Joanna Lumley was ‘absolutely terrified’ meeting Queen Elizabeth

Joanna Lumley Was ‘Absolutely Terrified’ Meeting Queen Elizabeth Joanna Lumley Was ‘Absolutely Terrified’ Meeting Queen Elizabeth
Britain's Queen Elizabeth meeting Joanna Lumley (Gareth Fuller/PA), © PA Archive/PA Images
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By William Janes, PA

Joanna Lumley has admitted being “absolutely terrified” and said she turned “rather dim” when she first met Britain's queen.

The actress, former model, author, and activist also confessed to “babbling” about her concerns over legalising drugs while Queen Elizabeth listened politely.

Speaking on The Andrew Marr Show about her new book about the monarch, A Queen For All Seasons, she said: “It’s extremely terrifying, for some reason its… even the people who say ‘what an honour, oh you’ll love it, she’s so friendly’, no matter how much of that goes on you’re absolutely terrified the first time you see the queen.

“You have… it’s almost like an electric shock because somebody so familiar is suddenly in front of you.

Queen Elizabeth greets (l-r) Darcey Bussell, Joanna Lumley, Penelope Keith and Patricia Hodge (Archive/PA)

“The queen is suddenly a different dimension, a different size, and people always say ‘her eyes, her eyes are so blue, so stunning – when she looks at you her eyes are so blue’, and so you have that shock and you immediately start being rather dim and rather babbly.”


Despite having met members of the royal family multiple times, when asked if she could think of appropriate things to say when she encountered the queen she said “never”.

She added: “I went to one of the lunches at Buckingham Palace and for some extraordinary reason I… she said ‘tell me what you’re doing nowadays’ and (I) said I’m very concerned about legalising drugs.”

“I mean what happened to me, as if she would care, she had no interest in it.

“Anyways she let me babble on for a little bit because she is very good at listening to people, she’s very good at listening.”

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