As we look back on the life of Queen Elizabeth II, it’s clear that she was a remarkable woman. She was a steadfast leader, a skilled diplomat and, as it turns out, she was a very smooth operator in awkward social situations without us even realizing it. 

Over her 70-year reign, the Queen had to meet, greet, host and entertain thousands of people, which was probably fun when it’s Marilyn Monroe, Lady Gaga, Frank Sinatra, and Barak Obama (all of whom Queen Elizabeth met). But it was potentially a little more trying when it was an overenthusiastic fan at one of her garden parties, or a stuffy ambassador boring everyone about their weekend plans with their significant other. 

But, it turns out, the Queen had a strategy for exactly those kind of moments and it involved… applying her lipstick. Yep, really.

Her former footman, Ian Scott Hunter, who worked with the Queen for eight years, let slip her secret code on a special episode of Antiques Roadshow, on board the Royal Yacht Britannia, which was dedicated to “celebrat[ing] the reign and long life of Her Majesty the Queen.”

He revealed that she used her makeup to let her Ladies In Waiting know that she wanted to go. “I believe there’s etiquette that ladies do not make their faces up in public,” the former royal footman explained, adding, “but she had her bag over the side and she would take her lipstick out and put it on with no mirror or anything, and that was a signal to the ladies that she was ready to leave.”

Getty Images

Share This Article