QUEEN ELIZABETH II, 93, has travelled on royal tours to well over 100 countries and carried out all sorts of duties during her time abroad. On one visit to Canada with Prince Philip she provoked much amazement.
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip travelled to Canada in July 2010. The visit was described as a “roaring success” and the Queen impressed everyone in a very unlikely way. Sarah Bradford described the trip in her book Queen Elizabeth II: Her Life in Our Times. The trip came at a time when the weather in Canada was incredibly hot.
“The author and columnist for the Canadian Globe and Mail Leah Mclaren reported in the Daily Telegraph on 20 July 2010 in a piece headed ‘Why the cool Queen still melts our hearts,’” wrote Bradford.
“The royal couple toured nine cities in five days, in soaring temperatures that reached a humid mid-30s.
“Everyone was drenched in swear except the Queen, who, despite spending days laying cornerstones and attending State dinners and walkabouts wearing long-sleeved dresses, big hats, ornate jewellery, heavy handbags and long white gloves, never produced so much as a hanky to dab herself.
“‘How is it possible that someone wearing all that can fail to break a dew? Well that’s the Queen for you,’ commented McLaren.”
Bradford continued: “[McLaren] described the visit as a ‘roaring success, drawing record-breaking crowds.’
“Hundreds of Canadians came out queuing behind barricades, in airports and car parks, often bursting into tears at the briefest glimpse of Her Majesty, ‘now a stooped but smiley 84-year-old grandmother.’
“‘The truth is,’ [McLaren] went on, ‘we keep the Queen around because we love her.
“‘And in a time of of celebrity narcissism and image-managing politicians, the Queen quietly earns and returns our love.’”
There have been occasions on foreign visits when Queen Elizabeth has broken from tradition.
In 1994, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh travelled to Russia. The royals hosted Russian President Boris Yeltsin at a dinner onboard the Royal Yacht Britannia.
Author Robert Hardman described the episode in his book Queen of the World.
The night was to see Queen Elizabeth make the sort of speech she would never normally make – and it very much amused Prince Philip.
“Though it has always been the convention that there are no speeches at return banquets, the Queen decided to make a rare exception (as would happen with Nelson Mandela two years later).
“She had clearly talked it through with the Duke of Edinburgh.
“‘I could see Prince Philip looking at her very amused, holding his chin and with a twinkle in his eye,’ says Delmar Fall [the ambassador’s wife].
“‘And she called for a gavel and she went ‘tap,’ tap,’ ‘tap’ – and she got up and she made a little speech. No notes!’”
At another dinner, on the same Russia trip, the Queen was sat next to the embassy doctor, Hugh Carpenter, a popular character among Moscow’s British community.
“‘He was certainly not someone to be intimidated by who he was sitting next to,’ Fell recalled.
“‘I remember his wife sitting across the room making hand gestures as if to say: ‘Stop talking so much.’ The Queen was very amused and said: ‘I must try that on Philip some time.’ She certainly enjoyed it.’
Queen Elizabeth II: Monarch amazed on Canada royal tour with this unlikely feat