Late Queen’s dresser Angela Kelly reveals light-hearted April Fool’s Day prank she pulled on monarch
Despite her public demeanor, Queen Elizabeth was a close friend who always enjoyed a good laugh, according to her personal dresser Angela Kelly.
In her book 'The Other Side Of The Coin: The Queen, the Dresser, and the Wardrobe,' Angela Kelly, the late queen's lifelong aide-de-camp, and seamstress provides insights into the Queen's behind-the-scenes life, including a prank she pulled on April 1. Little did she know that the prank would backfire. “I had something in mind I thought The Queen would enjoy,” Kelly mentioned to Hello magazine. “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 realized I had been winding her up.”
Queen Elizabeth II is dead, longest-reigning monarch was 96 years old
The Queen humorously informed Kelly after being informed the bird was only an April Fools' joke: “You’re sacked!” Kelly continued saying, “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 toy kookaburra has remained in Windsor Castle for all these years, sitting on a sofa in the Queen's sitting room. “I laugh to myself every time I see it,” Kelly revealed. In another tale from the book, Kelly told Hello magazine that Singaporean small business owners brought their wares to the airport so the queen could gaze at them despite her hectic schedule. “We wander through the stalls — Her Majesty leading the way, followed by me and the Ladies-in-Waiting. Something will catch the Queen’s eye — usually a vibrant fabric, given her fondness for bright colors — and she’ll gesture to me,” Kelly said. “Our selections are always ready for collection on our return when it’s my responsibility to pay the bill."
Kelly explained that a stall owner told her she could get tax back on the transaction when she collected packages of silk. “The Queen is always keen to keep costs down, so off I went in search of someone who could help,” Kelly emphasized. “A few minutes later, as I was getting the tax back, another member of the royal staff rushed up to me in a panic, shouting that we had to go straight away as the plane was leaving right that second,” she recalled. “Soon I was running across the tarmac, flying up the steps to the plane just in time. I was so thrilled, I shouted over the plane’s engines a phrase I am sure the Queen does not hear very often: ‘I’ve got your tax back!’ The look on the Queen’s face was priceless as I handed her the tax refund.”