I haven’t posted for a few days. I thought perhaps a review for Readers Club of The Wicked Wit of Queen Elizabeth II, compiled by Karen Dolby would be appropriate. We have been so thankful for her tireless service, rightly so. She also had a wonderful sense of humour. The back cover has some gems.

At a palace garden party a guest was struck with horror when their mobile phone rang. The queen, however, remained serene. ‘You should answer it.’ Her Majesty suggested, ‘it might be someone important.’

Occasionally a little out of tune with popular culture, she inadvertently asked the guitar legend Eric Clapton, ‘Have you been playing long?’

I heard the following one on the radio recently, it’s also in the book. The queen was out near the Sandringham Estate. Two passing American tourists stopped and asked if she lived locally. She replied that she’d had a house nearby for many years. The Americans said they’d heard that the queen lived nearby, and asked if she’d ever met her. She said ‘No, I haven’t, but he has,’ pointing to her personal protection officer. They asked the queen if she’d take a photo of them with the man who’d met the queen. She happily obliged.

I recall an episode of Desert Island Discs when an Archbishop of Canterbury, I can’t remember which one, arrived for one of his regular audiences with the queen. She asked if he’d like something to drink. He requested a sherry, which she poured and handed to him. 

‘Aren’t you having one, ma’am?’ He asked. ‘I no, I’ve given it up for Lent.’ She replied.

The book is not exclusively devoted to her wit, despite the title. Prince Philip’s wit features too, along with other members of the royal household.

Queen Elizabeth II has been the monarch for my entire life until this week. I have undertaken a lot of research into the previous Elizabethan age for my books. I can’t say I’ve emerged with even a tiny fraction of the admiration for Queen Elizabeth I as I have for Queen Elizabeth II. I am truly thankful to have lived in the second Elizabethan age. Thank you ma’am.