What did Queen Elizabeth say when asked ‘have you ever met the queen?’
The story of how Queen Elizabeth handled her encounter with an American hiker who did not recognize her, narrated by a former bodyguard who had accompanied her that day, reveals the fun side of the story. Her personality is rarely seen by the public.
She died on Thursday at the age of 96 after more than 70 years on the throne.
Former royal guard officer Richard Griffin, known as Dick, said the king was in the hills near her Scottish castle in Balmoral when two American tourists on a walking holiday approached and one of them they talked to her.
The hiker asked the queen where she lived, so she told London, adding that she has a lodge right up in the hills and has been visiting the area for over 80 years since she was a little girl. She did not say that she was referring to Balmoral.
Realizing that the castle was nearby, the hiker then asked her if she had ever met the queen, Griffin said.
Griffin told Sky News during the 70th anniversary of Elizabeth’s accession to the throne earlier this year.
The hiker asked Griffin what the monarch was like in person.
“Because I’ve been with her for a long time and I know I can pull her legs (teasing her), I said ‘oh, she can be tough sometimes, but she has lovely sense of humour,” said Griffin.
Delighted, the hiker then put his arm around Griffin’s shoulder and asked if he could take a picture of the two of them together.
“Before I could see what was happening, he took his camera and gave it to the queen and said ‘can you take a picture of us?'”
The queen forced, and then Griffin grabbed the camera and took a picture of her with the pair of hikers.
Later, Griffin said, the queen told him, “I love being a fly on the wall when he shows his friends in America those pictures and hopefully someone will tell him I am. Who is.”
(Reporting by Estelle Shirbon; Editing by Mike Collett-White)