According to Adam Helliker, author of a forthcoming book about the UK royal family, Queen Elizabeth II has a cheeky sense of humour that has come to the rescue on numerous occasions.
For example, in 1960 Queen Elizabeth II threw a state dinner at Buckingham Palace to honour then-French president Charles De Gaulle, who was on an official visit to London with his wife Madam Yvonne De Gaulle. The French dignitary’s spouse was known to have a poor command of English, and during the dinner the language barrier led to an awkward incident when one guest asked the French president’s wife about her retirement.
“A guest asked Madame de Gaulle what she was most looking forward to in her retirement, which was imminent,” Adam Helliker told Fabulous Digital. “With great elaboration (as she didn’t speak much English) she replied: 'A penis.' An awkward silence ensued for some time, until the Queen herself came to the rescue, and she said with a broad grin: 'Ah, happiness'.”
The Duke of Edinburgh, who shares the monarch’s witty sense of humour, was said to particularly love this comical incident from the French State Visit.
Married for 72 years, the Queen and Prince Philip, according to Royal insiders, have always been able to laugh and joke together, with the Duke frequently playing practical jokes on his wife.
Thus, on one occasion, ahead of a dinner, the Prince hid one of the Queen's pet corgis.
A Royal insider told the Express:
"Philip had a corgi put in a desk cupboard and when the Queen asked him where it was, he said that he didn't know."
This prank backfired, however, as the dog heard the Queen’s voice and began whining.
The Duke released the trapped pet, which dashed to the Monarch, who wasn’t at all impressed with the joke.
Sources added she told Philip off, saying he ought to “stop showing off” in front of the dinner guests.
The Duke, still trying to amuse his guests, reportedly quipped:
“Who does she think she is?”
Many Royal experts believe one of the reasons for the success of the royal couple’s enduring marriage is their ability to share a laugh.