Photographer Reveals What Queen Elizabeth Is Really Like When Only With Her Inner Circle

Queen Elizabeth just celebrated her Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years on the throne. Although she had to sit out certain events due to ongoing health issues, as BBC reported, Her Majesty confirmed in a statement she was "humbled and deeply touched that so many people have taken to the streets to celebrate my Platinum Jubilee." The Queen enthused, "I have been inspired by the kindness, joy, and kinship that has been so evident in recent days, and I hope this renewed sense of togetherness will be felt for many years to come."

The Guardian pointed out that, although the Jubilee was a celebratory time for everybody, especially Queen Elizabeth herself, it also signified how her reign is gradually winding down. Behind the scenes, Prince Charles is preparing to take over when the time comes, even assuming an increasing number of public duties from his mother in recent years. Thankfully, "Unlike the queen, he has known from birth that he would be king and is, therefore, in my view, extremely well-prepared for it," as royal author and professor of government Vernon Bogdanor explained. 

He added, "I think the affection for the queen and the respect for her will transfer to the Prince of Wales when he becomes king." Recently, side-by-side images of the queen caused alarm among royal experts, exemplifying just how much the beloved monarch has aged in a relatively short amount of time. Clearly, a picture tells a thousand words, especially if this celebrity photographer is to be believed. 

This celebrity photographer got a fascinating glimpse at the monarch's true self

Back in 2002, photographer John Rankin Waddell was chosen as part of an elite group to capture Queen Elizabeth in honor of her Golden Jubilee. "I was probably more nervous than I've ever been in my life," he admitted to Fox News Digital. Rankin was intimately familiar with the Queen, having grown up in the U.K. where her image is ubiquitous, and the photographer was honored to work with her.

Rankin observed Queen Elizabeth showing her sense of humor with her towering footman, and was immediately put at ease. "In my research, I read she had this wicked, very cheeky sense of humor. And it clearly showed," the celebrity snapper shared with Fox News Digital, noting they even had a good chat. In fact, when a piece of Rankin's camera equipment abruptly fell, the Queen reacted with good humor. "She just laughed. It broke this kind of spell that was going on. She humanized in front of me. I wanted to capture that feeling with my camera. Once I saw that laugh, I thought, 'That's it, I'm gonna get her smiling.' . . . And in the end, I got this one smile — that was the shot," he reminisced. 

As Express notes, although Her Majesty often appears very prim and proper, she was captured smiling hugely after finally re-joining public life, once the COVID-19 restrictions were lifted in Britain. The long-reigning monarch reportedly "loathed" lockdown, according to royal expert Camilla Tominey (via Express).

What's Queen Elizabeth really like behind closed doors?

Fans continue to speculate about the monarch's personality, and fortunately, we've been given some interesting intel over the years. According to People, royal biographer Robert Hardman confirmed, unsurprisingly, that Her Majesty loves ruling over Britain. Hardman interviewed some of the queen's nearest and dearest for his tome, "Queen of Our Times: The Life Of Queen Elizabeth II," noting, "She remains very much center stage, with an appetite and enthusiasm for the job. She really enjoys what she does." Despite setbacks including falling ill with coronavirus and losing her beloved husband, Prince Philip, "those who know her well talk about her sense of humor and how she's a very upbeat and positive person," Hardman recalled.

In fact, Netflix's mega-hit "The Crown" gets her wrong, because their version of Elizabeth is frequently quite downbeat. Furthermore, royal author Sally Bedell Smith, who penned "Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch," told People that Her Majesty's laugh echoes throughout her Sandringham estate. "She has a big laugh!" Bedell Smith quipped.

While we might never get to experience the woman behind the crown ourselves, at least photos of the queen capture some of her fun-loving energy.