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Sir David Attenborough recalls choosing the Queen's Christmas outfit

September 25, 2015
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Sir David Attenborough has had an extensive and varied career that has seen him become best known as a wildlife broadcaster, but one of his most memorable moments was a royal encounter which came about when he was working for the BBC in the 1980s.

The broadcaster has revealed he once had the chance to work with the Queen, overseeing one of her Christmas broadcasts in the Eighties. Speaking at the Radio Times Festival on Thursday, David revealed he was asked by Her Majesty's then assistant press secretary Bill Heseltine to look through the Queen's clothes in Buckingham Palace in order to choose an appropriate outfit for the broadcast.

David Attenborough © Photo: Getty Images

David Attenborough once had to choose the Queen's Christmas outfit

"I picked out something that was mushroom [coloured] and we were waiting for the Queen in the East block where her apartments were and the Queen came out of this rackety old lift and she said: 'I hope you approve of my costume'," David recalled.

The 89-year-old has previously revealed in his autobiography that the Queen was initially unhappy about the outfit change, which was due to the "acid green" dress she was wearing clashing with the wallpaper of the room they were filming in.

queen speech © Photo: Getty Images

The Queen has given an annual Christmas speech since 1952

"There is no pleasing you people from the media," the Queen reportedly told Sir David. "I am told by one lot that I have to wear something colourful so I can be seen in a crowd – and then you come along and tell me I have to wear something pale and nondescript."

Following that initial encounter, David has gone on to meet the Queen on many occasions, and was knighted to become Sir David Attenborough in 1985 in recognition of his services to television. Two decades years later he was honoured with the Order of the Merit by the Queen in 2005 in recognition of his exceptional broadcasting career.

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