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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Rebecca Russell

Unbelievable moment the Queen wasn't recognised by American tourists - and her reply

The late Queen was always a lover of the great outdoors and was certainly someone who valued her space and privacy. In the same breath, the monarch became incredibly well-known for her brilliant sense of humour and her secret joy for when things went unexpectedly wrong.

While you may imagine that there would be little chance of the Queen experiencing any funny public interactions during her holidays, this couldn't have been further from the truth as one unbelievable encounter was revealed by her former Protection Officer.

The Queen relished her time in Balmoral (Getty Images)

Every summer, the Queen moved the royal household to Balmoral Castle where she stayed from July to September. Some of the monarch's favourite activities to do there included going for walks, stalking and pony-trekking.

But one year, the monarch successfully managed to avoid detection by a group of American tourists and had a great response when they asked her if she'd met the Queen.

While the public were used to seeing the late Queen dressed in a vibrantly coloured hat and coat combination, she was able to fade into the background when she appeared out of context.

And that is exactly what happened to a group of unwitting American tourists when they came across the Queen walking with an undercover police officer around the estate.

The Queen could easily have gone unrecognised without her trademark vibrant coat and hat (Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)
The Queen found the encounter hilarious (Getty Images)

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The late Queen's former Protection Officer Richard Griffin told Sky News: "There were two hikers coming towards us, and the Queen would always stop and say hello. It was two Americans on a walking holiday, and it was clear from the moment we first stopped, they hadn't recognised the Queen.

"The American said to the Queen 'and where do you live?', she said 'I live in London but I have a holiday home just the other side of the hills'. And he said 'how long have you been coming up here?', and she said 'ever since I was a little girl, so over 80 years."

The Americans then said to the monarch: "You must have met the Queen?", when the Queen then replied: "Well I haven't but Dick here meets her regularly," pointing to her bodyguard Richard.

Richard continued: "So the guy said to me, 'what's she like?', and I said 'she can be very cantankerous at times, but she's got a lovely sense of humour."

Richard then explained that one of the American tourists put his arm around his shoulder, gave his camera to the Queen and asked her to take a picture of them, with Richard.

The bodyguard added: "I also took a picture of them with the Queen and we never let on. She said to me, 'I'd love to be a fly on the wall when he shows those photographers to his friends in America."

The Queen with her Protection Officer Richard Griffin (Getty)

This isn't the first brilliant revelation made by Mr Griffin as he also detailed one moment where the monarch was "too nervous" to watch her granddaughter Zara Tindall compete in the equestrian eventing competition in the Olympics 2012.

Speaking shortly after her death in September, Mr Griffin said that The Queen couldn’t face watching the event live, so went out for a picnic instead.

Mr Griffin said: “I remember once when I was up at Balmoral with The Queen, and Zara was competing in the Olympic Games, and looked like she was going to win a medal.

The Queen was too nervous to watch her granddaughter compete (Getty)

“And I thought I would be flying down to Greenwich to watch her get on, but the Queen said to me ”I’m just so nervous, I can’t face up to it. Let’s just go out for a picnic.”

“So we drove up to one of the mountainsides, one of the cabins and we had a little private picnic just the two of us.” However, the late monarch could not wait any longer, so asked her protection officer to radio his colleagues, asking how her granddaughter had done.

Mr Griffin continued: “‘So I radioed them and found out she’s won the silver medal. I remember the Queen jut grabbed me and we were dancing around in circles on this hill in Scotland. That’s a memory that will stay with me for evermore.”

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