Queen Elizabeth II was left "shaken and badly bruised" after a grouse hit her in the chest whilst she was out in grounds in Balmoral in 1995.

Her formal royal protection officer Dick Griffin described how he looked for her, then aged 69, but she was nowhere to be seen.

After a frantic search, he then found her lying on the ground with a dead grouse next to her.

Describing the moment, Dick said: "Because it was so foggy we couldn't see [that the grouse had] hit her in the chest.

“You can imagine the velocity of something like that falling down to the ground – it just flattened her completely. So I had to get her up and discreetly brush all the feathers and plumes away from her. She was shaken up and badly bruised.”

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The equerry who had shot the bird was very embarrassed but eventually saw the funny side of it "because the Queen saw the funny side".

Dick, now 71, has been sharing his memories of the Queen, who died aged 96 on Thursday 8 September.

His son Gareth, 42, is a uniformed firearms officer and was on duty at Buckingham Palace when the Queen's coffin arrived there on Tuesday night.

Another anecdote shared by Dick around the time of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee in June was a time when the late Queen posed for a photograph with a couple of American tourists who didn't recognise her.

Dick had been due to meet the Queen for lunch next month, however, due to her death, he is set to attend a smaller and more personal committal service at Windsor Castle's St George's Chapel tomorrow, following the Queen's official funeral at Westminster Abbey.

All seven police officers who worked for the monarch have been invited, according to Dick.

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Queen Elizabeth II’s family are expected to show up in numbers for her state funeral taking place on Monday 19 September at Westminster Abbey in London.

On the morning of Monday 19 September, the lying-in-state period will end and the Queen’s Coffin will be taken in Procession from the Palace of Westminster to Westminster Abbey, where the State Funeral Service will take place.

Her Majesty’s immediate family including King Charles III, Queen Consort Camilla, The Prince and Princess of Wales and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex Harry and Meghan will be in attendance along with the Queen’s children; Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and Anne, Princess Royal.

READ MORE:

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  • King Charles fights back tears as he carries sentimental gift from late mum the Queen

  • King Charles and Camilla return to Highgrove to pause from public duties

  • The reason behind King Charles' return to Highgrove and why he won't be seen until Friday

  • For the latest updates on the Royal Family, sign up to OK!'s weekly royals newsletter

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