Queen Elizabeth II, who passed away at Balmoral Castle in Scotland on Thursday, is remembered by the British public as an unwavering, steadfast monarch who lead the kingdom through turbulent times over the past 70 years.
But a story recounted by a former bodyguard revealed a humorous side of the monarch that she rarely showed the public.
Richard Griffin, also known as Dick, served as the queen’s royal protection officer. He recounted the story to Sky News during Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee last June.
Griffin once accompanied the queen when she was walking in hills outside of Balmoral when two American tourists on vacation reportedly approached her.
One hiker – not aware of who he was speaking to – asked the queen where she lived. She replied that she lived in London and said she had a holiday home nearby, but did not specify that she was referring to Balmoral.
The hiker then asked her if she had ever met the queen.
“I haven’t, but Dick here meets her regularly,” Elizabeth reportedly said. The hiker immediately turned his attention to the bodyguard and asked him what the monarch was like in person.
“I was with her a long time and I knew I could pull her leg,” Griffin said. “I said ‘oh, she can be very cantankerous at times, but she’s got a lovely sense of humor.'”
Overjoyed, the hiker unwittingly asked the queen if she could take his picture with Griffin.
“Before I could see what was happening, he gets his camera and gives it to the queen and says ‘can you take a picture of us?'” Griffin recounted.
Elizabeth took a picture of the two before Griffin took the camera and photographed the queen with the unknowing tourists.
“I’d love to be a fly on the wall when he shows those photographs to friends in America and hopefully someone tells him who I am,” the queen allegedly told Griffin.
Former U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom Woody Johnson also remembered the queen’s sense of humor on “The Ingraham Angle” on Thursday.
“The resolve, the humor, you’ve got to be on your toes. You had to be on your toes with her,” Woody recalled. “She was very, very quick. She had an incredible memory on almost any subject.”
Reuters contributed to this article.