Former Royal Piper Reveals Hilarious Details About The Queen From A Family Barbecue

Queen Elizabeth II will be long remembered as a dedicated, down-to-earth sovereign, and millions loved her for it. However, it should never be forgotten that the queen had a surprising sense of humor that defied the "we are not amused" rep of the royals. This short clip from "Good Morning America" highlights only a few of the queen's witty quips and reactions (such as the moment last summer when she insisted on cutting a cake with a sword at the G7 event because "this is more unusual"). She even stole the show at her own Platinum Jubilee, with a video showing her sharing tea and marmalade sandwiches with Paddington Bear (via YouTube).

The queen was also known among her family and staff for her love of a good laugh. Her former bagpiper recalled a delightful anecdote in a recent interview with People. As Sovereign's Piper, a title he held for four years, Scott Methven was tasked with playing melodies under the queen's balcony for 15 minutes every weekday, both at Windsor Palace and at her other residences (via Bagpipe Journey). "Pipes," as he was known to the queen, had to keep his repertoire fresh so as not to bore Her Majesty with the same songs every day.

One summer, the queen invited family members to her estate in Balmoral, Scotland, where they took a torchlit walk through the woods to a cottage for a barbecue and drink. It was there that the monarch showed a playful side that few knew about.

The queen showed her appreciation for Pipes' joke

As some 22 royal family members looked on, the queen's former royal bagpiper, Scott "Pipes" Methven, played his bagpipes outside the Balmoral cottage, doing his best to ignore the swarms of biting midges that had even William, Prince of Wales, swatting away in frustration. "I never flickered an inch," Methven bragged to People

Afterward, Queen Elizabeth invited her guests in for a drink, where her mischievous side was in full force. First, she gave the royal torch bearers "a thimbleful of alcohol" while Methven received a hefty serving of whisky. Then she asked her Pipes about his stoicism in the face of all the biting insects. "I have a secret weapon," he joked. "I laced myself internally with gin." 

The queen reacted most unexpectedly. "[S]he punched me in the arm!" recalled Methven. "With 22 members of the royal family sitting there!" The guests were momentarily stunned, but Methven went along with the joke by pretending he had been badly hurt. "She just started laughing, and then everyone else did too," Methven said. "There are not many people in the world who can say they were punched by the Queen!" 

It was an unexpected bit of teasing from a revered monarch. But then, would you expect any less from the woman who had James Bond escort her to the 2012 London Olympics?