Joanna Lumley left Queen baffled over surprise meeting at event ‘What are you doing here?’

Joanna Lumley on her slip-up while meeting Princess Anne

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We’re not watching the Queen – she’s watching us

Joanna Lumley

“I’d [already] named it earlier,” she added, mischievously.

“So I’m standing there on the line and she only knew me as an actress, so she said: ‘What are you doing here?'”

Joanna then performed an impression of her own reaction, stammering: “I’m here because, because, because…”

She added: “We’re not watching the Queen – she’s watching us.”

“I’ve been lucky enough to meet the Queen several times,” she elaborated.

“I suspect everyone like me has been given a gong of some kind and I was given an OBE [by the Queen].

“I was told how to go and where to walk [so] you’re thinking: ‘Left? Right? Left? Right? Will I hold the hand?'” she added of her introduction to royal etiquette.

Though it might sound as if the 95-year-old monarch had Joanna’s nerves in tatters, she also discovered a kind and sensitive side to her nature.

The Absolutely Fabulous actress explained that a “trembling” war correspondent, who had volunteered as a surgeon in Aleppo, Syria, was so traumatised by his experiences of conflict that, during a lunch at Buckingham Palace, he’d been on the verge of tears.

“He suddenly found that his memories were so awful that he knew he was going to cry,” she recalled.

“He just sat there with his lip trembling and he just clammed up.”

Instead of pressuring him to continue talking, she handed him a dog biscuit and invited him to help feed her corgis.

After the therapeutic animal encounter, she told the traumatised volunteer: “There, that’s better than talking, isn’t it?”

Joanna recalled the moment of sensitivity as “enchanting”.

However, perhaps the most amusing moment out of all the times she had met the Queen was the time she enquired about what Joanna was doing at the ship launch.

The self-confessed royalist, who has been described as a “national treasure”, has just published a book entitled A Queen For All Seasons, released to coincide with Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee.

The synopsis describes it as “a sparkling celebration of our much-loved Queen Elizabeth II… introduced and edited by her biggest fan Joanna Lumley.

“It is a perceptive, touching and engaging tribute to this unique woman.

“A treasure chest of first-hand writings, insights and snapshots of the Queen during key moments of her reign to form a vibrant portrait of the woman herself and the extraordinary role she plays.

“Joanna Lumley guides us as we meet Princess Elizabeth in 1952, aged just twenty-five, and about to become Queen, and brings us through to the present day when, as our matriarch, the Queen keeps the national ship steady, including in moments of crisis and suffering.”

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