Queen Elizabeth II meeting the Spice Girls

We heart Queenie: Famous quotes from famous people on why she’s so great

'She was really cool and gorgeous and delightful'

By Shannon Wilson, 13 May 2016
We heart Queenie: Famous quotes from famous people on why she’s so great

As a nation, we love the Queen. Not only do we give her two birthdays a year (with the second scheduled for this weekend), but we also obsess over her every move from her flawless monochrome dress sense to her cheeky sense of humour. 

But don't just take our word for it. To mark the Queen's 90th birthday celebrations, we've found the best quotes from the famous people who know her well, to the starstruck fans who have met her just once, on what they really think about our longest reigning monarch.

Spoiler alert: she's awesome.


She looks after her staff

Director Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire), on working with the Queen and Daniel Craig while filming for the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony:

“She wanted her staff to have a day out with a movie star. And so we did. Daniel Craig came and he’s a movie star! He’s James Bond! Everybody can get their picture taken... she was very, very keen and insistent that her staff did as well. I liked that about her very much. You thought, ‘Yeah, that’s decent, looking after them like that’. And we had a lovely afternoon filming with the two of them.”


Her wicked sense of humour

Veteran broadcaster Sir David Attenborough (Life on Earth, Frozen Planet), revealed at the Radio Times Festival that he tried to dress the Queen in a beige-coloured dress for her first Christmas television broadcast in 1986, and she took it pretty well:

“It was a room with green wallpaper so I dismissed all the green stuff. I picked out one that was mushroom... The Queen, in this dress, came out and she said 'well I hope you approve of my costume... I said well... it was green your Majesty and the wallpaper of the room was green so it would have clashed. Bill Heseltine, trying to be helpful, said well of course we could have had the room decorated. She said 'do you realise what that would have cost?'”


A source of inspiration

Barack Obama, the President of the United States, described the Queen at a press conference for her 90th birthday as one of his favourite people:

“The Queen's been a source of inspiration for me like so many people around the world. She is truly one of my favourite people, and should we be fortunate enough to reach 90, may we be as vibrant as she is. She is an astonishing person and a real jewel to the world, and not just the United Kingdom.”


She's up for anything

Famously 'jumping' out of plane during her performance for the 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony alongside Daniel Craig (Bond), the actor said of working alongside her:

“She was fun, incredibly game. We had a short space of time and I was a bit grumpy as it was my day off and suddenly I am at the Palace with the Queen at her private chamber... And she improvises a little bit. She was supposed to be sitting at the desk and she asked if she could write, so she pretended to write.”


She's got a lot of love for her Corgis

Celebrity chef Mary Berry, best known for her appearances on The Great British Bake Off, had lunch with the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at Buckingham Palace in the summer of 2012. As she disclosed in her recent autobiography, Recipe for Life, it was "lovely". The best part was what she revealed to the Radio Times about the Queen's hobbies:

“The Queen and I fed biscuits under the table to the corgis!” 


There's no-one quite like her

Dame Helen Mirren, famous for playing the Queen both on screen and on stage, talks admirably about the Queen's presence at a palace celebration in 2014:

“I am genuinely always astounded by her aura, her twinkle, her presence. It never fails to surprise me and again it's what everyone says when they meet her - it was what overwhelmed me the first time I met her.”


She's the epitome of 'Girl Power'

Geri Halliwell of the Spice Girls, shared a throwback snap from when the Spice Girls met the Queen on her Twitter page:

“The ultimate woman of girl power #QueenElizabeth II - the longest reining monarch in British history ( Spice1997).”


She never leaves anyone out

Katherine Jenkins, singer and performer, spoke about the Queen's dedication to inclusion at the Royal Variety performance in 2009: 

“I'm amazed that Queen managed to speak to all of the artists. I am very lucky because it is my third Royal Variety. The line up is amazing this year. It is always an honour to be here. No matter how big the stars are that come to Royal Variety they realise it is a massive thing to be part of.”


She's seen it all

Game of Thrones star, Kit Harrington was starstruck when he met the queen when she visited the Game of Thrones set in Belfast in 2014:

“Being here and meeting the Queen, it's pretty amazing that the show has done that and she has come to see the sets. It gives it some sense of scale. She is an incredible person. She has an incredible presence about her. To meet someone who has been on the throne as long as she has and has seen the things she has, it's quite an experience.”


A role model and leader

David Beckham, Footballer, recalls one of the proudest moments of his life, receiving his OBE from the Queen in 2003:

“Collecting my OBE was one of the proudest moments. That day was special for me because I brought my grandparents with me, it made me proud that I could bring them to somewhere that they worshipped for their whole lives. Meeting the Queen, it doesn't get better than that. You can feel the emotion, I can personally feel the emotion, because I just love everything about our Queen and what she represents. We all look for role models, we all look for leaders. I'm privileged and proud that we have the number one leader.”


She's adaptable

Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge and her grandson, said during her birthday celebrations:

“Over the last 90 years, the world has changed more rapidly than at any time in history... I think I speak for my generation when I say that the example and continuity provided by the Queen is not only rare among leaders but a great source of pride and reassurance. Time and again, quietly and modestly, the Queen has shown us all that we can confidently embrace the future without compromising the things that are important.”


She's cool and gorgeous... and still interested in everything

Lena Hedley, known for playing Cersi Lannister on Game of Thrones, met the queen when she visited the Game of Thrones set in Belfast in 2014:

“I don't think I've ever been as nervous to meet anybody, I didn't think I was, and then I saw her appear and I suddenly thought, 'it's the Queen, the real Queen'! She was really cool and gorgeous and delightful. I think of everything she has done and everything she has achieved and the fact she is still interested even though she has met countless people and talked about numerous things.”


We are lucky to have her

Winston Churchill adored the Queen, and is said to have often gazed upon her photograph while proclaiming compliments, including "We are so lucky!":

“Lovely, inspiring. All the film people in the world, if they had scoured the globe, could not have found anyone so suited to the part.”


From politics to pop culture, it's pretty obvious that the Queen rules the roost. Don't forget to celebrate her birthday this weekend with our top party tips and this take on the Queen's birthday cake.