Queen Elizabeth II Pranked A Group Of Tourists After They Didn’t Recognize Her At Balmoral Castle

Sep 15, 2022 by apost team

The royal family has many residences and extravagant homes. Before her passing, Queen Elizabeth II spent time at her favorite vacation home every summer, Balmoral Castle, which is a dreamy and sprawling estate that is nestled in the peaceful Scottish highlands. The residence has been referred to as the queen's favorite place to stay, and while there, she enjoyed picnics, dog walking and visits from the rest of her family. The royal even had some funny tasks to keep her busy so she didn't get bored.

Balmoral Castle has belonged to the royal family since 1852. The grounds and original castle were bought privately by Prince Albert, the consort to Queen Victoria, and remain the private property of the family today. The estate costs around £3 million (or about $3.5 million) to run each year and is classified by Historic Scotland as a category A listed building.

Balmoral Castle and the surrounding grounds and gardens have been described as "the most beautiful place on Earth." The queen used to be seen riding horses and driving her Range Rover over the residence's rugged terrain. The gorgeous gardens were first made available to the public back in 1931. Now they are open every day between April and the end of July, which is when Queen Elizabeth II used to arrive for her stay each year.

In late July 2021, a group of American tourists that were exploring the grounds of the estate did not recognize the queen when they came across her. This led to a funny exchange and showed off the royal's excellent sense of humor. Keep reading to hear the queen's response to the unaware visitors. 

Queen Elizabeth II (2017), (Ian Leslie Macdonald via Getty Images)

Before her passing on Sept. 8, 2022, Queen Elizabeth II was an extraordinary woman who achieved a lot of accomplishments in her 96 years. Of those years, she was the Queen of the United Kingdom and 15 Commonwealth realms for over 70 years, which is an incredible feat. Furthermore, her lengthy reign earned her a score of titles, including the second longest-reigning monarch in human history. She took the spot in June 2022 after making it to her 70th year as queen earlier in the year. 

She had a whole host of titles to her name. These include the longest-reigning and longest-lived British monarch, the longest-serving female head of state in history, and the longest-serving and oldest current head of state.

Surprisingly, those weren’t the only titles the queen had held. While Prince Philip was still alive, he and the queen made history. They were actually the longest-married couple in the British monarchy! What's more, Philip was the world's longest-serving consort to a monarch.

The queen’s life continues to fascinate people even after her death, including her early life before she ever took over the throne, despite the fact that she wasn't always destined to become the ruling monarch. And while the queen had shown that she was more than capable of holding such a powerful, regal and elegant position, she had also shown off her wonderful personality and cheeky mannerisms over the years. This was especially seen while the queen was surrounded by a group of foreign tourists who somehow didn’t even recognize her!


Queen Elizabeth II (2021), (Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

The queen’s former protection officer, Richard Griffin, has worked closely with the monarch for more than 30 years. He spoke to The Times and revealed that the clueless American tourists asked Her Royal Highness if she lived in the area, to which she replied that she had a house nearby, as per The Mirror.

Griffin said the encounter then became awkward as the visitors asked the monarch if she had ever met the queen. Griffin said she replied: "No, but this policeman has," and gestured toward him. The former officer said the group then moved along without any idea who they had just met.

Philip always traveled to the estate during the summer as well, and 2021 was the first year that the queen visited Balmoral after his passing. The couple even spent part of their honeymoon at the residence in 1947. Fortunately, the monarch was not alone that year, as the rest of her family typically stopped by for short visits throughout the season. In the past, she was visited by Prince Charles, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.

There was another activity at Balmoral that helped occupy the queen's time. The massive estate is home to a colony of pipistrelle bats that have been there for about 30 years. The bats are a protected species, which means you can't do anything to get rid of them, but the queen had always shown extreme interest in them. Royal expert Adam Helliker told the Sun that both the staff and the queen watched the bats and tried to catch them with nets.

Queen Elizabeth II (2021), (Jane Barlow-Pool/Getty Images)

The Sun reported that Helliker said in 2019: "When I checked last summer there were bats still there. They can't get rid of them. Lots of the servants want to get rid of them as they defecate all over the place. They are a protected species so they can't move them. You can't move bats when it's their habitat."

He continued:

"(The queen) used to do the net wielding but she doesn't do it now. Now I'm told that she shouts encouragement but observes the proceedings. It's more of a show put on for her by staff. That's just one of the things they do at Balmoral to stop them from getting bored stiff."

The entire situation seems like it would be hilarious to witness. We are glad the queen had something like this to keep her entertained and busy while at Balmoral. 

It appears that the royal head of state loves the little creatures despite them being a nuisance to the staff. Helliker added, "Although the footmen would love it if they weren't there, I think you could say after horses and corgis, bats are (the queen's) much lesser-known third favorite (animal)." 

The common pipistrelle bat is a protected species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and is considered a microbat due to its tiny size. These bats can be so small they are able to fit in a matchbox. They can also easily eat 3,000 insects a night as they are nocturnal like most bats. The pipistrelle is also the most common bat species in the British Isles.

Queen Elizabeth II (2015), (Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Do you think the queen's response to the American tourists was funny? What do you think of the monarch catching bats while at Balmoral? Let us know your thoughts, and don't hesitate to pass this along to your friends and family.

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