Queen joked dressmaker was sacked after dead bird prank
The Queen joked that her dressmaker and confidante was sacked after she played a prank on her, it has been reported.
The monarch’s personal adviser and curator Angela Kelly said that the Queen had mentioned they would see kookaburra birds during their Royal Tour to Australia in 2006.
But when Ms Kelly bought a toy one and pretended it was dead, the Queen was said to have been “horrified” – until she discovered it was a prank.
The anecdote features in Ms Kelly’s new book, The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe – extracts of which have been published by Hello! magazine.
Ms Kelly, who has worked closely with the Queen for the past 25 years, said she saw a stuffed toy version of the bird while at a market.
She added: “I had something in mind I thought the Queen would enjoy.”
When she got back to the Governor’s House where they were all staying, she said that she had placed the toy in a little cage on the balcony outside her room.
When the Queen returned, Ms Kelly told her she had spotted a “funny looking grey bird” through the window.
She added: “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 realised I had been winding her up.”
Ms Kelly added: “‘April Fool!’ I said with a mischievous grin, and she only had two words for me: ‘You’re sacked!’
“I was laughing uncontrollably as her Majesty turned to His Royal Highness and said ‘Do you know what she has just done to me? Angela has had me!’.”
The Queen took the little toy back to Windsor Castle with her and it now lives on the back of the sofa in her private living room, Ms Kelly added.