The pressures of being the UK’s head of state are said to often induce insomnia in Queen Elizabeth II, and as a result the monarch will on occasion don a coat and go for an amble round the royal residence. However, on one such occasion, the 90-year-old sovereign was almost executed.

 

Queen

 

An ex-guardsman reports that at 3 o’clock one morning, on a routine patrol inside the perimeter of the palace walls, he spotted a figure in the darkness.

 

Thinking he’d caught a potentially dangerous intruder, he shouted, “who’s that?” and eased the safety off his gun.

 

Much to his surprise, the prowler was in fact the Queen.

 

​”Bloody hell, Your Majesty, I nearly shot you,” he impulsively blurted, expecting a sharp rebuke from his now former target.

 

However, the Queen’s response bordered on contrite — she apologized for putting him in an awkward position, and promised to ring through beforehand the next time she went on a moonlit wander, so he didn’t “have to shoot [her]”.

 

​The revelation comes at a time when public attention is particularly focused on the Queen’s health. The aging monarch was not seen for overtwo weeks during the Christmas period due to poor health.