After spending more than half of your life as public figure, you’d need to have a healthy sense of humor. Not only does it show a lighter side of your personality, but it’s healthy to laugh!

It’s even better when you’re the one cracking the jokes. You may not have guessed it, but Queen Elizabeth II has a bit of a comedic streak. Don’t be fooled by her earnest, regal exterior; this queen is full of wisecracks.

Not only does she love a good prank – which the royal family ceremoniously engages in each Christmas – but she knows how to deliver one-liners that can light up a whole room. In case you’ve missed some of those moments, we’re sharing some of them down below. As you read them, be sure to do so with her voice in mind.

  1. George W. Bush Gaffe

    During her visit to the White House in 2007, then-president George W. Bush had to correct himself when he said to the Queen, “You’ve helped our nation celebrate its bicentennial in 17- in 1976.”

    At a black tie event the next night, Queen Elizabeth smiled as she toasted, “I wondered whether I should start this toast by saying, ‘When I was here in 1776 … ‘ “

  2. Meeting Martin McGuinness

    Upon meeting with Martin McGuinness, a former member of the IRA and current Deputy First Minister in Northern Ireland, the Queen was greeted and asked if she was well. “Thank you very much. I’m still alive!” was her response.

    The IRA once led a campaign against the Crown. Her uncle was killed in an IRA bomb attack in 1979.

  3. On a Quiet Walk

    While strolling the grounds near her Scotland estate, Queen Elizabeth was told by a local that she looked just like the queen, and she responded with “How reassuring!”

  4. Castle Quip

    A friendly game of cricket was being played on the grounds of Windsor Castle between royal staff members and locals. Prince Philip and the Queen joined spectators on the sidelines. When the Queen overheard a young lady comment on how low planes were flying overhead, she said: “Yes, I cannot fathom why Victoria built Windsor so close to Heathrow.”

  5. Flower Assassination

    While attending the 2016 Chelsea Flower Show, the Queen chatted with herb gardener Jekka McVicar, who explained how lily of the valley was once used as a poison. The quick-witted queen told her, “I’ve been given two bunches this week. Perhaps they want me dead.”

  6. Tourist Interaction

    Her Majesty had some friendly chat with some American tourists while out and about, wearing one of her famous headscarves. When asked if she lived in the area, she said she had a house nearby, but when asked if she’d ever met the queen, she responded, “No, but he has.” She was pointing to her security detail.

  7. Corgi Defense

    It’s said that Princess Michael of Kent had once commented that sometimes she felt like shooting the Queen’s corgis. When word got back, the Queen remarked that the dogs were much better behaved than the princess.

  8. Band Performance

    In the 1960s, she once attended a performance by the Everly Brothers, who performed their song “Cathy’s Clown.” She shared with her lady-in-waiting that “They sound like two cats being strangled.”

  9. Margaret Thatcher Was Dizzy

    Margaret Thatcher suddenly felt faint while attending a reception at Buckhingham Palace. The Queen observed as Thatcher was asked to sit down and commented to a guest: “Oh look! She’s keeled over again.”

  10. Trudeau’s Toast

    At a summit dinner in Malta, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau discussed the Queen’s lengthy history with Canada. He mentioned that he was the 12th prime minister to serve during her 6 decade reign. During her speech right after him, she said, “Thank you Mr. Prime Minister of Canada for making me feel so old.”

  11. Incognito in the Woods

    A short stay in Scotland afforded the Queen time for a morning walk in the woods. She and her companion passed a local and they gave each other a courteous nod and “good morning”. Shortly after, the local could be heard saying “Oh my God!” upon realizing who she was. “No, not quite!” the Queen cracked.

A collection of some of the Queen funniest moments was chronicled in the book The Wicked Wit of Queen Elizabeth II by Karen Dolby. If you’re interested in an inside look at her sense of humor, you may want to check it out!

Would you love to swap jokes with the Queen? Did you know she was so witty? Which of these instances made you laugh too?

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