Queen, 96, jokes about trying not to fall into pond on visit to Australia

THE Queen grinned as she reminisced about trying not to fall into an indoor pond during a trip to Australia.

Ahead of her Platinum Jubilee celebrations, the 96-year-old monarch showed off her infamous sense of humour as she greeted the winners of the Australian of the Year Awards on a video call.

The video call happened to be scheduled on the anniversary of the day the Queen opened Parliament House in Canberra in 1988 and Her Majesty took a moment to remember the occasion.

Hosting the chat, David Hurley – Governor-General of Australia – said: "We didn’t plan that but it occurred so it might evoke some memories for you of your time here."

The Queen quipped back: “Indeed – trying to avoid that bit of water.”

Mr Hurley asked whether the monarch meant the water "down the front" – but she was quick to correct him and crack a joke at the same time.

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She said: “Well, no, inside. I don’t know whether it’s still there but there was a little pond inside.

"It intrigued me very much indeed. I wondered how many people had fallen into it."

It was not clear if she knew that in the three decades since its creation, the feature – known as the Pool of Reflection – has become notorious in Canberra for causing such incidents.

The Queen then enjoyed an 18-minute video call – which took place on May 9 but was only made public by Buckingham Palace today – with Paralympian Dylan Alcott and the three other award winners.

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She was in good spirits throughout the meeting, with the award recipients remarking with some surprise on her "cheeky" sense of humour.

During the Zoom call with the six Australians, the monarch remarked on the "splendid" technology which enabled the virtual meeting to take place despite its participants being on opposing sides of the world.

It came ahead of the royal's Platinum Jubilee celebrations this week – marking the Queen's stellar 70-year reign.

Marking the momentous occasion, the monarch stepped out on Thursday to watch the Trooping the Colour before beaming alongside her family on the balcony – as cheeky Prince Louis kept her company.

But after experiencing some "discomfort" on the day, she pulled out of yesterday's service at St Paul's Cathedral as the other royals gathered.

Buckingham Palace also confirmed the Queen will miss the Epsom Derby today because of her ongoing health issues.

The monarch, who has been experiencing episodic mobility problems, will not attend the major sporting event and is likely to watch the race on television at Windsor Castle.

Kate revealed the Queen was "fine" but had found the first day of the celebrations "very tiring".

The monarch had watched Trooping the Colour as she beamed alongside her family on the balcony – as cheeky Prince Louis kept her company.

And the Queen today wished her namesake great-granddaughter Lilibet a "very happy birthday" after meeting her for the first time this week.

Little Lilibet, named after the monarch's own childhood nickname, is in the UK for the first time in her life amid the Platinum Jubilee celebrations as she turns one.

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In a tweet, the monarch sent her well wishes to the royal tot alongside a balloon emoji.

It reads: "Wishing Lilibet a very Happy 1st Birthday!"

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The Queen has reigned for more than 70 years, becoming the longest-serving British monarch. But what else do we know about her?

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