Queen Elizabeth once had a late-night encounter with one of her guards that nearly resulted in her being shot, The Times of London reported this week.
Apparently, the queen sometimes likes to take late night strolls when she struggles to sleep. She’ll pull on a mac (Brit-speak for raincoat) and walk around the grounds of Buckingham Palace.
According to an ex-guard who spoke to The Times, one night while he was patrolling the inside perimeter of the grounds at around 3 a.m. he spotted a figure in the darkness.
“Who’s that!” the guard shouted, thinking he had discovered an intruder at the Palace. He was shocked when he realized it was Queen Elizabeth lurking in the shadows.
“Bloody hell, Your Majesty, I nearly shot you,” he said.
Realizing he had violated protocol by speaking to the queen, he stood waiting to be reprimanded.
“That’s quite all right,” Her Majesty replied. “Next time I’ll ring through beforehand so you don’t have to shoot me.”
The Times doesn’t say when this near miss occurred and Buckingham Palace declined to comment.
Queen Elizabeth had to miss Christmas and New Year’s church services this year because, according to the Palace, both the queen and Prince Philip have been suffering from “heavy colds.”
The 90-year-old queen seems to be on the road to recovery, however. This week she participated in her first royal engagement since falling ill, investing Ray Wheaton, her Page of the Chambers, with the insignia of a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order.
Earlier in the week the Queen also offered her condolences to Turkish President Erdogan after an attack on an Istanbul nightclub left 39 people dead on New Year’s Day.