Queen much 'livelier' in private than she appears, royal biographer claims

The Queen is reportedly able to “laugh at herself”

Queen Elizabeth II attends a ceremony to mark her official birthday at Windsor Castle on June 13, 2020 in Windsor, England
(Image credit: Photo by Toby Melville - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

As the longest-reigning British monarch, the Queen always conducts herself in a very respectful and measured way, though now it's been claimed that the monarch is actually quite different in private. 

Dedicated to her royal duties, Her Majesty the Queen could perhaps be considered to be a little stoic and reserved due to her respectful nature at public royal engagements. Though this may be expected of a monarch in public, it’s been suggested that the Queen is actually very different in private. 

A royal biographer has claimed that the monarch is “much livelier” than some royal fans might imagine. 

What is the Queen really like in private?

Speaking to PEOPLE in one of this week's cover stories, royal biographer Sally Bedell Smith, author of Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch revealed that the Queen "is much livelier in private than what the public sees”.  

Ms. Bedell Smith reportedly went on to quote a source at the Queen’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk as once saying: “'You can hear her laugh throughout that big house.' She has a big laugh!"

It seems that the 94-year-old monarch can also be self-deprecating. Ms. Bedell Smith also discussed the moment that once, not long after Prince Charles’ wedding to Princess Diana, a rerun of the ceremony was played on television during a party that the Queen attended. Ms. Bedell Smith recalled that upon spotting herself on screen, “The Queen said, 'Oh, there's my Miss Piggy face,=.

"She has the ability to laugh at herself," Ms. Bedell Smith revealed.

The Queen is most often seen by the public at formal royal engagements or big events, such as her Trooping the Colour birthday celebrations or state visits. Here it is understandable that she is professional and measured when approaching these important occasions.

With the effects of the pandemic still ongoing, the monarch has recently undertaken some royal engagements via video call, like many other members of the Royal Family, with pictures and clips being posted by the official Royal Family Instagram account.

Whilst these are still public engagements, they could be perceived as slightly more personal as the Queen is attending them from her home, Windsor Castle.

Her warmth and devotion certainly come across and are sure to be bringing joy in these difficult times.

Emma Shacklock
Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with five years experience working in digital publishing, ranging from book publishing to magazines. She currently looks after all things Lifestyle for Woman&Home, GoodToKnow and My Imperfect Life.


Before she joined Future Publishing, Emma graduated from the University of Warwick with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Comparative Literary Studies. After leaving education, she started out her publishing career in the world of books, working as a Publisher for an independent digital publisher specializing in back-list and debut commercial fiction novels. With a huge book list and a passion for bringing the best stories to the broadest audience possible, Emma filled her spare time with reading the latest best-sellers and catching up on hit adaptations.


In 2017 she joined TI Media as a fiction writing coordinator on Woman’s Weekly and Woman’s Weekly Fiction as part of the features team. From here, she used her love of books, working to bring short stories to our dedicated readers and began writing for the books pages of Woman, Woman’s Own and Woman&Home, as well as online features ranging from genre round-ups to travel pieces for womanandhome.com. 


After honing her skills, Emma branched out online in 2020 when Future gave her the opportunity to focus on digital-first. When she’s not writing about the next big lifestyle trend, she enjoys cooking, long walks and watching as many crime dramas as she can!