That time the Queen hid in a bush to avoid her guests…. yes really!

All of us have to deal with people that we don’t like, particularly those of us who work in public facing jobs.  Some of us even avoid people at home; I know I have hid in the bath one dark evening and in a wardrobe to have a bit of peace and quiet to myself.

And so it is re-assuring that even the Queen has done this sort of thing at least once as it emerged last week in a television documentary that the Queen had quite a dislike of the Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu that resulted in her hiding in the foliage of her Buckingham Palace gardens.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

In 1978, Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu travelled to the UK with his wife, Elena Ceaușescu, for a state visit.   It was a historic occasion, marking the first time a Communist head of state had made a state visit to the UK.  When Nicolae and Elena Ceaușescu arrived for their state visit, they were greeted by Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip at Victoria station in London.

Whilst the Ceaușescus were staying at the Palace, one day  she took the corgis out for a walk in the Palace garden an when she spotted them coming the other way towards her, she thought to herself that she couldn’t bear to talk to them and so for the only time in her life, she hid in a bush in the garden to avoid her own guests.

The journalist said that an idea sprung in the monarch’s mind when she spotted the couple “coming the other way”.

Former Home Secretary Sir David Owen recalled that “She made it quite plain she didn’t like that visit,” the former foreign secretary added with a chuckle.

It’s not known if communist dictator Ceaușescu saw Her Majesty hiding amongst the bushes, but it had been made clear that the Queen disapproved of the state event, which was arranged by the government.

Ceaușescu, who governed Romania from 1965 until his execution in 1989 – was not popular with the British public and his visit was scrutinised by the press.  Even I remember as a boy how he would pose in front of backdrops of lush fields full of produce as his impoverished people at the time went largely hungry.

The Queen is famous for never disclosing her personal opinions or points of view on anything or anyone, if only more people could act with such restraint and dignity.  Only twice can I remember her voicing a negative opinion on anything and once was when she declared how rude Chinese officials were when they visited London and bizarrely much more controversially that she somewhat supported Brexit.

About Stephen Liddell

I am a writer and traveller with a penchant for history and getting off the beaten track. With several books to my name including a #1 seller, I also write environmental, travel and history articles for magazines as well as freelance work. Recently I've appeared on BBC Radio and Bloomberg TV and am waiting on the filming of a ghost story on British TV. I run my own private UK tours company (Ye Olde England Tours) with small, private and totally customisable guided tours run by myself!
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