite her wealth, loves practical and fun gifts, and once warned Charles that ‘dog leashes cost money’ after taking her dogs for a walk in Sandringham and returning off-leash.

She also wasn’t averse to scolding the younger family members.

William described how he and his cousin Peter Phillips received an ‘almighty bollocking’ from the Queen after their antics with a quad

He said: ‘We were chasing Zara, who was on a go-kart, and Peter and I managed to herd Zara into a lamp post, and the lamp post fell and almost crushed her.

“I remember my grandma was the first person to come out at Balmoral, running across the lawn in her kilt, (she) came charging in and gave us the mightiest punch.”

About Paul Cox

Check Also

Rumors versus speculation, a BPA rant and the case of the goalie cart before the horse

Here I am on a Sunday evening fine-tuning a bottle of wine that needs to …