Royal photographer made the Queen giggle with cheeky nickname in portrait sitting

Royal photographer amused the Queen with wildly inappropriate behavior that, according to the final image, made her giggle

Queen
(Image credit: Getty )

Royal photographer of the Queen and other members of the Royal Family, David Bailey, opened up about the protocol smashing humor he used to capture an official portrait. The portrait in question, taken on Her Majesty's 88th birthday, captured the monarch giggling at his cheeky behavior.


Few on this earth can say they've been as up close and personal with the Queen as photographer David Bailey. Although she may be thought of as stuffy, examples including the Queen's surprising party trick, show off her wicked sense of humor—which David witnessed first hand.

The 84-year-old photographer opened up about his work and what went on behind the scenes in a rare interview with the Telegraph (opens in new tab). When he took the now-famous image of the royal, back in 2014, he revealed that a very cheeky joke is what got him the winning smile.

He asked Her Majesty if 'the jewels' were real and then said, "I bet that cost a few bob, girl.' David said it was being called 'girl' that solicited her chuckle. 

After he was asked if he had actually called the Queen 'girl,' the photographer responded, "It just came out. I call everyone 'girl.'" David continued, "But she was girlish. Made a real effort. We had a laugh. Beautiful skin, the Queen."

A post shared by David Bailey (@bailey_studio) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

Throughout his career, David has photographed icons of stage and screen, models, artists, musicians, Royals, dignitaries, and everyone else important in between. However, it's this image which stands out to Royal fans.

Among the many praising comments on David's Instagram post featuring this portrait of the Queen, one user said, "It's about time you told us what you whispered in her ear to get that expression. 🤔😁"

Looks like the secret is out!

Aoife Hanna
Junior News Editor

Aoife is Junior News Editor at woman&home.

She's an Irish journalist and writer with a background in creative writing, comedy, and TV production.

Formerly Aoife was a contributing writer at Bustle and her words can be found in the Metro, Huffpost, Delicious, Imperica, EVOKE and her poetry features in the Queer Life, Queer Love anthology.

Outside of work you might bump into her at a garden center, charity shop, yoga studio, lifting heavy weights, or (most likely) supping/eating some sort of delicious drink/meal.