THE QUEEN AND I... A MAGIC MOMENT!; Top Celebrities Are Used to Dealing with Some Tough Audiences but How Do They Cope When They've Got an Audience with the Queen? LISA BURROW Asked Some Well-Loved Stars about the Right Royal Moment When They Met the Monarch

By Burrow, Lisa | The People (London, England), March 31, 1996 | Go to article overview

THE QUEEN AND I... A MAGIC MOMENT!; Top Celebrities Are Used to Dealing with Some Tough Audiences but How Do They Cope When They've Got an Audience with the Queen? LISA BURROW Asked Some Well-Loved Stars about the Right Royal Moment When They Met the Monarch


Burrow, Lisa, The People (London, England)


SINGER Elton John is said to be a regular guest of the Royal Family at Windsor, near one of his homes. "We get on fine - two queens together," he jokes.

"I remember once I was playing for Prince Andrew's 21st birthday party at Windsor Castle, but when I arrived there was no-one there but the dance band and Princess Diana. We danced the Charleston alone on the floor for 20 minutes when Princess Anne came up to me and said, `Would you like to dance?' I couldn't refuse so we went into this disco where the music was so quiet you could hardly hear it.

"As we were dancing, the Queen came in with one of her equerries and said, `Do you mind if I join you?' At that moment the music turned into Bill Haley's Rock Around The Clock. So there I was dancing Rock Around The Clock with the Queen of England."

SIR Cliff Richard was knighted last year and has met the Queen on numerous occasions. "But one of my favourite trips to the Palace was for a lunch with about a dozen, apparently randomly chosen, guests," he says. "I remember I was waiting in an ante-room rather nervously sipping sherry and anticipating the royal arrival. Would there be a formal announcement or even a trumpet fanfare?

"In fact it came in the form of a lot of snuffling as three plump and distinctly regal corgis stood framed in the open doorway and they as good as told us that Her Majesty had arrived. Seconds later the Queen, Prince Philip and Princess Anne came into the room and the ice was broken. Somehow the corgis had set the tone for a marvellously casual lunch.

"Despite the fact that the Queen has such a regal air she also has a wonderful way of being able to put people at their ease."

RAUNCHY writer Jilly Cooper says: "The Queen was guest of honour at a literary party I attended in London just after Prince Charles' children's book, The Old Man Of Lochnagar, had been published. We writers were all standing with our backs to the wall telling the Queen how hard it was to write stories and how the words often just dried up on us.

"The famous author Laurie Lee complained to her that he never used to have this problem when he was a young man, saying, `When I was younger the words used to rise like a fountain'.

"I nervously asked if Prince Charles suffered the same problems with his book and she mischievously replied, `Oh no, he's of an age where his words just rise like a fountain...' With that she burst into a fit of giggles and wandered off."

ACTRESS Maureen Lipman says: "I once went to dinner at Buckingham Palace with eight other people, including Her Majesty the Queen. I had a boiled potato speared on my fork and the two men either side of me started asking me a question at the same time. I turned my head each side, lost control of my arm and the potato shot off my fork and spun across the room on to the carpet.

"I had been eating solids for years and there was no reason for me to start throwing potatoes. Everyone ignored it - even the corgis."

COMEDIAN Frank Carson is a loyal fan of the Queen and has met her several times. "I remember once I was appearing in the Royal Variety Performance at the London Palladium," he says. "It was the end of my part of the show and I looked up to the royal box and said, `Your Majesty, I am with the Open University doing a course in biology and engineering so let me know if you ever want your corgis welded'. She laughed her head off and when she met me after the show she said, `Can I use your joke?' I said, `Well you know you'll have to give me a plug don't you', and she said, `Didn't you know - I'm the best mimic in the family'. Then she smiled and, in this perfect Belfast accent, said, `It's the way I tell 'em'."

MAGICIAN Paul Daniels says: "What did she say? She said, `Get out of the road, scruff'. No not really, that's an old joke.

"I had just done a Royal performance - I can't remember the exact year but it was in the early Eighties and she was with Prince Philip. …

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THE QUEEN AND I... A MAGIC MOMENT!; Top Celebrities Are Used to Dealing with Some Tough Audiences but How Do They Cope When They've Got an Audience with the Queen? LISA BURROW Asked Some Well-Loved Stars about the Right Royal Moment When They Met the Monarch
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