The 'nicest thing ever said' about the Queen by one of her ministers was this risqué comment

The Queen was surprisingly pleased by the cheeky remark

The Queen was surprisingly pleased by the cheeky remark
(Image credit: Photo by Toby Melville - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The Queen told a politician his risqué comment was "the nicest thing ever said about her by one of her ministers" in a surprising twist of events.  

A British former politician was left mortified after the Queen discovered he had made an ill-judged comment about her appearance—a colossal faux pas in royal circles. 

Ex-Labour minister Denis MacShane shared his thoughts on the “shapeliness of Her Majesty’s legs” to Conservative MP Gyles Brandreth shortly after meeting the monarch, clearly misjudging the trustworthiness of his company. Drinking and giddy off the excitement of his encounter, MacShane remarked that the Queen "looked very good for her age with excellent legs." 

Brandreth ended up recounting the conversation to the public and sure enough, it made its way back to the Head of State herself. It didn't take long for everyone—including his colleagues—to get wind of the embarrassing tale. 

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Denis MacShane 

(Image credit: aslu/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

“My heart shrunk. Talking out of school about the Queen was the worst possible crime for an FCO minister. I went into the Foreign Office and saw officials turning their faces from me in horror at what I had done,” writes MacShane in his new book, Must Labour Always Lose? 

MacShane’s shame was so overwhelming that he ended up calling Her Majesty’s then private secretary to apologize, only to be reassured he wasn’t in any trouble at all. 

“I knew the Queen’s private secretary as a friend and neighbor with a house in France close to where I often stayed. I called him in a panic,” he recalls. 

“‘Robin, Robin’, I stuttered but he interrupted. ‘Don’t say anything, Denis. Her Majesty says this is the nicest thing ever said about her by one of her ministers'.”

Shocked that the Queen had taken the comment so well, MacShane breathed a heavy sigh of relief and got on with his political career. Unfortunately, he would land himself in a far more serious predicament years later. He was sentenced to six months in prison in 2013 after being found guilty of false accounting and was subsequently forced to resign his seat in the UK Parliament. 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.