In the almost-70 years she’s been on the throne, it’s fair to say that we’ve never really been given the opportunity to see the Queen kicking back or coming anywhere close to letting her hair down.
Even the fictionalised version of the monarch in Netflix’s The Crown maintains her regal persona at all times – but a recently-unearthed clip from the early 1990s shows Her Maj at the most informal we’ve probably ever seen her.
The footage shows Queen Elizabeth II at a G7 drinks reception hobnobbing with other leaders, diplomats and public figures while chatting in a surprisingly casual fashion.
In the clip – originally posted by TikTok user @Brittoker and then tweeted by Twitter member @BenABrittain – the Queen is also joined by Prince Charles, Princess Diana, Margaret Thatcher and her successor John Major.
The clip has been viewed more than 400,000 times since it was tweeted last night, and features footage of the Queen speaking French and Princess Di laughing along as she cracks some jokes with other “spouses” at the event.
And as the video has been doing the rounds online, many have been expressing their surprise at seeing such a candid scene play out on camera:
This is so brilliant. So many people behaving just as one imagines. Favourite bit – Gianni De Michelis mentally running the numbers on how much dosh the Prince of Wales made on his lithographs and not being impressed. https://t.co/fcqRREzqLk
— Gabriel Milland (@gabrielmilland) July 23, 2021
Inexplicably mesmerising. The Queen telling Edward Heath that he’s “expendable” is simply priceless.
— Ike Ijeh (@ikeijeh) July 23, 2021
But something a little more disheartening also caught people’s attention:
It’s the way that Edward Heath talks over the Queen that leaves me gob smacked. So rude!
— Katharine Ramage (@RamageKatharine) July 23, 2021
Quite amazing, but a bit of an eye-opener to see Heath and the other man (Bush?) talking over the Queen.
— S.G. MacLean (@SGMacleanauthor) July 22, 2021
The footage was actually taken from a 1992 BBC documentary Elizabeth R: A Year in the Life of the Queen which was released to coincide with the Ruby Jubilee.
In the two-hour documentary – narrated by Queen Elizabeth II herself – she was also seen on a state visit to the US and spending time with her family, including her young grandchildren.