Former footballer Michael Owen has opened up about the awkward exchange he had with the Queen after he squeezed into a packed lift with her at Royal Ascot.
Talking about the surreal moment in his new autobiography, Reboot - My Life, My Time, the keen horse racer said: "When she [the Queen] walked into the royal lift there were perhaps 15 of us outside. 'Come on', she said, 'We can all squeeze in'".
The 42-year-old continued: "I obeyed, taking my hat off as I thought that correct etiquette. 'If you'd put your hat back on', she said, voice raised, 'we might all fit in!'
"I sheepishly put my hat on. I was mortified. To this day I have absolutely no idea if she was joking. "[Wife] Louise was nudging me from the other side trying not to laugh because I'd been [expletive] by the Queen."
This was not the former footballer's only encounter with Her Majesty. Michael visited Buckingham Palace in 1998 to attend a reception for England, Scotland and Jamaican-based football squads. Back then, and judging by the pictures, the monarch seemed more pleased by his presence, as she can be seen smiling at him in several snaps taken at the time.
The ex-Liverpool forward has met several members of the royal family, including Prince William and Prince Charles, and has also visited Windsor Castle. In Reboot - My Life, My Time he also opens up about being eager to make the right impression during a pre-race meal at the Queen's favourite weekend home.
"I was careful to hold my fork in the correct hand and so on. I needn't have worried. The Queen was throwing bits of starter to her corgis!" he wrote.
Michael's autobiography went on sale earlier this month and is currently a Number 1 best seller on Amazon.