Queen in disguise: Monarch’s witty reply to US tourists asking, ‘Have you met the Queen?’

Queen discusses reaching her Platinum Jubilee

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Queen Elizabeth II, 96, kicks off her Platinum Jubilee celebrations on Thursday to mark her 70-year reign. Britain’s longest-serving monarch will be honoured with four days of events held across an extended bank holiday weekend. As the nation gears up for the festivities, many may be remembering their favourite moments from Her Majesty’s seven decades on the throne.

One of the more unusual stories about the Queen is when she bumped into some US tourists near the grounds of Balmoral.

The monarch had gone out walking, dressed in tweeds and a headscarf, and was unrecognisable to the Americans.

The tale was recounted by one of Her Majesty’s former protection officers, Richard Griffin at an event in 2016, according to The Times.

The former staffer claimed the Queen, who is known for her sense of humour, was keen to remain anonymous.

One of the Americans is said to have asked her: “Do you live ‘round here?”

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Her Majesty said that she did have a house nearby, referring to Balmoral, her Scottish estate.

The tourists then asked her: “Have you ever met the Queen?”

The monarch replied, “No,” before gesturing at the policeman, who was accompanying her and said: “But he has.”

The group of tourists then left; unaware they had just met one of the most famous women in the world.

Mr Griffin, who told the story, is a retired Metropolitan police officer who worked closely with the Royal Family for more than 30 years.

Balmoral’s sprawling grounds have provided the Royal Family with a secluded retreat for more than 150 years.

Balmoral is where the Queen usually spends her summer holiday and is sometimes said to be her favourite royal residence.

Royal commentator Neil Sean summed up Balmoral’s appeal to the royals during one of the Queen’s breaks to the area in 2019 and recalled her encounter with the Americans.

Speaking to Nine News Australia, he said: “She’s up in Balmoral having a holiday, just relaxing.

“The Queen goes out and about in the grounds, not just hers but outside.

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“American tourists were there just having a walk and they failed to recognise Her Majesty the Queen.

“She dresses down, of course, she’s not in the fluorescent outfits we all see her in when she’s on walkabouts.”

He added: “They said to her, ‘hey, have you ever met the Queen?’

“And she said, ‘well, no, not me personally. But this gentleman here who is a policeman has’.

“So, they were more interested in the policeman who’d met the Queen than the actual Queen there.”

Although Balmoral offers the royals a rural escape, the Queen still has to carry out some of her regular duties, according to The Sunday Times’ royal correspondent Roya Nikkhah.

Speaking to Yahoo UK’s The Royal Box, she said: “For her [The Queen], although it’s her great three-month-long holiday, work goes on as usual.”

She added: “Her private secretaries are always up there, so the three private secretaries will rotate.

“There will always be a court up at Balmoral with private secretaries, press secretaries, equerries, so everything moves up.”

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