She’s known for her cheeky sense of humour and quick-wit, and the Queen has showed off her playful personality once again. British soccer star Michael Owen recently revealed he was left “mortified” after the 93-year-old monarch scolded him at the Royal Ascot with a sassy remark, according to the Daily Mirror.
Owen, who enjoyed a successful career as a striker for the English national team and club Manchester United, opened up about the embarrassing run in he had with the monarch at the races. “When she [the Queen] walked into the royal lift there were perhaps 15 of us outside,” he explains in his new book ‘Reboot’, according to the news outlet.
He then said the Queen gestured for them to come in, saying ‘come on, we can all squeeze in’. Owen continues: “I obeyed – taking my hat off as I thought that correct etiquette.” But the Queen then made a surprising remark. According to the football star, the monarch said: “If you’d put your hat back on, we might all fit in.” He added: “I sheepishly put my hat on. I was mortified.”
“To this day I have absolutely no idea if she was joking,” he said. “Louise [Owen’s wife] was nudging me from the other side trying not to laugh because I’d been bollocked by the Queen.”
This isn’t the first time the Queen has given a rare glimpse at her incredibly witty sense of humour though as last year Her Majesty was praised by TV viewers for effortlessly delivering her own series of funny remarks – managing to put her nervous guests at ease within seconds.
In footage from the second part of Queen Of The World – which aired on Channel 7 in October last year – the 93-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.”
After watching the TV show when it aired in England, 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!”