Queen Elizabeth II’s wittiest moments

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Throughout her decades as monarch, the queen was known for her class and complete dedication to the crown, as well as her unique sense of humor and quick wit. 

There were many instances in which Queen Elizabeth cracked a joke. Whether it was during a speech or while performing a skit, she kept everyone on their toes with her sense of humor. 

Here are some of the queen’s funniest moments over the years.

James Bond Skit

Queen Elizabeth II smiles as she arrives before the opening of the Flanders Fields Memorial Garden at Wellington Barracks Nov. 6, 2014, in London.
(Stefan Wermuth/WPA Pool /Getty Images)

During the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, the queen participated in a skit with actor Daniel Craig in character as James Bond. 

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The skit started off innocently enough, with James Bond escorting the Queen out of Buckingham Palace and to the Olympics on her own private helicopter. Things took a surprising turn, however, once the queen boarded the helicopter.

At that point, an actress dressed as the queen was shown jumping out of the helicopter and floating to the ground with a Union Jack parachute.

What made the whole skit even better was the fact that the queen kept her family in the dark about her plans to participate. It was, in fact, a condition of her participation that her role be kept secret, so her family’s shocked expressions were all the more special.

Paddington Skit

The queen starred alongside Paddington Bear in a skit made to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee. 

The queen starred alongside Paddington Bear in a skit made to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee. 
(The Royal Family Youtube)

More recently, the queen acted opposite Paddington Bear, voiced by Ben Whishaw, in a prerecorded segment for a BBC special event. 

The two were joined by Simon Farnaby, who plays Barry the Security Guard. The three of them were enjoying a lunch of marmalade sandwiches at Buckingham Palace. 

The clip ended with Paddington wishing the queen a “happy Jubilee” and saying, “Thank you, ma’am, for everything.” Soon after the announcement of the queen’s death, the Paddington Twitter account tweeted those exact words, thanking the queen for everything she did for her country.

George W. Bush Speech

The queen couldn't pass up an opportunity to joke about a mistake the president made when he accidentally aged her by 200 years.

The queen couldn’t pass up an opportunity to joke about a mistake the president made when he accidentally aged her by 200 years.
(Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

During a visit to the United States in 2007, the queen poked fun at then President George W. Bush. Upon her arrival, the president greeted the queen on the front lawn of the White House and accidentally aged her 200 years by stating she helped the country celebrate the anniversary of its independence in 1776, rather than 1976.

The president said that, following his mistake, the queen “gave (him) a look that only a mother could give a child.” 

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While the queen let it slide in the moment, she reminded the president of his mistake later on in her visit at a dinner hosted by the British ambassador. The queen started her speech at the dinner, saying, “I wondered whether I should start this toast by saying, ‘When I was here in 1776 …’”

The president took the joke in stride, telling the queen in his toast that he “can’t top that one.”

Invictus Games Promo

Queen Elizabeth II participated in a 2016 promotional video for the Invictus Games during which she told President Barack Obama to bring it on.

Queen Elizabeth II participated in a 2016 promotional video for the Invictus Games during which she told President Barack Obama to bring it on.
(Royal Family YouTube)

In an effort to promote the annual Invictus Games in 2016, the queen appeared in a promotional video with grandson Prince Harry. In the video, Prince Harry and the queen are talking about the upcoming games, when Harry’s phone buzzes as he receives a tweet from first lady Michelle Obama. 

Upon receiving the tweet, the queen and Harry watch the video together. In the video, Michelle reminds Harry of when he “told (them) to bring it at the Invictus Games” to which the president added, “Be careful what you wish for.” An officer in the background ended the video by saying, “Boom.”

The queen then playfully looks up at Harry and says, “Oh, really. Please!” Harry then turns to the camera adding, “Boom,” driving home the point that the Brits were not frightened by the Americans.

Ronald Reagan Weather Joke

The queen prompted President Reagan to burst into laughter when she made a joke about the bad weather in California.

The queen prompted President Reagan to burst into laughter when she made a joke about the bad weather in California.
(Bettmann/Getty Images)

The queen was able to make serious functions a little more entertaining with her wit. One example was a state dinner in San Francisco in 1983 when Ronald Reagan was president.

As California is notoriously known for its lack of rain, the queen was surprised to have experienced nothing but rain during her trip to the west coast. 

In her toast at the event, the queen acknowledged the fact that the Puritans brought a lot of English customs to the New World with them when they first arrived. She then added that she was completely unaware and confused as to why they would also bring England’s terrible weather with them.

Reagan found the joke to be extremely funny. 

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Royal Photobomb

Even the queen couldn’t resist a good photobomb. 

During the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, the queen was in the audience during a girls hockey match between Australia and Malaysia. After Australia beat the Malaysian team, 4-0, the queen got in on the celebrations in a unique way.

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When the queen saw Australian defender Jayde Taylor taking a celebratory selfie with her teammate, she decided to get in on the fun, posing and smiling for the photo in the background.

Joking with Prime Minister Trudeau

Queen Elizabeth II joked with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, telling him he made her feel old.

Queen Elizabeth II joked with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, telling him he made her feel old.
(Steve Parsons/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

In 2015, the queen hosted a gala dinner for leaders who were in attendance at the Commonwealth Summit in Malta. At the gala, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave a speech in honor of the queen and her years of service. 

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He praised her for her over six decades of service, calling her reign “long and tireless,” even stating that, throughout her time as the monarch, she had likely seen more of Canada than the average Canadian.

During her toast, the queen responded to the prime minister’s statement by remarking, “Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister of Canada, for making me feel so old.”

Her comment drew laughter from everyone in the room.

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