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Queen Elizabeth Hated This One Part of Her Body, According to Her Photographer

“She was just so funny from the minute she walked in.”

The late Queen Elizabeth II was perhaps one of the most photographed women in the world, with countless official photos and candids from events and functions. While the Queen never gave any hint of feeling insecure about her looks, one photographer reveals the stoic monarch may have had a dislike for a certain feature.

Here is what acclaimed photographer Rankin says the Queen told him during an official photoshoot in 2002, and how he described the experience as a whole—and to explore secrets of the Royal Family, don't miss these The Biggest Royal Romance Scandals of All Time

Posing For a Picture

Dave Benett/Getty Images

According to John Rankin Waddell, known simply as Rankin, he was taking photos of the Queen in honor of her Golden Jubilee when he came up with what he thought was a great idea for a portrait. Rankin tried to convince the Queen to pose holding a sword, but she refused to do so. Read on to find out exactly why.

Inspired By the Merry Monarch


Rankin says he caught the Queen in a playful mood and wanted to capture that sense of merriment she had. "I was in the throne room and she was walking down this corridor and I could see her and the footman walking and they were both laughing, just cracking up and I was like 'that's what I want.' So that was in my head the whole time."

The Queen Says No Thank You


Rankin suggested the Queen pose holding a sword, which she respectfully declined. "I was like, 'I really want to photograph you holding the sword,' and she said, 'I don't like my hands.' [I thought] that's the best 'get out' for holding the sword," Rankin revealed on the Tea With Twiggy podcast.

Laughing Queen

queen elizabeth II in a pink suit

Rankin says he was later contacted by the Palace to express their approval of his pictures because he managed to make the Queen smile and laugh. "I got a really amazing note where the curator said my photograph of her is one of their favorites – which I think means the Palace's favorite – because she's really laughing in my picture."

An Unforgettable Experience

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Rankin says the experience is something he will never forget. "Of course she came in and this wave of empowerment washes over you," he says. "I've never felt that aura and she was just so funny from the minute she walked in. I'm probably not supposed to say that [she disliked her hands], but what I loved about her is she's so smart and everything in response that she was saying had this amazing twist to it. It was just really, really brilliant. I loved it – I spent five minutes with her, so I don't know her intimately."

Ferozan Mast
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. Read more
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