Wednesday 16 January 2019

Watch: Queen Elizabeth makes joke about Donald Trump to David Attenborough

Queen Elizabeth references presidential aircraft held responsible for damaging royal lawns

Maya Oppenheim

Convention dictates that Queen Elizabeth remains neutral at all times and that others must keep their conversations with her confidential.

The longest reigning monarch in history, “Elizabeth the silent” has never given a press interview and does not vote in the general election.

All of the above means David Attenborough is likely to have been shocked to hear her joke a loud helicopter flying above them sounded like US president Donald Trump.

The pair, both aged 91, were recording a new ITV documentary in the gardens of Buckingham Palace when the aircraft disrupted their conversation.

Unable to supress her annoyance, Queen Elizabeth said: “Why do they go round and round when you want to talk?”

She then said: "Sounds like President Trump, or President Obama”.

In the past, the US presidential helicopter has been held responsible for damaging royal lawns.

ITV1 will air a one-off special documentary called The Queen’s Green Planet next week which is centred around a conversation between the Queen and the beloved nature broadcaster in the gardens of Buckingham Palace.

It will focus on Queen Elizabeth’s Commonwealth Canopy and her little-known penchant for trees.

The nonagenarian duo, who have known each other for many years, were filmed taking a stroll around the palace gardens last summer while discussing the many trees there.

Attenborough, who produced the Queen's televised Christmas Day address for more than five years in the 1980s and 1990s, previously said he was nervous about filming with the Queen.

"There was a certain amount of apprehension because all sorts of things could have gone wrong,” he told the Radio Times.

"There were problems in that where the palace is, geographically, there are always police sirens and ambulance sirens that make filming difficult. But she took it all in her stride. It was a privilege of course, a very nice occasion - and she was very gracious."

Asked about their on-screen chemistry, he said: "She is very un-solemn, very good at putting people at their ease."

A spokesperson for ITV said: “In a rare opportunity to see the Queen talking informally to Sir David, the conversation ranges from climate change, to conkers and birthday gifts.

“In the often humorous exchange, the Queen reveals her passion for nature and how the garden’s history is intertwined with that of her family, charting the lives of her children but also delving into the past of her great, great grandparents Queen Victoria and Prince Albert."

The Queen’s comments to the naturalist are not the first time the monarch has voiced frustration about living under a flight path. She complained about the increasing “noise from the air” which can be heard in Frogmore House in Windsor.

“I very much hope you have enjoyed visiting Frogmore House and garden, which holds a special place in my family affections,” she told BBC Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time in a pre-recorded message.

“Indeed, I would echo the sentiments of Queen Victoria, who, 150 years ago, wrote of this dear lovely garden where all is peace and you only hear the gum of bees, the singing of the birds. These days there is more noise from the air than in 1867, but Frogmore remains a wonderfully relaxing environment.”

The Queen's Green Planet will be screened on ITV at 9pm on Monday April 16.

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