Queen left staff ‘speechless’ with surprise gesture at lockdown sports day party

The Queen’s staff formed a household bubble during the Covid pandemic to look after the Monarch and keep her safe, but when they weren’t working the group still found time to enjoy themselves

Angela started working for the Queen in 2002

The Queen stunned members of her household staff by making a surprise appearance at a fun sports day held in the grounds of Windsor Castle during the Covid lockdown.

A dedicated team of employees, dubbed ‘HMS Bubble’, remained at the Monarch’s home to care for her and Prince Philip when restrictions were brought in, with many not seeing family for months.

During a well-deserved afternoon off, the team were treated to a sports day on the golf course at Windsor Home Park sponsored by the Queen. They played rounders, had water balloon fights and did rely on races.

But the highlight of the day came when their host made a surprise appearance to present the prizes.

A group of staff spend the lockdowns at Windsor Castle as part of the Queen’s HMS Bubble



Revealing details of the special afternoon in an updated version of her book The Other Side of the Coin, the Queen’s must trusted aid and close friend Angela Kelly the Monarch also organized for champagne and biscuits to be sent down for the staff to enjoy.

In a book extract printed in Hello! magazine, she writes: “On the day, she came out very quietly and discreetly, and it was amazing to see the looks of surprise and delight when The Queen’s Range Rover pulled up by the golf course and Her Majesty stepped out.

“Little did the staff know that The Queen had actually arrived earlier and had been watching, hidden behind the bushes. The prizes were awarded and each team member came forward to receive their award and congratulations from The Queen.

Angela has worked closely with the Queen for decades



The Queen watched the sporting activities before heading over to say hello



“The astonishment on their faces was so lovely to watch, and as The Queen drove away in her Range Rover afterwards, everyone was speechless. An amazing day that will be cherished by all those who were there.”

Angela has worked for the Queen for 30 years and is now believed to be one of her trusted inner circle.

The Monarch offered her a job a year after their first meeting in Germany in 1992 and she joined the team as a dresser.

Speaking to The Telegraph in 2007, Angela said of her hiring: “I suppose the Queen must have liked me and decided I was trustworthy and discreet.”

Angela’s official title is personal assistant, adviser, and curator (jewellery, insignia, and wardrobe), but behind closed doors, she is more importantly a trusted confidante and friend.

And it is said that when the Queen tells staff she is “stepping out for a bit” it is actually royal code for her popping to see Angela.

“We are two typical women,” Angela told The Telegraph in a rare interview in 2007.

“We discuss clothes, make-up, jewelery. We say, ‘Would this piece of jewelery look nice with that outfit?’, and things like that.”

Their close relationship has however reportedly caused jealousy among other members of staff, with Angela joking: “I don’t have any more room for knives in my back.”

Angela also shares details of the sombre afternoon after Prince Philip’s funeral in the book, which is released in May.

She explained that when she returned to Windsor’s private apartments with the Queen, they didn’t speak and took off coats and hats in silence.

The Queen then walked to her living room and closed the door behind her, wanting “time with her own thoughts.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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