The night before Queen Elizabeth’s funeral, Buckingham Palace posted a never seen before photograph of the late monarch smiling and looking cheerful. The portrait was taken by photographer Ranald Mackechnie who had snapped Her Majesty for her Platinum Jubilee earlier this year to celebrate 70 years on the throne.
Ranald Mackechnie spoke on the Lorraine television programme about his time meeting the Queen at Windsor Castle to take an official photograph for the Jubilee celebrations in May.
The photographer said: “She arrived and walked in and we said hello, then she just looks at me and she goes, ‘What do you want?'”
“I said, ‘Well, I want you to smile and look happy.’
“She looked back at me and she goes, ‘Well, you can’t make me’.”
He continued, “I said, ‘Well, you could try,’ and she giggled.”
Mr Mackechnie also said that Queen Elizabeth sat for many portraits over her reign and that she “makes it easy” for a photographer.
He was responsible for another Platinum Jubilee photograph which was released to mark the beginning of the celebrations in June.
The photographer said he laughed with the Queen while taking the photo and that Her Majesty “was an absolute pro in light conversation”.
In the photo, Queen Elizabeth is sitting near a windowsill at Windsor Castle, and outside the window, the Castle’s Round Tower, and the statue of King Charles II can be seen in the background.
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Queen Elizabeth was known for her sense of humour, and many incidents throughout her reign have given the public insight into her fun personality.
One story, told by her protection officer Richard Griffin, was when Her Majesty met an American tourist while hiking near her estate Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.
The American tourist asked the monarch if she had ever met the Queen, as they had no idea who they were talking to.
Queen Elizabeth replied “I haven’t” but then pointed at Mr Griffin and said that he “meets her regularly.”
The tourist then asked Mr Griffin what the Queen was like, and he said “Oh, she can be very cantankerous at times, but she’s got a lovely sense of humour.”
The American tourist then asked the Queen to take a photo of them with the bodyguard, which the Queen happily did.
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Another incident of the Queen’s humour was last year at the Group of Seven summit in Cornwall, England, which was a meeting of leaders from leading democracies.
During a photograph with the leaders, which included President Biden, Queen Elizabeth broke a solemn silence by telling the politicians to present that they were “supposed to be looking as if you’re enjoying yourself.”
At the same summit, the Queen also cut a cake with a sword instead of taking the offered knife, and she said the sword was “more unusual.”
Queen Elizabeth’s dresser and friend, Angela Kelly once described Her Majesty as having a “ wicked sense of humour and is a great mimic. She can do all accents — including mine.”