Did you know Elizabeth II had a stunt double? For more than 34 years, Ella Slack has been the shadow of the Queen of England. Zoom on this 69-year-old retiree who has always exercised this role on a voluntary basis.
Did you know ? Like the biggest movie stars, the Queen of England has an official liner ! Her role: to take the place of the sovereign during rehearsals for major events and other inaugurations that take place in the United Kingdom. Since 1988, it's Ella Slack , a 69-year-old pensioner from the Isle of Man, who has the difficult task of being the shadow of Elizabeth II. But beware, she is not his double. The two women don't really look alike, they just have a similar stature and weigh about the same weight.
Ella Slack's adventure as an understudy began by chance on November 11, 1988 , during the preparation of the ceremony of the Rememberance Day. As she explains in an interview given to the media Great Big Story , she was not at all predestined for this career. But while she was working at the BBC , a producer came to find her.
'He came to see me and told me that the queen had sent a message to say that when she was standing in front of the Cenotaph (the war memorial, editor's note), she had the sun in her eyes and wondered if anything could be done. I said to him, 'Do you want me to come and position myself for you?' because all the managers were six-foot-tall men!' , she detailed. It was therefore this first mission, which was a success with flying colors, that led her to replace the queen more than fifty times.
Since 1988, Ella Slack has walked the balcony of Buckingham Palace several times, she has often been in carriages or royal carriages, and she even participated in the rehearsal of the famous Trooping The Colors parade. Yet she never took her place on the Queen's throne in the House of Lords. Indeed, royal protocol strictly forbids it!
In 34 years of good and loyal service, Ella Slack had time to make herself a wardrobe similar to that of the queen to better slip into the skin of her character. But she never got paid . She always refused it, explaining that being the queen's understudy was 'a pleasure and an honor' for her.
' The events I've contributed to are events that are broadcast around the world and millions of people are going to watch them. Then I watch the shows on TV, watch things unfold, and say, 'I did it for you' , she says proudly.