There’s a popular image of Queen Elizabeth II as an uptight, proper, and rather humorless royal who would never in a million years crack a joke or tell an anecdote. If only that were true… In reality, Her Majesty has been tickling funny bones for decades with her wry one-liners and ability to connect with almost anyone (kind of like Robin Williams in Mrs. Doubtfirie). Okay, so maybe not everyone (maybe not Marty Feldman or Lance Armstrong). She has been known to have particular dislike of redheads and ginger ale, but beyond that we think it’s fair to say she has a pretty good sense of humor. Here are just a few examples why:
She’s pretty snappy with her one-liners
When Her Majesty meets someone that she’s heard of, but not necessarily met before, it’s common for her to make a quip along the lines of “Oh, so you’re Whoopi Goldberg?” If you’re caught off-guard and have no idea what she’s talking about, this can be a pretty embarrassing moment, but the Queen seems to have perfected it into an art form. And if she has you cornered and wants you to squirm a bit too, she’ll probably throw in a “I’ve been looking forward to this moment” too, just to make you sweat a little more.
It’s not just famous people she lobs these one-liners at, though. In fact, she’s pretty fond of joking with her staff as well. When a man turned up at Balmoral Castle to start work as the Queen’s new chauffeur, Her Majesty identified him as the new “Ghillie”—a Scots word for someone who looks after hunting. The poor man must have been utterly confused, but he was forced to grin and bear it, knowing he was at Her Majesty’s mercy.
She has a dry sense of humor.
The Queen’s sense of humor is definitely on the dry side, but that can make it all the more funny. She’s been known to crack jokes about her own age, and has a particular hatred of the phrase “old bat.” She’s also not particularly fond of “old bag,” and is known for saying “please don’t call me old bag, young lady” to anyone who does. She’s also not overly keen on the term “silver lining,” and likes to say “there’s no silver lining to a cloud.” Whenever she’s asked a question she considers silly, she has been known to respond with “why not?”
She can be self-deprecating
Like most people, the Queen has her own insecurities, and she’s not afraid to make fun of herself for them. She once joked that she was “an old soul trapped in a younger body,” and that she’d “like to be a bit more modern.” When Prince Philip had to have an operation, the Queen quipped that she was now “a widow,” and when talking to a group of young people about to become British citizens she joked “I’ve only been doing this for 75 years.”
She’s not afraid to make fun of herself
The Queen isn’t above making fun of herself and her own appearance too. When she was presented with a cake to celebrate her birthday, she quipped that it was “a bit rich,” and that she’d “eat a bit more of it next year.” When Prince Philip was caught swearing at a photographer he had been urged to apologize for his language, and the Queen ribbed him for it too. “You can’t put your foot in your mouth unless you put your foot in your mouth,” she quipped.
Bottom line: The Queen is funny AF, so don’t believe everything you read!
The Internet loves to make a big deal out of a few (relatively) minor incidents involving the Queen’s apparent lack of humor, and then generalize that to mean she has no sense of humor at all. Do not be deceived. The Queen may be reserved and dignified, but she is also a very funny lady who has been making people laugh for decades. If you ever get a chance to meet her, keep your ears peeled for her quips, and you may be in for a real treat. Rest in peace you old bat!
Guest Post by Royale Payne