The girl that made the Queen laugh during her Silver Jubilee visit to Islington, 35 years on
In 1977 she made national headlines as the six-year-old girl who made the Queen laugh. But the main thing Justine Fallis, now 41, remembers about presenting Her Majesty with a posy on her Silver Jubilee visit to Highbury Fields is feeling put out that she lost a day of her holiday for the honour.
The inquisitive schoolgirl of Shepperton Road, Islington, who had been blind since birth, was told not to ask the Queen any questions – but she was not about to leave without a chat, having returned from her summer camp in Chichester mid-stay that morning.
As Her Majesty thanked her for the bouquet and started to walk away, Justine spurted out: “Oi, ain’t you going to talk to me?”. It left the Queen giggling and made Justine the cover star of the next day’s The Sun under the headline ‘The girl that made the Queen laugh.’
Justine, who has lived in South Wales for the past two years, said: “I was a bit peeved that my holiday had been disrupted.
“As a very young girl who was also blind, I used to ask a lot of questions. I was told not to ask her anything but she said thank you and that was it – I thought, hold on a minute, you were supposed to talk to me.”
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Justine was given the last minute honour following a campaign in the Gazette to raise funds for her guide dog.
Her mum Lorraine said: “She was really put out to give up her holiday to see a woman she had never met and wasn’t allowed to talk to. She could have been the Queen of England or the Queen of Sheba.”
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“She gave the Queen the bouquet and when she went to walk away, she said: ‘Oi, ain’t you going to talk to me?’. The Queen hadn’t realised she was blind and when the mayor explained, her and Prince Phillip went back to have a little conversation with her.
“It was an amazing day but we didn’t go back to the reception at the town hall as Justine just wanted to get back to her holiday. So we left and were back in the holiday camp for the evening’s entertainment.
“Next morning, people were looking at the newspaper and looking over to us as we were on the front page – I had to say: ‘yes, it is us.’”
Justine trained as a social worker but now works as an online radio presenter.