Queen Elizabeth II Once Pranked American Tourists Who Didn’t Recognize Her And Asked If She Ever Met The Queen

Queen Elizabeth II smiles at an event.
Stefan Wermuth - WPA Pool / Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II apparently isn’t all prim and proper all the time, with a new report shining some light on the 93-year-old’s pranking abilities.

A new report from The Daily Mail recounted the time that the head of the British royal family was hanging around in the grounds of one of her castles, Balmoral Castle in Scotland when she encountered a group of American tourists. As the report noted, the group didn’t recognize the Queen, who was wearing a headscarf and was out of her royal duds, opting for more casual attire.

As the report noted, the group of tourists struck up a conversation with Queen Elizabeth II, apparently thinking she may have been a member of the castle’s staff and then asked if she lived nearby and whether she had ever met the Queen in person.

Queen Elizabeth II told the group that she did actually live nearby, then pointed to a nearby “protection officer” and told the group that while she hasn’t met the Queen, “this policeman has.”

As the New York Post noted, the officer later recounted the story to the British press, and it gained some viral interest this week.

While it may seem unusual that a group of tourists might not recognize the longest-serving monarch in British history, The Daily Mail noted that the Queen tends to go a bit incognito when she’s spending time at Balmoral Castle.

“Although it was not a recent encounter, the Queen does often enjoy a more low-key lifestyle when staying at Balmoral,” the report noted. “She usually swaps her signature eye-catching colored dresses that she wears to royal engagements for pared-back clothes and wellington boots.”

The light story about Queen Elizabeth II came at the end of what was a busy and somewhat controversial week for her. This week, she approved Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s request to suspend Parliament, a move that opponents said was a “cynical and perhaps unconstitutional maneuver,” Salon noted.

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While many took aim at Queen Elizabeth II for going along with the move, the report from Salon noted that she likely had no choice in the matter as British constitutional scholars said it would be unheard of for the Queen to defy the request from the prime minister. The head of the British royal family does have the power to carry out such requests, but the report noted that the legitimacy of her rule is seen as coming from the British people and their duly elected representatives.