AS the Queen has returned to work, new details have emerged of how she was once almost shot by one of her own guards who mistook her for an intruder. Queen Elizabeth II was taking a late-night stroll through the grounds of Buckingham Palace when the incident occurred. In complete darkness, the guard is reported to have shouted out when he saw a figure walking around at 3am. “Who’s that?” he yelled. The person he saw was the Queen, who had gone out to get some fresh air because she couldn’t sleep. The guard confessed to Her Majesty he had nearly fired his weapon. “Bloody hell, Your Majesty, I nearly shot you,” he said. She replied, saying: “Next time I’ll ring through beforehand so you don’t have to shoot me.” It is understood the incident occurred several years ago. The Queen attended her first royal engagement since being struck down with a heavy cold that forced her to miss church services during Christmas and New Year.
She presented Ray Wheaton, the Queen’s Page of the Chambers, with the insignia of a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order (LVO), according to the court circular. The LVO, which is the Queen’s personal gift and is bestowed independently of 10 Downing Street, recognises service to the Royal Family and household. The news comes after she missed the traditional New Year’s Day church service at her country estate Sandringham. Her 95-year-old husband Prince Philip attended the New Year’s Day service, shrugging off rain and freezing wind. Other royals in attendance were Prince Edward and Sophie, the Countess of Wessex. Princess Anne on Monday said her mother was feeling “better”, while her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Lawrence said the Queen was “not too bad.” The royal couple was questioned by The Mirror as they briskly walked from Sandringham House to the village’s St Mary Magdalene church on Monday. The Queen and Prince Philip both fell ill almost two weeks ago. Their winter colds forced the royal couple to cancel their traditional train ride up to the Queen’s Norfolk estate in rural England, Sandringham, for their annual break. Instead, they flew up by helicopter on Christmas Eve. The Queen also missed the Christmas Day church service, opting not to go for the first time in 28 years, instead staying indoors to rest up. She has been recuperating at Sandringham ever since, although joined in Christmas Day festivities indoors with other members of the royal family. No public appearances other than the services at the St Mary Magdalene Church had been scheduled. The Queen’s Christmas message had been prerecorded before she fell ill. Despite his cold, Prince Philip attended the Christmas Day service, looking healthy and happy as he joined other members of the royal family including Prince Charles and Camilla, princes Harry, Andrew and Edward, who walked from Sandringham House to the nearby St Mary Magdalene Church.