The Queen's 'sensitive' gesture to 'trembling' guest revealed in Joanna Lumley's new book

Joanna Lumley has praised the Queen's tactful treatment of a traumatized lunch guest in 2014

The Queen's 'sensitive' gesture to 'trembling' guest revealed in Joanna Lumley's new book
(Image credit: Getty)

Joanna Lumley has shared a heartwarming anecdote about the Queen, detailing the monarch's 'sensitive' treatment of an upset lunch guest. 


Actor Joanna Lumley has shared one of the heartwarming anecdotes about Her Majesty to feature in her latest book, A Queen of All Seasons. 

The historical hardback promises royal fans 'first-hand writings, insights, and snapshots' of the reserved British Head of State ahead of the highly anticipated Queen's Platinum Jubilee next summer. Joanna, a long-term supporter of the British monarchy, has now offered a sample taste of the 320-page memoir with royal fans. 

Speaking on The One Show on Monday, Joanna recounted one of the stories about the Queen from the book that "stood out" to her. 

The BAFTA winner had host Jermaine Jenas captivated as she spoke passionately about an"extraordinary" war correspondent's encounter with the 95-year-old monarch in October 2014. 

David Nott had been invited to have lunch with the Queen at Buckingham Palace as a gesture of gratitude for his volunteer work as a surgeon in Aleppo, Syria. It was during this formal occasion that Her Majesty showed her true humanity, thinking on her feet to help the philanthropist overcome an emotional moment.

Joanna Lumley is inducted into the Radio Times Hall of Fame during the BFI & Radio Times Television Festival 2019 at BFI Southbank on April 12, 2019 in London, England

Joanna Lumley 

(Image credit: Getty)

"He [David] was sitting next to the Queen and she said, 'Where have you come back from, Aleppo?'" Joanna said. 

"And she said, 'What was it like in Aleppo?' and he suddenly found that his memories were so awful that he knew he was going to cry, and so he just sat there with his lip trembling and he just clammed up."

David Nott was comforted by the Queen during their 2014 lunch

David Nott

(Image credit: Getty)

Rather than push him further, the Queen decided to distract him with one of her own personal comforts—her Corgis. 

"She put a little hand on his and there were some biscuits, and she said, 'Let's feed the dogs'. And she snapped the biscuit in half and underneath the table are always the corgis and so she fed the corgis and she just talked to him about dogs," Joanna revealed. 

The Queen's beloved dogs have always been an important part of her life, having owned more than 30 hounds over the course of her reign. 

"At the end, she said: 'There, that's better than talking, isn't it?'" added Joanna. "So sensitive, not putting him through hell, I mean that was enchanting."

The Absolutely Fabulous star's words match up with the account of David Nott, who first shared the story with BBC Radio 4 in 2016. 

"For 20 minutes during this lunch, the Queen and I fed the dogs. She did it because she knew that I was so seriously traumatized. You know the humanity of what she was doing was unbelievable," he said.