It’s hard to imagine Queen Elizabeth behaving any way other than regally, but the monarch once hid behind a bush in order to avoid a guest at Buckingham Palace. While we can’t blame the royal for wanting to dodge unpleasant company, hiding in a bush seems a bit extreme, especially as the queen has a secret signal she uses with her aides to end a conversation with a guest.
It’s important to note that the guest in question wasn’t just a rude person who gave Queen Elizabeth a hard time — her reasons for avoiding him were far less superficial. As revealed in the new ITV documentary Our Queen: Inside the Crown (per E! News), Queen Elizabeth hid in the bush to avoid Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu when he visited the royal residence in 1978 with his wife, Elena.
Ceaușescu was widely disliked by British citizens for obvious reasons. Royal biographer Robert Hardman explained in the documentary that the press began to question the foreign secretary, and the public demanded to know why “this monster” was invited to the country.
Queen Elizabeth hid from her guest while out walking her corgis
Queen Elizabeth was courteous to Ceaușescu and kept with royal protocol at the start of his visit, but she — like her people — disliked the dictator, which led to the incident in question.
“On the occasion when they were staying, she took the corgis out for a walk in the palace gardens and she could see the Ceaușescus coming the other way,” said Hardman. “She thought, ‘I really can’t face talking to them,’ so the first and only time in her life, she actually hid in a bush in the palace gardens to avoid her guests.”
British Foreign Secretary Lord David Owen added, “The queen puts up with many different people, but Ceaușescu was too much for her. She made it quite plain she didn’t like that visit!”
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