Queen Elizabeth II is supposed to be the very model of decorum, and most of the time she is. But occasionally the mask slips and she wears a very different face for a few moments. In these 40 pictures the famous monarch just looks plain furious or awkward, and it’s strangely hilarious.
40. At the Royal Windsor Horse Show
The Queen loves horses and she goes to the Royal Windsor Horse Show every year. But in 1997 when this shot was taken, something must have happened to really annoy her.
39. Watching the Highland Games
When the Queen attended the Highland Games in 2019, she was entertained by hammer-throwing and caber-tossing among other things. but in this photo she doesn’t seem particularly impressed.
38. Drinking alcohol
In this very relatable picture, the Queen looks irritated while she drinks a glass of Barrosa wine. Her Majesty apparently likes to have a drink with dinner most days.
37. The Queen’s birthday
This picture was taken on the Queen’s 91st birthday. Although she not doubt looks fantastic for her age, she also doesn’t exactly look to be in a celebratory mood.
36. Trooping the Color solo
The annual Trooping the Color parade, usually a big event, was cancelled in 2020. Instead, the Queen watched the ceremony alone. You can’t really blame her for looking pensive and less than delighted.
35. The Queen leaving Downing Street
It’s the Christmas holidays in this photo, as evidenced by the massive tree behind the Queen. But she doesn’t look to be in a Christmassy mood. Then again, she had just come out of government talks.
34. The Diamond Jubilee
You’d think the Queen would look much happier for her Diamond Jubilee River Pageant in the summer of 2012. But on that day it absolutely poured with rain, so no wonder she was a little angry.
33. Visiting Essex University
In 2004 the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visited Essex University and were shown exciting demonstrations of research. But if the Queen was pleased about this, it didn’t show on her face.
32. A losing horse
The Queen’s horse Carlton House was the favorite to triumph in a major U.K. race called the Derby in 2011, but it ended up in third instead. Luckily, a photographer was there to capture the Queen’s face when that happened.
31. The Queen and Meghan
This photo seems to perfectly sum up the difference in personality between Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and the Queen. While Meghan is demonstrative, the Queen just stares stoically ahead.
30. Trooping the Color
Ever wonder why the Queen wears such bright colors? It’s because it makes it easier for tourists to spot her in a crowd. But they could also just try looking for whoever has the best “not amused” face.
29. At the NIAB
Here, the Queen is seen staring intently at a stalk of wheat during a visit to the National Institute of Agricultural Botany. Perhaps she’s angry with it?
28. Diana and the Queen
Neither person in this photo looks happy, and that’s almost certainly how they actually felt as well. This shot was taken in 1982, when Diana was already miserable in her marriage to the Queen’s son Prince Charles.
27. The Queen driving
Yes, the Queen can drive. But since her status is so different from everybody else’s, she doesn’t actually need a driver’s license. She also didn’t have a driving test, which may account for her face here.
26. The Queen and her daughter
The resemblance between the Queen and her daughter Princess Anne has probably never been more obvious than in this photo. Not only are they wearing the same colors, but the same angry expression as well.
25. In royal regalia
Heavy is the head that wears the crown… literally. In a rare interview the Queen once stated that she disliked wearing her incredibly weighty royal headpiece. No wonder she looks so cross whenever she has it on.
24. Toddler troubles
Absolutely no-one looks happy in this picture… not the Queen, not Kate Middleton, not Prince Louis. To be fair, though Louis, was a mere one year old at the time, and it was probably unlikely that he would behave throughout a whole Trooping the Color ceremony.
23. Bad weather
Despite the Queen owning only the best umbrellas – hers are created by the company Fulton and custom-designed to match her clothes – it seems she really, really doesn’t like the rain.
22. Donald Trump’s visit
When American President Donald Trump visited Buckingham Palace in 2019, there were protests all over London. The Queen probably couldn’t hear them, but in this picture she doesn’t look pleased at her guest either.
21. With Princess Margaret
The Queen always had a slightly difficult relationship with her sister Princess Margaret. They were two very different people, and one of them had to curtsy to the other. So perhaps it’s not surprising that neither look happy here.
20. Royal Ascot
Royal Ascot is a horse-racing event for the rich and famous. Every year the royals arrive in horse-drawn carriages and sit in the extremely exclusive Royal Enclosure. And yet despite the glamor the Queen looks kind of bored.
19. Mother and son
This pic is the perfect snapshot of a tricky relationship. While the Queen loves Prince Charles, she didn’t have much time for parenting. There was a sense in which the Queen Mother was a surrogate parent for him, and sometimes she and her daughter clashed.
18. Surprise selfie
The royals aren’t supposed to take selfies with the public. So do not – do not – attempt to take one without their permission. You’ll end up with the Queen looking like this.
17. With Harry and Meghan
When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped down from the royal family, the Queen was reportedly very angry. Since no pics of her exact reaction exist, this one serves as a handy illustration of what expressions all three might have worn at the time.
16. At the Royal Windsor Horse Show
The royals are utterly obsessed with horses. Here, the Queen looks as Prince Philip takes part in an event, but her face demonstrates that maybe she doesn’t fancy his chances.
15. The Patron’s Lunch
Here, Queen Elizabeth attends an event called The Patron’s Lunch, which was held when she turned 90. Her outfit was colorful, the backdrop was colorful, but her face didn’t match those things.
14. Princess Eugenie photobombing
Princess Eugenie is a modern young royal and she knows how to work a camera. The Queen, on the other hand looks like she wishes she was anywhere else.
13. The Queen at Windsor
Standing at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in 1992, the Queen might put people in mind of her ancestor Queen Victoria. She was the one famously associated with the phrase “We are not amused.”
12. At Cambridge University
Queen Elizabeth is all decked out in mellow yellow here June 2005, but her face doesn’t match the sunny color. She might have had a lot on her mind, though. The controversial marriage of Charles and Camilla had been just a few months ago.
11. Chelsea Flower Show
This magnificent close-up shows the Queen touring a garden during the 2007 Chelsea Flower Show. But judging by her face, she apparently didn’t like the serene surroundings.
10. In a tiara
The rules of royal tiaras are numerous. There are only certain times of day where they can be donned and this must be done in the correct manner. Maybe that’s why the Queen looks so irritated while wearing hers.
9. The Queen and David Cameron
In this summer 2015 pic, the Queen sits with the scandal-plagued U.K. prime minister David Cameron. If she’s not outright mad at him here, three months later she probably was. In September of that year the infamous “piggate” news broke.
8. With her grandsons
This picture was taken back in 1989, when Princes William and Harry were still young boys. They look very excited indeed to be at Trooping the Color, but their grandmother looks considerably less so.
7. At Wolferton Pumping Station
Usually the Queen is dressed up in a fancy hat or occasionally even a crown, so it can be surprising to see her dressed down. Here, wearing regular clothes and no trace of a smile at a pumping station, she’s almost hard to recognize.
6. The Queen and Camilla
Relations between Queen Elizabeth and Camilla used to be frosty to say the least. The Queen disapproved of her relationship with Charles and allegedly described her in less than glowing terms. Things are different now, apparently, but photos like this make you wonder.
5. At Newbury Racecourse
Despite the fact that the Queen is one of the most recognizable people alive, she apparently doesn’t actually like having cameras constantly following her. And sometimes it shows.
4. With a beloved pet
The Queen adores dogs – that’s a big part of her public image. She has the iconic Corgis of course, but she also has dorgis and cocker spaniels. Yet despite her love for them, she can still sometimes look annoyed in their presence.
3. The Queen and Charles
In this shot the Queen and Prince Charles look very, very awkward around each other. And well they might be. That was the year the infamous, explicit “Camillagate” tape was leaked to the press.
2. The Queen and her great-grandson
Though Prince William is the one holding Prince George in this picture, the Queen’s expression indicates that she’s had rather enough of great-grandparenting for one day.
1. Watching her horses
This once-in-a-lifetime shot was taken as the Queen watched her horses compete at the Royal Windsor Horse Show. But it doesn’t look like that’s what she’s doing. She appears to be mad at her own hands, if anything.