Quirky tales from the royal family

Like the time a guard failed to recognise the Queen!

We’re all fascinated by the royal family but what do we actually know about them as people?

Thomas Blaikie’s new book, What A Thing To Say To The Queen: A Collection Of Royal Anecdotes From The House Of Windsor, is here to help us fill in the gaps.

He’s collected the most hilarious and touching stories about the royals which will have you looking at them in a new light!

Click through to discover more about your favourites inside Buckingham Palace.

The Queen collects pepper grinders. One of her favourites, a present from a friend, came from an Italian restaurant in the shape of a plastic waiter. When you turn the head for pepper, it shrieks with a joke Italian accent: “You’re breaking my neck!” which the Queen is said to find most amusing.

The Queen drew up at the Royal Windsor Horse show in 1991 where she was greeted by a guard saying: “Sorry love, you can’t come in without a sticker.”

The Queen, unfazed by the incident, replied: “I think if you check, I will be allowed to come in!”

The guard later admitted he thought she was “some old dear” who was lost.

The Queen’s handbag contains good luck charms from her children, including miniature dogs and horses, and family photos.

Another reason it never leaves her side is because it’s used as a signalling device. Placed on the table it means she wishes to leave in five minutes. Switched from arm to arm means she must move on and talk to someone else.

Because Prince William is such a fan, a second cake made entirely of McVitie’s chocolate biscuits was served at the reception of his wedding to Kate Middleton.

After arriving in America for a state visit in 1991, the Queen found herself struggling to see over the top of a podium as she delivered her speech.

President George Bush Sr had been asked to pull out a small platform for the Queen to stand on. But as he forgot, all the crowd could see was ‘a talking hat’.

If the Imperial State Crown isn’t available (it is usually on display at the Tower of London), the Queen practises for the State Opening of Parliament with a sack of flour on her head of equivalent weight.

“The Queen will be here at teatime,” a courtier once told a young Prince Harry at Sandringham. To which he asked: “Who’s the Queen?”

As a young adult Princess Elizabeth enjoyed a breakfast of bacon and eggs with a cup of tea. Nowadays the Queen has toast and marmalade, but she offers most of it to her corgis.

Unfazed by Michael Fagan, the intruder who broke into her bedroom in 1982, the Queen settled into her bed after his removal so that she could enjoy her tea as planned.

Shortly after their marriage, the Queen and Prince Philip went to Rome for her birthday. Although she wanted to celebrate with a low-key dinner at a restaurant, Philip organised a grand Embassy party.

The Queen was so annoyed with Philip that she didn’t speak to him for several days.

The Queen was lunching at Windsor Castle with racing friends. “Boeing 747,” she said as a plane flew overhead. Then she said: “That’s an Airbus.”

As Windsor is right next to Heathrow, planes can be heard roaring past at all hours. The Queen can identify each type by its different sound.

Prince Charles often takes a nap whilst at dinner parties. Hostesses in the know continue talking and no one notices. Even two minutes ‘out’ is said to refresh him completely.

Famous for wearing colourful clothing, the Queen once remarked: “I can’t wear beige because people won’t know who I am.”

One Christmas Day, a junior footman thought the Queen was getting up from the table so he removed her chair for her.

Unfortunately, she wasn’t, and as the Queen went to sit back down she fell straight to the floor.

Surprised but unhurt, the Queen was soon as amused as the rest of her family.

“Run him down!” Princess Margaret would order her chauffeur if she saw Tommy Lascelles, her elderly neighbour at Kensington Palace.

As the Queen’s private secretary he was against her relationship with divorced Group Captain Peter Townsend. The Princess was forced to give up her lover and blamed Tommy for ruining her life.

The Queen Mother had such a wonderful collection of hats that her attendants would often try them on for fun.

She found out and told the staff: “I quite understand if you want to wear my hats and other things, but do try to put them back where you found them!”

To avoid arriving late, Prince Philip has given his valet the task of feeding him sandwiches while he drives.

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