14 Stories of How Celebrities Met the Queen (Almost All of Them Broke Etiquette Rules)
Elizabeth II is the most recognizable and long-reigning monarch in the world. She has sat at the English throne for 65 years, and even at the age of 93, she still has a big influence on the life of her empire, following the traditions and the etiquette of the monarchy. And she also drives a Range Rover, she can drink a glass of strong alcohol, and she loves jokes, her grandchildren, and equestrian sports. She visits more than 400 events every year where she meets celebrities. It is a rare privilege to be introduced to The Queen.
We at Bright Side are convinced that meeting Elizabeth II causes even the richest people to become nervous. And some of them even forget about proper etiquette.
“Well, the Queen, so be it,” Gagarin said and accepted Queen Elizabeth’s II invitation to have breakfast at the Buckingham Palace. She violated the protocol when she put Yuri right next to her at the table. This is how the legend of Gagarin touching the Queen’s leg to make sure everything was really happening came to be.
The table was served according to all the rules. And after some hesitation, the cosmonaut admitted that he didn’t know which utensil he was supposed to start with. The Queen had the answer, “I don’t know anything about them myself! Let’s just eat the way we like!” When they were drinking tea, Gagarin shocked everyone when he ate a piece of lemon from the cup. The Queen followed him and everyone did the same after her.
Her Majesty violated the etiquette rules again at the end of their meeting — she took a photo with the famous cosmonaut.
“I took a photo with a man from space, not from our planet. So I didn’t break any rules.”
Marilyn Monroe and Queen Elizabeth II only saw each other once — at the premiere of The Battle of the River Plate movie. Marilyn was invited together with her husband, Arthur Miller. A long golden dress with a very revealing neckline and messy hair — this was what the famous actress looked like. Of course, her dress didn’t really fit the royal protocol.
When the English Queen and the Queen of Hollywood met, they were just 30 years old. Yes, they both were born in 1926!
A lot of famous people were at the premiere in London that night, including a young Brigitte Bardot. And it looks like she was impressed by Marilyn Monroe far more than the Queen was.
“We were about to meet the Queen. I rushed to one of the ladies’ rooms to check if my makeup was alright. And who do I see? Marilyn! So we were powdering our noses, looking at each other, said hello. I really saw her close-up. She was amazing. This was our only meeting and I will never forget it.”
The Queen of England didn’t recognize the Queen of Pop. It happened at the premiere of Die Another Day.
Elizabeth II was happy to see the movie because she really liked it. Once, she even played a Bond girl in a short movie. Agent 007 was portrayed by Daniel Craig.
Madonna was a big guest at the premiere. She even sang a song. She was flattered to meet the Queen and according to the media, Elizabeth didn’t recognize the superstar and even asked someone who she was.
“I have never met her before but surprisingly I wasn’t nervous.”
Helen Mirren portrayed Elizabeth II in the film, The Queen. In fact, she did such a good job that she got an Oscar, a Golden Globe, a BAFTA, and a Grand Prix at the Venice Film Festival.
Her Majesty loved the movie and she invited the actress to a dinner at the palace. And she was shocked when Helen Mirren refused. “The fact that she found time for dinner shows how much she really wanted to meet Mirren,” one of the representatives of the palace said. The actress said that she refused to meet the Queen because she was in the middle of a filming process in the US and didn’t want to interrupt it. Mirren claimed she didn’t want to offend anyone. Later, they met at a reception.
Earlier, Mirren already refused something from the monarch. In 1996, she refused to receive The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. But she later agreed in 2003.
“Almost everyone says that something happens to you when you see The Queen — it’s like you have some sort of a virus that makes you say strange things. For example, ‘Oh, it was horribly funny’ or ‘It’s terribly nice to meet you.’ And also your voice becomes sort of weird...well, it’s like something paralyzes you and then you can’t even remember what kind of nonsense you were saying.”
The president of Russia loves being late. He was criticized for this habit many times. Putin didn’t make an exception for the Queen, but he was only 12 minutes late which is a violation of the etiquette: you should come in advance when you are going to meet the Queen. Later, Elizabeth II did the same to Putin: she was exactly 12 minutes late when he was leaving.
The president was together with his ex-wife. She also violated the etiquette: her hat was wider than The Queen’s hat. This is also a sign of bad manners.
“I have outlived many iconic people. I remember Roosevelt, Churchill, Thatcher. I remember when Stalin died. Do you think I can’t handle Putin?”
In the 1970s, Queen Mother and Princess Margaret, the fans of the singer, invited him to take part in a charity concert of The Prince’s Trust, which was founded by Prince Charles.
In 1998, the musician received the Order of the British Empire and became a knight. During all these years, John has been a friend of the family and a frequent guest at different events in the palace. He sang at the wedding of Henry and Meghan. And during William and Kate’s wedding, Elton John and Elizabeth II both forgot the words of the song dedicated to the newlyweds.
But the singer was truly close to Diana. For her funeral, he recorded his song, “Candle in the Wind” again that was originally about Marilyn Monroe. The singer named the remake “Goodbye England’s Rose” and sang it only once. The song is in the Guinness World Records as the most popular single in the history of pop music.
“The people who knew Diana will never forget her. But also the millions of people who had never met the Princess will never forget her either.”
Kate Winslet who has an Oscar also has the Order of the British Empire. Elizabeth II granted it to the actress for her outstanding achievements in cinema. According to some calculations, the Hollywood star earned about 60 million pounds for the British economy.
Winslet was obviously really worried during the ceremony and she couldn’t believe it was for real. The actress came with her children but she was afraid to look at them. She said, “I was scared that some of them would start picking their noses or something like that.”
“First of all, she has amazing skin and hair. She congratulated me and asked me if I liked my job. I told her that I loved starring in movies but not as much as I love being a mother. The Queen said, ’This is your main job.’ And I thought to myself, ’What a nice lady she is!’”
In 1992, Boris Yeltsin met Queen Elizabeth II in London. His friendly attitude and his terrible knowledge of English etiquette are still remembered.
An interpreter who attended the meeting said, “When they were saying goodbye in Greenwich, Boris Yeltsin even almost hugged His Majesty Duke of York which could easily result in a real hug if The Duke didn’t dodge on time. Yeltsin also took The Queen’s hand 2 times and once even tried to put his arm around her waist but thanks to a skill she had been developing for years, she managed to stop that.”
2 years after that, The Queen visited Russia for the first and last time up until now. At the reception in Kremlin, Yeltsin wanted to help The Queen with her coat. But Elizabeth dodged it in an elegant fashion: etiquette says that it is prohibited to touch The Queen.
“Hello, Your Majesty. Take off your clothes, please, it is not cold here!”
The Queen knighted the famous Sherlock. He received the order for his achievements in acting and charity work.
Also, it turned out that Richard III who Benedict Cumberbatch portrayed is actually his relative. Professor Kevin Schurer said, "They are connected through several relatives, but the closest one is the monarch’s great-grandmother, Joan Beaufort. Cumberbatch is also related to Queen Elizabeth II.
Despite being relatives, the actor met Her Majesty at the ceremony for the first time. The Russian Sherlock Vasily Livanov also got the order but 9 years later, in 2006.
“It is fantastic. It is nerve-racking and nothing can prepare you for such an important event.”
Simon Pegg met The Queen at the premiere of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. The actor portrayed Peepicheek. According to Simon, Elizabeth II even cried when his character made a very important decision in the film.
Later, Simon jokingly said that he made Her Majesty cry. This is actually a very rare case. Because according to etiquette, monarchs are not supposed to show their emotions.
“The Queen must always speak first. She may not even start a conversation for a long time. Joe McElderry was next to me. He was the X factor. The Queen asked him, ’Are you a musician?’ She kind of whispered it in his ear and then she turned to me and kept silent. I just waited for her to speak. It was 30 seconds. I started sweating.”
The famous midfielder has met The Queen several times. He also has the Order of the British Empire.
Beckham is also Prince William’s friend and he often appears at celebrations for the family. The soccer player has violated the rules many times. So during the wedding of Prince Henry and Meghan Markle, he was chewing bubble gum which is a big violation of etiquette.
Also, the soccer player once made a strange announcement. He said that he asked The Queen to make him a knight. There was no response from the Queen. Needless to say, Beckham has not become a knight.
“The Queen is the person who I watched when I was growing up. She is like a grandmother to me.”
The protocol says: don’t wear very flashy, bright clothes when meeting The Queen. Lady Gaga thought that her image was more important than etiquette. So she prepared a dress for the audience — the exact copy of Elizabeth II’s dress...but made of red latex.
The Queen herself often wears bright colors. But it’s not because she wants to, it’s because she has to. Her Majesty needs to be easily recognized in the crowd so that her servants can see her from afar. And black color in clothes is only for mourning ceremonies. But during the meeting with Lady Gaga, The Queen was wearing a black dress. So she likes to disobey some rules too.
“If I was wearing a beige color, nobody would even notice me.”
Legendary Vogue editor was sitting next to The English Queen at the Richard Quinn Fashion Show. In the photos, the ladies looked like old friends — they were smiling and talking.
Anna never removed her glasses during the show. The fans of The Queen thought it was a violation of etiquette and disrespect to The Queen. But experts had different opinions. The Queen herself most likely didn’t even pay attention. Elizabeth II visited a fashion show for the first time in 66 years and she was there specifically to give an award to the designer.
Queen Máxima of the Netherlands
The photos where The Queen Máxima of the Netherlands is kissing Elizabeth II went viral. There is a similar photo with the King of the Netherlands. Elizabeth who is not used to such a demonstration of feelings looked shy. The Dutch are famous for their love for touching and even the protocol didn’t stop them from showing their feelings.
The spouses arrived in Great Britain 2 days prior. This official visit was their first visit as monarchs. Máxima and Willem-Alexander showed that sincerity is more important than etiquette, even for monarchs.
“The Queen of England is the beacon we should watch and she is the most fearless Bond girl.”
Why do you think celebrities value meeting The Queen so much? And do you think that the rules of Royal etiquette should still be followed today? Share your opinion in the comment section.
Preview photo credit East News