The Queen 'shoved' Hollywood actor who later snubbed his OBE

The Queen 'shoved' the Hollywood star, he revealed, as well as the tight rules and etiquette in place for those meeting Her Majesty

Queen Elizabeth II attends an audience with the President of Switzerland Ignazio Cassis (Not pictured) at Windsor Castle on April 28, 2022 in Windsor, England.
(Image credit: Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The Queen 'shoved' Hollywood actor Michael Sheen as a sign she was finished speaking to him. The actor discussed the incident when he appeared on the hit chat show, The Graham Norton Show.


In the run-up to the Queen's Platinum Jubilee, it's likely that many individuals are being briefed with how to behave around Her Majesty. Michael Sheen, who received an OBE for his services to drama in 2009, discussed his experience while appearing on The Graham Norton Show (opens in new tab).

He explained, “You get in front of the Queen and there’s all these rules and the etiquette — you must never turn your back on the Queen and all this kind of stuff.”

Michael then described the fateful moment when he met her. "She comes up, comes forward to put the medal on you," he explained. "And then she said, ‘So what are you doing next?’”

Actor Michael Sheen with the OBE he received earlier from Queen Elizabeth II during investitures at Buckingham Palace on June 2, 2009 in London, England.

(Image credit: Lewis Whyld/WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The actor then spoke about their chitchat and said, "She must meet so many people, presumably a lot of people get a bit rabbit in the headlights with her." 

However, the most hilarious revelation was how the Queen indicates that she's over whoever she's talking to. “So she does this thing," he added, "where she shakes your hand and then when it's time to go, she just kind of shoves you away."

Michael later returned his OBE, per BBC News (opens in new tab), in 2017 stating, "I just realized I'd be a hypocrite if I said the things I was going to say in the lecture about the nature of the relationship between Wales and the British state."

Considering how busy she can be, it's understandable that the Queen uses secret signals to help bring conversations to a close. Methods include a very nifty handbag trick and something including the Queen's rings - that if you see, may be a sign things aren't going well!

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, hot yoga studio, lifting heavy weights, or (most likely) supping/eating some sort of delicious drink/meal.