Queen gave elocution lessons to personal adviser

The Queen once gave elocution lessons to her personal adviser Angela Kelly – but they did not last long.

Ms Kelly, who has worked closely with the Queen for the past 25 years, has revealed the head of state gave her just one class – after being badgered by the aide.

The anecdote from the Queen’s personal adviser and curator features in her new book, The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe, extracts of which have been published by Hello! magazine.

Investitures at Buckingham Palace
Angela Kelly, the personnel dresser to the Queen (John Stillwell/PA)

Writing about her elocution lessons, the Liverpudlian revealed she had wanted classes since she was eight, and was conscious about the way she spoke when she first began working for the Queen.

After asking the head of state to recommend someone to help, the monarch said it was not necessary.

Ms Kelly added: “I asked again and again, but still she refused…I then told Her Majesty my new idea. ‘You can give me elocution lessons! You can tell me what I say that’s correct and what I say that isn’t’.

“The Queen could probably sense that I wasn’t going to give up, so she instructed me to say one word: ‘furious’. ‘Fyer-ri-ous,’ I responded.

“‘No, fee-or-ree-ous,’ said Her Majesty, in perfect received pronunciation. After several more attempts, I finally cracked it and Her Majesty exclaimed, ‘Yes!’ and her finger went up in the air, followed shortly by: ‘Not sick as a parrot’.

“And that was it – my one and only elocution lesson, and from the Queen herself.”

Ms Kelly, also revealed the Queen has a small number of rooms in her Buckingham Palace apartment – just a bedroom, private sitting room, dressing room and a bathroom.

Her audiences, with everyone from prime ministers to ambassadors, are held in the room of the same name while guests are sometimes asked to wait in the Empire room.

But the only people allowed into the Queen’s private sanctum are members of the royal family.

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