But according to the Archbishop of Canterbury, many of her subjects fail to appreciate the Queen’s wicked sense of humour.
In a video to mark her Diamond Jubilee, Dr Rowan Williams speaks of his personal relationship with the Queen and hails not just her insight and judgment but also her “real personality”.
The Archbishop said: “I found in the Queen someone who can be friendly, who can be informal, who can be extremely funny in private . . . who is quite prepared to tease and to be teased, and who, while retaining her dignity always, doesn’t stand on her dignity in a conversation.
“I think we’ve been enormously fortunate in this country to have, as our head of state, a person who has a real personality.”