With the passing of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday, the British people and many more around the globe are commemorating the life of a monarch that was marked by duty, steadfastness and dignity.
But for those who were closest to Her Majesty, like her former bodyguard Richard “Dick” Griffin, the queen was not just a monarch and global figure, but also a kind person with a “lovely sense of humor.”
Griffin served as the queen’s royal protection officer. During the Platinum Jubilee last June, he shared a story with Sky News about her more humorous side, which he saw while accompanying her on a trip to Scotland.
While walking in the hills outside of Balmoral Castle, Griffin and the queen were approached by two American tourists who were hiking on a holiday.
One of the hikers, not recognizing the queen, chatted with her about their hiking and traveling through Britain. Finally, he asked Elizabeth about herself.
“And I could see it coming, and sure enough, he said to Her Majesty, ‘And where do you live?’” Griffin said.
Queen Elizabeth kindly replied that she lived in London but had a holiday home nearby.
The American tourist, still completely unaware of who she was, asked if she had ever met the queen, since they were near Balmoral.
Will Queen Elizabeth II be remembered as one of the greatest English monarchs?
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“As quick as a flash, she says, well, I haven’t, but Dick here meets her regularly,” the queen told the hiker.
So the hiker turned to Griffin and asked him what Queen Elizabeth was like in person.
“I was with her a long time and I knew I could pull her leg,” Griffin said. “I said, ‘Oh, she can be very cantankerous at times, but she’s got a lovely sense of humor.’”
this remains an all-time story about the queen pic.twitter.com/hI2yNUac0H
— David Mack (@davidmackau) September 8, 2022
Seemingly delighted at having met someone who had met the queen, the American came over to Griffin and put his arm around the bodyguard’s shoulder.
“Before I could see what was happening, he gets his camera, gives it to the queen and says, ‘Can you take a picture of the two of us?’” Griffin said.
Then they swapped places and Griffin took pictures of the American with the queen.
“And we never let on, and we waved goodbye.”
The Americans moved on, still completely unaware of Elizabeth’s identity.
With good-natured humor, the queen then reportedly told Griffin, “I’d love to be a fly on the wall when he shows those photographs to friends in America and hopefully someone tells him who I am.”
As many fondly remember the beloved queen, Britain will spend at least the next 10 days in mourning for the monarch, CNBC News reported.
Meanwhile, the queen’s funeral, which has been codenamed “London Bridge” and has been years in the planning, will be carried out at the end of the official, national mourning period.
The outpouring of grief from British citizens is expected to be so great that space has been cleared outside of Buckingham Palace for the public to leave flowers, notes and other tributes in honor of the queen.
There will also be books of condolences at Buckingham and St. James’ palaces, as well as Windsor Castle, where thousands are expected to leave messages.
As UK Prime Minister Liz Truss said in her statement following the queen’s death, “The death of Her Majesty The Queen is a huge shock to the nation and to the world. Queen Elizabeth II was the rock on which modern Britain was built.”
“In the difficult days ahead, we will come together with our friends … across the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and the world … to celebrate her extraordinary lifetime of service,” Truss said. “It is a day of great loss, but Queen Elizabeth II leaves a great legacy.”