When it comes to speaking the Queen's English – no one does it better than Her Majesty herself. So when one of her closest aides repeatedly asked her for an elocution lesson, the monarch eventually agreed. But as this hilarious audio clip reveals, she did not miss an opportunity to display her famous sense of humour. Play the clip below.
LISTEN: Angela Kelly reveals how she asked the Queen for elocution lessons
In an exclusive extract from her audiobook The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, The Dresser and the Wardrobe, Liverpool-born Angela Kelly, Her Majesty's dresser for 25 years, recalls how she had wanted elocution lessons from the age of eight. "Listening to and speaking with Her Majesty, I would think, how wonderful to be able to speak so nicely and, after a few months of working with her, I plucked up the courage to ask if she knew anyone who might give me the elocution lessons I'd wanted for so long," she says.
"The look on the Queen's face was a picture. She simply asked, 'Why?' After I had explained, she said that it was not necessary. I asked again and again, but she still refused… I then told Her Majesty my new idea: 'You can give me elocution lessons! You can tell me what I say that's correct and what I say that isn't.'
Angela Kelly worked as Her Majesty's dresser for 25 years
"The Queen could probably sense that I wasn't going to give up, so she instructed me to say one word: 'furious'. 'Fyer-ri-ous,' I responded. 'No, fee-or-ree-ous,' said Her Majesty, in perfect received pronunciation. After several more attempts, I finally cracked it and Her Majesty exclaimed, 'Yes!' and her finger went up in the air, followed shortly by: 'Not sick as a parrot.' And that was it – my one and only elocution lesson, and from the Queen herself."
Angela, who has compared her working relationship with the Queen to "a marriage", wrote her latest book with the Queen's blessing. She adds: "From then on, I listened and tried my best to speak properly – even adding an aitch to words where it didn't exist – but in the end I gave up: it was just too much effort. Ever since I've stuck to being myself, a girl from Liverpool and a proud Liverpudlian, too."
Read the full report in this week's issue of HELLO! magazine, out on Monday.
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