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Exclusive: Why the Queen once joked to her dresser that she was sacked

Angela Kelly reveals the hilarious anecdote in her new book

Emily Nash

The Queen once jokingly told her dresser Angela Kelly "you're sacked!" after falling victim to an April Fool joke by her close confidante during a tour of Australia. Angela, who has worked for Her Majesty since 1994, reveals several pranks she has played on the monarch in her new book, The Other Side Of The Coin: The Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe

She describes how ahead of the visit to Sydney in 2006, the Queen had told her about the wildlife they would see, mentioning the kookaburra. But the only one Angela came across was a stuffed toy version in a market, which she bought while the Queen was out on an engagement. Play the clip below.

 

LISTEN: Angela Kelly reveals how she pranked the Queen

"I had something in mind I thought The Queen would enjoy," she said. "Back at the Governor's House I went up to her room to find the perfect perch. I placed it on the balcony in a little cage. I waited for her to return and when she came in I said, 'Your Majesty, there's a funny-looking grey bird on your balcony.'

"The Queen looked outside and shouted 'It's a kookaburra!' I went to open the cage doors and she said loudly, 'No! Don't do that! It will fly away! And was behind me in a flash. Turning to Her Majesty while trying to keep a straight face, I solemnly told her it was dead. She looked horrified as I walked towards her with outstretched arms and as she took the bird from my hands, she realised I had been winding her up.

The Queen and Prince Philip on tour in 2011

"'April Fool!' I said with a mischievous grin, and she only had two words for me: 'You're sacked!' I was laughing uncontrollably as Her Majesty turned to His Royal Highness (Prince Philip) and said 'Do you know what she has just done to me? Angela has had me!' and I just couldn't stop giggling."

The Queen, who is known for her quick wit and keen sense of humour, clearly appreciated the joke though. Thirteen years later Angela remains one of her top aides, and even the toy Kookaburra is still around. "I'm pleased to say the toy is with us in Windsor castle and has pride of place on the back of the sofa in The Queen's sitting room," says Angela. "I laugh to myself every time I see it."

Read the full report in this week's issue of HELLO! magazine, out on Monday.

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