SOMETIMES people panic when they meet The Queen and don’t know what to say…

I remember the time regional newspaper editors were invited to meet Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh at a Press Association function.

If memory serves me right, it was in Leeds, and I was editor of The Northern Echo at the time. I was in a line with the late Peter Moore, editor of the Grimsby Telegraph, who’d been my boss when I started out at the sister office in Scunthorpe.

Peter was a lovely, funny, kind man and a great editor, but but he was quite nervous about meeting the Royal couple. As they came down the line, The Queen stopped in front us and there was a bit of an awkward silence.

Peter suddenly blurted out: “How are your racehorses Ma’am? Are they hibernating at this time of year?”

The Queen looked at him, quizzically, paused for a few seconds, then replied “Horses don’t hibernate!” before walking on to talk to someone else.

“Why did you say that?” I whispered.

“I’ve absolutely no idea,” he replied.