The Queen was almost shot by one of her own guards while she took a late-night stroll through palace grounds, it has been reported.
The guard is said to have shouted into the darkness when he spotted a figure walking around Buckingham Palace at 3am, believing it might be an intruder.
But the shadowy suspect was in fact Her Majesty, who had stepped out for some fresh air because she couldn’t sleep, The Times reported.
The guard confessed to Her Majesty he had nearly fired his weapon, to which she quipped: ‘Next time I’ll ring through beforehand so you don’t have to shoot me.’
Yesterday the Queen performed her first royal engagement since falling ill with the heavy cold that forced her to miss church services over the festive season.
The Queen presented a trusted member of staff with an honour as she continues to recuperate at Sandringham.
The monarch invested Ray Wheaton, the Queen’s Page of the Chambers, with the insignia of a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order, 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 monarch, who missed church on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, is said to be up and about and dealing with her red boxes of official papers.
Yesterday the Queen also sent a message of condolence to the President of Turkey, following the attack in an Istanbul nightclub on New Year’s Day that killed 39 people.
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh both fell ill with colds in the run-up to Christmas, forcing them to delay their trip to the Norfolk estate by a day.
While Philip went to the Christmas Day service at St Mary Magdalene Church, the Queen stayed indoors. A week later, she also missed the New Year’s Day service.