She may have to remain poised and serious when on royal engagements, but the Queen has now given a rare glimpse at her incredibly witty sense of humour on camera.
While it’s usually her husband Prince Philip leaving guests and fans in fits of laughter with his one-liners, Her Majesty has now been praised by TV viewers for effortlessly delivering her own series of funny remarks – managing to put her nervous guests at ease within seconds.
In new footage from the second part of Queen Of The World – set to air on Channel 7 on Tuesday, October 9 – the 92-year-old monarch was seen hosting a small gathering with three young (and very nervous) Commonwealth leaders.
While the youngsters appeared lost for words at times, the Queen proved a natural after years of practice as she expertly put them at ease with some light-hearted comments – turning the daunting private Buckingham Palace audience into more of an informal chat.
At one point during the chat, the Queen made a surprising joke to a Tonga women’s rights activist, Elizabeth Kiteabout, about some nose flutes she heard during her visit there in 1953.
“We had people playing nose flutes outside our window,” she said. “The most extraordinary thing… It sounds awfully uncomfortable but they play rather well.”
She swiftly followed it with yet another funny comment, as she admitted: “The only thing I found difficult was sitting crossed-legged.”
As Kiteabout responded by saying it can prove uncomfortable, the Queen agreed and added: “It’s quite painful for people who are not built in the same direction.”
Sitting crossed-legged is a custom in Tonga and Her Majesty was indeed seen in the position during her visit at the time.
After watching the TV show when it aired in England this week, viewers rushed to praise her funny remarks and ability to change the atmosphere in the room instantly, with one writing on Twitter: “I’m enjoying watching this audience with the Queen, it seems quite informal, like a chat.”
Another added: “I spend most of my time watching with tears in my eyes,” and one wrote: “Actually crying at #QueenOfTheWorld… I bloody love her.”
It wasn’t the only time the Queen showed a hint of her humour on the day and minutes before welcoming the young leaders, she was filmed speaking to staff off camera – dropping some brutal sarcasm as they accidentally appeared to open the wrong door for her guests.
After asking one of them to “open that door”, she quickly said: “No not that one, this one… Thank you. Otherwise they can’t get in!”
Meanwhile, in another clip from the show, Her Majesty joined her grandson Prince Harry as they greeted guests including Olympic champion Mo Farah. When Harry turned to his grandmother in front of the sports hero to explain that he would be retiring at the end of the year, she joked: “Well he has run an awful long way!”
Elsewhere, more footage then showed her meeting Governor General of Papua New Guinea, Sir Robert Dadae, as he was knighted by her in a private room. Standing up to speak to her afterwards, he was stood with his back to the camera, prompting the Queen to guide him round as she pointed out: “Turn around because that’s where the camera is!”
Part 2 of Queen of the World will air on Tuesday, October 9 at 7.30pm on Channel 7.