Queen Elizabeth II apparently doesn’t take any sass from her family.
A new book from singer Elton John reveals that the British monarch once slapped her nephew in the face repeatedly when he refused to look after his sister. The singer said the incident happened during a party where he was present, noting that Elizabeth wasn’t very happy when her nephew, Viscount Linley, balked at watching over his sister, Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones, when she fell ill and the queen asked him to leave the party to keep an eye on her.
“When he [Linley] repeatedly tried to fob her off, the Queen lightly slapped him across the face, saying ‘Don’t’ – slap – ‘argue’ – slap – ‘with’ – slap – ‘me’ – slap – ‘I’ – slap – ‘am’ – slap – ‘THE QUEEN!'” he wrote, via Page Six.
The approach apparently worked, as Linley followed her instructions and went to look after his sister. Though the incident as Elton described it may have sounded horrible, the singer said it seemed to be all in good fun. He went on to write that, after Elizabeth noticed Elton’s witness of the event, she winked at him and then walked away.
“I know the Queen’s public image isn’t exactly one of wild frivolity, but… in private she could be hilarious,” he wrote.
While the inner workings of the royal family are often fodder for tabloids, this is a rare firsthand account of some of what goes on beyond the view of the public — and coming from a treasured British singer, no less.
Elizabeth has been a fixture in the celebrity news circuit as of late, including a report from The Sun claiming the head of the British royal family was not in agreement with the decision from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to file a lawsuit against The Mail On Sunday for publishing a private letter that Meghan wrote to her father last year. The report noted that the couple filed the suit without notifying the queen or Harry’s father, Prince Charles.
Elizabeth was reportedly not impressed with their decision, and felt the timing of the announcement was off as well. The lawsuit was announced while Harry and Meghan were in the middle of a tour of southern Africa.
“This is not the thing done on a royal tour, when the principals are representing the Queen and country,” a source told The Sun. “I can’t imagine the Queen will be very impressed.”
There’s no word on whether Elizabeth expressed her disappointment by slapping Harry in the face, however.