Why You Would Always Find Queen Elizabeth Holding Her Own Umbrella In The Rain

Described as an "introverted, pragmatic, logical, responsible, and emotionally stable" person by IE UniversityQueen Elizabeth II also had a keen sense of humor, according to royal biographer Sally Bedell Smith. "You can hear her laugh throughout that big house," she told People, referring to the Sandringham estate. She wasn't afraid to poke fun at herself, either, and had dozens of little quirks that made her the iconic figure she was.

Inside the palace walls, the late monarch reportedly ate a jam sandwich every day before tea, hated garlic, and loved "Downton Abbey," per 7News Australia. She also had a glass of champagne before bed, according to her cousin Margaret Rhodes, and she loved gin and dry martinis (via Vanity Fair). When the queen attended royal engagements, she was never seen without her trusty Launer London handbag, according to People. On rainy days, she was often seen holding her own umbrella, which is always something she insisted on doing herself.

Queen Elizabeth II had a favorite brand of umbrella

According to broadcaster and former MP Gyles Brandreth, Queen Elizabeth II never let any of her team hold an umbrella for her because she didn't like the feeling of water going down her neck (via The Mirror). Writing in The Oldie magazine, Brandreth recalled meeting the late monarch for the first time when she visited Oxford University while he was a student there. He noticed that during her visit, the Oxford Union President didn't hold an umbrella for her. "When she had gone I reprimanded William Waldegrave ... for not carrying the monarch's umbrella for her as he escorted her across the courtyard in the rain," Brandreth wrote. "He told me, 'The Queen insists on holding her own umbrella — always. If someone else holds it, the rain trickles down her neck."

The queen was photographed on many occasions holding a clear Fulton umbrella that often matched her outfit. Fulton's CEO Nigel Fulton told Fox Weather that the company's umbrellas not only kept Queen Elizabeth II's head and shoulders from getting wet, but the translucency allowed the monarch to still be seen beneath it even in rainy weather, which he believed was "especially important." This is despite British photographer Rankin recently revealing that she didn't like to have photographs taken of her hands and would go to great measures to hide them from view (via People).

The late monarch left a lasting impression on Rankin

Appearing in an episode of the "Tea with Twiggy" podcast, British photographer Rankin recalled the time he was chosen as one of 10 photographers to capture Queen Elizabeth II for her Golden Jubilee in 2002 (via the Royal Collection Trust). He photographed the former monarch in the Ballroom at Buckingham Palace, which he later edited digitally to incorporate a Union Jack flag behind her.

The portrait is believed to be one of the Palace's favorite pictures of her "because she's really laughing in the picture," Rankin explained (via People). "She was just so funny from the minute she walked in." He initially wanted to photograph her holding a sword. But, as Rankin explained, she turned down the idea as she didn't like the way her hands looked. He found that hard to argue with. "I was like, that's the best 'get out' for holding the sword," he recalled. "I'm probably not supposed to say that, but what I loved about her is she's so, so smart and everything that she was saying had this amazing twist to it. It was just really brilliant."

Over on his Instagram, Rankin said he felt a bit like Austin Powers at points during the photoshoot. "I started, almost like Austin Powers, 'Ma'm, can you smile please Ma'am, Ma'am can you smile please' & kept repeating it till she smiled once, did a massive grin, which became the shot, then a smaller smile."