A chatty Queen Elizabeth II showed off her dry sense of humor in a Zoom meeting with Australian of the Year award winners, teasing them about their Parliament building and marveling over the “splendid” technology that made their long-distance meeting possible.
“She’s cheeky,” said Dr. Daniel Nour, named Young Australian of the Year for founding a mobile medical service that helps the homeless. “I loved her cheeky smile. She just wanted to have a chat.”
The video, released Saturday by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation to mark the queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebration, was recorded on May 9 — the 34th anniversary of her royal trip Down Under, when she attended the official opening of Parliament House in Canberra.
“It might invoke some memories of your time here,” David Hurley, Australia’s governor-general, gently reminded the 96-year-old monarch.
“Oh! Indeed — trying to avoid that bit of water,” she responded sharply, flashing a brief grimace.
“I don’t know whether it’s still there, but there was a little pond there, inside,” she reminisced. “It intrigued me very much indeed. I wondered how many people had fallen into it.”
The Pool of Reflection within Australia’s modernist legislative complex has become an infamous site of unexpected dunkings over the years.
In a nine-minute conversation, the queen spoke with the award winners about their charity work and thanked them for their service.
“When I told my mum last night that I was getting to meet you, she cried,” confided Dylan Alcott, a wheelchair tennis player and four-time Paralympic gold medalist.
“She’s pretty cool. I’m not going to lie,” Alcott said of the queen once the call was over.