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Ellie Kirwin & Fran Winston, OK, October 20, 2022

Artist shares Queen's cheeky humour as he told her to sit still when listening to music

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EXCLUSIVE: The Queen's portrait artist Christian Furr, who painted her at the age of 28 in 1995, fondly looks back on the time he experienced the Queen's hilarious sense of humour


One of the official portrait artists of Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has given an insight into her sense of humour.

Although stoic and serious during most public occasions, the Queen – who died on 8 September – had a much lighter side as Christian Furr exclusively revealed to OK!.


“I remember I was in the sitting once, and I was concentrating on something and thinking, ‘I've got to get this right,’” he said. 

He went on: "And the Queen was kind of bopping around listening to some music outside that she clearly enjoying.

“And I said, ‘Oh, do you mind keeping your head still?’ So she sort of looked at me and she said, ‘Isn't it still already?’ But she was so funny, she had a brilliant sense of humour.”


Christian Furr spoke alongside photographer Rob Munday and sculptor Frances Segelman to OK! at the opening of Her Majesty – an exhibition dedicated to Queen Elizabeth II. 

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At 28 years old, British Artist Christian Furr was the youngest artist every to be commissioned to paint an official portrait of the Queen. The portrait currently hangs in the Royal Overseas League. 

Speaking of how he felt before beginning his piece of art, he said: "I think with anything, the most difficult time is before you start.


Christian Furr says the Queen had a real hilarious sense of humour
Christian Furr says the Queen had a real hilarious sense of humour (Image: Denise Palmer)

"When you start your work, you feel a whole lot better straight away. I just needed to begin and then you’re off," he continued. "When I was waiting for the Queen, I was very nervous but as soon as she arrived, she said, ‘Oh, we’ve started now.’ She was very able to relax with you instantly."

His recollections confirm the cheeky wit of the beloved late Queen who was always game for a laugh.

The public previously got hints of her fun side when she participated in a hugely acclaimed skit as part of the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony.

The Queen and Daniel Craig's 007 in the Olympic sketch
The Queen and Daniel Craig's 007 in the famous Olympic sketch (Image: GettyImages)

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In the clip Daniel Craig, in character as 007 agent, James Bond, is her bodyguard and it culminates with her appearing to parachute down into the Olympic Stadium.

She later appeared in a short clip with Grandson Prince Harry to promote his Invictus Games in 2016, which also showcased her cheeky side.

And most recently, just weeks before her death, she appeared in a short film with Paddington Bear to open her Platinum Jubilee concert.

She delightedly pulled a marmalade sandwich from her handbag in a nod to Paddington’s favourite food.

The Queen's sketch with Paddington Bear was a huge success
The Queen's sketch with Paddington Bear was a huge success (Image: Buckingham Palace/ Studio Canal / BBC Studios / Heyday Films/PA Wire)

She also played the opening to the classic Queen song We Will Rock you using a teaspoon and a teacup introducing the band as the openers of the show. Another nod to her love of music as also confirmed by Furr.

The sketch was a huge success with viewers heaping praise on her ability to poke fun at herself. In the wake of her death Paddington Bear almost became symbolic of a country in mourning.

Her Majesty passed away on 8 September at the age of 96 with her children, the now King Charlesand The Princess Royal, Princess Anne by her side. 

Christian Furr pictured with the Duke of Edinburgh
Christian Furr pictured with the Duke of Edinburgh (Image: Denise Davies)

Her state funeral was watched by more than 29 million people in the UK alone. 

Furr was in his late 20s when he was commissioned by the Royal Overseas League to paint Queen Elizabeth II in 1995. The Queen chose him from a number of artists, and the portrait was painted at Buckingham Palace.