Queen Elizabeth II became Head of the Commonwealth in 1952, which makes her the world’s longest-reigning queen. You might expect that a leader with such a busy and, at times, stressful role to have a severe demeanour, but this is not the case for Elizabeth. She is, in fact, renowned for her sharp wit and, at times, biting humour. Whether she’s having a laugh to herself or providing amusement for others, she has a great sense of humour on her. Here are some iconic moments, where she has told a hilarious joke, thrown shade at someone, or is just generally doing amusing things.
NO.1 – Smelly Scenes
This pony is trying to steal the Queen’s thunder here, by the looks of things. The photo was taken as the Queen was greeted by the Royal Regiment of Scotland and their mascot Cruachan IV, a Shetland pony that obviously just couldn’t hold it in any longer.
The guard standing next to the Queen appears to be very amused by this, understandably, but was the Queen amused? It is hard to know whether she is looking down in embarrassment or trying to hide her laughter. We are assuming it was the latter, since shortly afterwards, after she had escaped from the smelly situation, she broke into a wide smile.
NO.2 – Sharing A Moment
It’s always pleasant to witness people laughing until it hurts, but it always makes you feel like you want to get in on the fun yourself. Here is a photo of the Queen and her prince when they were young. We want to get in on the joke!
This picture was taken on May 11, 1963. These two have shared many hilarious moments over the years. They seem to have a very similar sense of humour. We hope you have laughed this hard recently – we all need it every once in a while!
NO.3 – Amused
In this photo, taken in 2005, Prince Philip had to wear his uniform and bearskin hat at Buckingham Palace. We don’t know if he said something silly to the Queen as she walked past or if she just finds his outfit amusing.
All we know is that the couple shared giggles in this moment. Don’t they look so wholesome!? You would think that she wouldn’t bat an eyelid seeing him wearing this, since she is used to being around that kind of attire all the time, but this clearly wasn’t the case.
NO.4 – Selfie With The Queen
This incredible selfie was posted by Twitter user Jayde Taylor during the 2014 Commonwealth Games. She and another member of the Australian hockey team are being photo-bombed by a very unexpected face in this photo: the Queen herself! This came as even more of a surprise, since she wasn’t even scheduled to attend the games.
Jayde wrote: “Ahhh the Queen photo-bombed our selfie!!” The Queen is sporting a huge smile in this photo – we love to see it! The royals are generally advised against taking selfies with fans, but the Queen clearly took it upon herself to get involved in this one!
NO.5 – Fun And Games At The Market
Whether she is at the races, or the fish market, the Queen seems to have quite an effect on people. She is always making the people around her laugh. Her charm is infectious. We would love to know what she says to warrant this kind of reaction!
This photo was taken at the local market in Cork, Ireland. Even the people behind are looking as if they want to get in on the action! It looks as if she has just finished her joke, and the man with his hands on the seafood is loving it!
NO.6 – Digging
This one is a real sight to behold. Perhaps some trousers and a t-shirt would have been more appropriate attire, then again, the Queen does have to keep up appearances at all times. This is not the only time that this has happened either.
In 1991, the Queen travelled to Washington, D.C. There, she made an official visit to the White House where she and then-President George H.W. Bush planted a linden tree on the South Lawn. In 1937, Elizabeth’s father King George VI planted the same type of tree there, but it was unfortunately lost in a storm in 1990, so the Queen replaced it.
NO.7 – Christmas
In April 2018, Queen Elizabeth gave a tour of Buckingham Palace for a documentary called The Queen’s Green Planet. When the topic of Christmas came up, the Queen seized the opportunity to have a light-hearted jibe at Princes William and Harry.
“The problem is the children love knocking [the ornaments] off. My great-grandchildren do. Even the grandchildren [William and Harry] still.” She then explained her technique for stopping them from misbehaving: “The great thing is to make them decorate it – then they’re a bit more careful,” she teased.
NO.8 – Bad Influence
It’s never a dull moment when you’re in the company of the Queen. If she’s not making foreign dignitaries laugh, she’s busy cracking up the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards. She makes it look like a piece of cake!
The uniformed officers sat down to pose for a photo and the Queen managed to make them laugh instantly. They’re supposed to be looking at the camera, not at her. The one next to her seems to be particularly amused.
NO.8 – Like Grandmother, Like Grandson
For most people, being inspected by the Queen whilst at work would be a hugely intimidating prospect. However, if you’re the grandson of the Queen, you might not be able to prevent yourself from cracking a cheeky smile as she passes.
This is exactly what happened when this photo was taken. It is the moment that Harry graduated from Sandhurst Military Academy back in 2006. It is unclear whether the Queen or Prince Harry was the first of the pair to smile as they exchanged eye contact, but they both look very mischievous!
NO.9 – Cracking Time
In 1986, the Queen and Prince Philip went on a state visit to New Zealand. As the pair traveled through Auckland in an open vehicle, their car was pelted with eggs by two women dressed as police officers, in an act of protest. They were protesting a treaty between the British Crown and New Zealand’s native Maoris which had been signed over a century earlier.
The Queen was hit on the thigh with one of the eggs. While she was clearly unhappy about the attack at the time, as you would be, she joked about it further down the line: “New Zealand has long been renowned for its dairy produce, though I should say that I myself prefer my New Zealand eggs for breakfast,” she cracked.
NO.10 – Painting
Both Queen Elizabeth II and Kate Middleton have visited artist Lucian Freud’s exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London. Freud was known for having his subjects pose (often nude) for long periods of time while he painted them.
On the day that she visited the Gallery, she was asked by the art curator if she, herself, had ever posed for Lucien Freud. She purportedly smiled and said: “Yes, but not like that.” The portrait in question was included in an exhibit at Windsor Castle.
NO.11 – Mother-In-Law Entertainment
This is probably one of our favourites. The Queen and her daughter-in-law, Kate, seem to share a lovely bond and this photo says it all. Kate is looking adoringly at her mother-in-law, clearly very amused by her.
This picture was taken in Nottingham, England. The pair were enjoying a children’s sporting event together. It looks as if she has made a comment about the performance of one of the children. She’s only messing, of course!
NO.12 – Ronald Regan Has Lost It
This photograph of Queen Elizabeth and President Reagan was taken at a state dinner in San Francisco during one of her official visits to the United States. While the Queen only seems to have a slight smirk on her face, whatever she has just said has really got Reagan going.
With her usual deadpan delivery, Queen Elizabeth had just made a joke about the northern California weather. “I knew before we came that was had exported many of our traditions to the United States,” she said. “But I had not realised before that weather was one of them.”
NO.13 – Is That The Queen?
Have you ever been in a situation where you think you see a celebrity, then double take and realise that you are mistaken? Well, this is what happened to a woman except that she wasn’t actually mistaken, unbeknown to her.
The woman was out on the walk when she caught sight of the Queen in casual dress. The woman commented that she “looked just like the Queen.” Rather than responding politely, the Queen took this opportunity to have a jab and replied: “How reassuring.” That woman must have been lost for words.
NO.14 – Teasing Thatcher
In the days when Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister, she and Queen Elizabeth II attended a diplomatic reception at Buckingham Palace. The two women were known for often clashing, and the Queen liked to mimic Thatcher’s accent.
Thatcher didn’t attend the reception the previous year, and when she showed up the following year, she claimed that she felt faint and needed to rest. Elizabeth II laughed at the situation and reportedly said to a guest: “Oh, look! She’s keeled over again.”
NO.15 – Unimpressed
The Queen has met many musicians over the years, including the likes of Elton John, The Beatles, The Spice Girls, and The Rolling Stones. She famously refused to knight Mick Jagger for putting his sister in danger and partying too hard with her.
The Queen attended a concert performed by the Everly Brothers in the 1960s that she was reportedly very unimpressed by. They were an American country-rock band. After they had finished performing the song “Cathy’s Clown,” the Queen turned to her lady-in-waiting and exclaimed: “They sound like two cats being strangled.”
NO.16 – Always The Joker
At one particular event, Queen Elizabeth II was chatting with her first cousin, Margaret Rhodes, and her husband, Denys Rhodes. Denys was a thriller writer, best known for his novel The Syndicate, which was later adapted into a film.
At one point during the conversation, Elizabeth II asked Denys about his progress on his latest novel. He told her: “I desperately need a title.” The Queen apparently replied: “I cannot think of a reason for giving you one.” She’s good!
NO.17 – Bright Colours
Queen Elizabeth II is always dressed up in very extravagant attire, as is expected of a monarch. She always goes out wearing the Royal Jewels, fancy hats, and she is often wearing very bright colours when she makes public appearances.
When asked why she chooses to wear such bright outfits, she replied: “If i wore beige, nobody would know who I am.” Of course, there is no chance that people wouldn’t recognise her – she is the Queen after all!
NO.18 – The Queen Catches Bats
Many of us would squeal and run as far away as possible if they found a spider in the room. For the Queen, this certainly isn’t the case. In fact, she has actually caught bats at Windsor Castle. Brian Hoey, a journalist who often reports on the royal family, backs this claim.
Hoey said: “In the later afternoon, it was quite common to see Her Majesty call for a butterfly net so that she could catch the bats which infest the upper reaches of the castle. She would catch them in the net, hand them to me and tell me to let them go outside. She was always very strict about them not being harmed.”
NO.19 – Out Of The Way, Commander
One of the most important aspects of the Queen’s job, is keeping up public appearances. It is important for her to greet crowds and to wave, wherever she goes. On one of these occasions, the Queen was on a state visit, and the crowd was particularly large.
She rode in the Royal Carriage, however, the crowd’s view of her was obstructed by an escort commander. The Queen wasn’t going to stand back and let this happen. Instead, she had a word with the commander: “Actually, captain, I think it’s me they’ve come to see.” This must have been a little embarrassing for him.
NO.20 – Sharing A Joke
It is not clear who cracked the joke in this one, since both have a big grin on their face, but we think we have an idea. We know that the Queen has a knack for making people smile, this wouldn’t be the first time, or the last.
This photo was taken on October 13, 1986. The Queen has just arrived at a banquet during a royal visit in China. Here, she is sharing a funny moment with former Chinese President, Li Xiannian. It must have been a good joke!