The Queen was most amused after hearing about an RAF gunner's very unusual lockdown exercise regime. Her Majesty was all smiles as Lance Corporal Shanwayne Stephens told her how he been pushing a Mini Cooper around an industrial estate in Peterborough.
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WATCH: The Queen speaks to armed forces during video call from Windsor
He told the monarch: "I'm the pilot for the Jamaican bobsleigh team."
"Gosh!" she gasped, before giggling. "Sounds a very dangerous job."
Told he had resorted to "unorthodox" training methods when gyms closed down, he added: "I've been pushing a car up and down the street."
"Oh!" exclaimed the Queen beginning to chuckle again. "Well I suppose that's one way to train."
The fun exchange came as Her Majesty joined a WebEx call from Windsor Castle to hear about the work members of the Armed Forces are carrying out across the globe as the Covid-19 crisis continues. Appearing with the sign-in name Windsor UK, she spoke to representatives from the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, as well as the Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir Nick Carter.
"Everybody's been extremely busy with the pandemic and doing a wonderful job," she told them.
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The Queen called in from Windsor Castle
Shanwayne, who has been in the Queen's Colour Squadron for eight years, later told HELLO!: "She had a big smile on her face when I said about pushing the car. I think she was quite impressed with that. She was quite amused at my training regime."
Asked if the Queen had backed his bid to compete at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, he laughed and replied: "I'll have to send her a T-shirt."
Jamaica-born Shanwayne is trained in forced protection with specialisation as a sniper and has appeared on parade for the Queen at the RAF 100 celebrations and the Festival of Remembrance among other ceremonial events. But he made headlines during lockdown by pushing his fiancée Amy's car around. With echoes of the 1993 film Cool Runnings, he also set up a temporary weights rack in his garden.
He said: "We had to come up with our own creative ways to get our training done to be ready for our competitive season which starts in November." He said of his conversation with the monarch: "She seemed very relaxed and in fact she made me feel a bit more relaxed when she came on. She was really smiley, she looked like she was eager to meet people and hear people's stories."
The Queen could be seen giggling on the call
Representing the Army on the call was Lieutenant Colonel Barrie Terry, of The Yorkshire Regiment, who is currently deployed to the UN Peacekeeping mission in Bamako, Mali. "It was a novel experience from Mali, I think for her as well," he said.
Barrie, 47, told the Queen he had not seen his family since November because of travel restrictions caused by the pandemic. His wife Anya works for the NHS in Gloucester, training healthcare professionals and return to practice nurses, and is looking after their sons Theo, 15, and Arthur, 11.
He told HELLO!: "I think with her [The Queen's] background, she's used to her grandchildren and her children at various stages of their life being away due to service in the armed forces, especially with Prince Philip. I think she’s familiar with the family separation that service life brings."
The Queen also spoke to Able Rate Sophie Levy, 22, who joined the call from her first operational deployment on board RFA Argus (Royal Fleet Auxiliary) off Curaçao in the Caribbean. Her Majesty recalled how they had met in 2014, when, as a 16-year-old Sea Cadet, Sophie escorted her and the Lord Lieutenant around Holyport College near Windsor.
"I would think the last time I saw you, you wouldn't have imagined that this is what you would be doing now," the Queen remarked.
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The Queen attended a scaled-down version of Trooping the Colour at Windsor in June
RFA Argus and her crew were deployed in April to help British Overseas Territories prepare for the pandemic, and will remain in the Caribbean over the summer to provide support as the annual hurricane season approaches.
Sophie, from Windsor, is an aircraft handler in 1700 Naval Air Squadron, responsible for ensuring the safety of aircraft and crew on the flight deck, preparing aircraft for operations, and ensuring the ship’s company is ready to react to any emergencies.
Sophie told HELLO!: "It was a nice personal connection to bring it up that I had met her all those years ago. I called from a cabin onboard so she was able to see what life on board is like and how we live on Argus. She could see my photos in the background of my family."
Social distancing restrictions mean that the ship's crew is currently unable to spend free time ashore.
Sophie added: "We spoke about life on board, what sort of things we’ve been up to, preparing for hurricane season. We are ready to deliver humanitarian aid and disaster relief where it’s needed."
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