Queen Elizabeth II’s surprising fun side laid bare – ‘not as formal as people imagine!’

Queen making lifestyle changes due to age says Fitzwilliams

Sophia Bennett has extensively researched the habits and personality of Queen Elizabeth II by talking to Buckingham Palace sources for her new novel, The Windsor Knot. It is the story of an alternate Queen who is a crime-solving detective around her usual royal responsibilities.

Ms Bennett, who publishes under the name SJ Bennett, has been interested in the royal family since Her Majesty’s Silver Jubilee in 1977.

But she told Yahoo Style UK the Queen, 94, “is not nearly as formalistic as people might imagine”.

She said: “You might see her wandering around Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle.

“If staff see her they might give her a brief nod or curtsy but she does not expect them to drop everything they were doing.

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“[The Queen] can play with protocol – she does not break it, but she is not nearly as formalistic as people might imagine.”

The Royal Family’s official website states: “There are no obligatory codes of behaviour when meeting The Queen or a member of the Royal Family, but many people wish to observe the traditional forms.”

Traditional etiquette includes a neck bow for men and a small curtsy for women, while others prefer a simple handshake.

Correct formal address is ‘Your Majesty’ followed by ‘Ma’am’ thereafter.

The Queen turns 95 in April and this has led to speculation that she could retire.

However, Buckingham Palace has said the Queen has no intention of stepping down.

Husband Prince Philip turns 100 in June, a milestone he once said he had “no desire whatsoever” to reach.

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It means his wife of 73 years will be preparing a customary letter, received by all 100-year-old Britons, to mark his centenarian year.

Aged 80, ahead of celebrations for The Queen Mother’s 100th, he quipped: “I can’t imagine anything worse.

“Bits of me are falling off already.”

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