Ali G loses a fan in the Queen Mother, William and Harry reveal

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The Independent Online

In the historical scheme of things, the latest anecdote about the Queen Mother may not amount to much. But at least the Staines massive will be impressed. The Queen Mum, it has emerged, did a wicked Ali G impression.

In an interview with the Press Association, the national press agency, Princes William and Harry recalled how their great-grandmother impersonated the Jewish comedian Sacha Baron Cohen's own impression of a white man pretending to be a black man.

William and Harry gave a rare interview on Friday at their home in St James's Palace after returning from their sombre march behind the Queen Mother's coffin.

Prince William recalled the day his great-grandmother learned how to mimic Ali G's now famous snap of the fingers followed by a heavily accented "Respec'".

"It was two or three Christmases ago [at Sandringham], and we were sitting down watching Ali G on TV," said William, 19. "We were laughing when she came in. She couldn't understand what was going on, so we explained to her what he was doing.

"She saw Ali G click his fingers and say 'Respec'', and Harry and I showed her what to do. She loved it, and after three goes she had it. Later that day, we were all in the dining room, having Christmas lunch, when she tried it out."

Prince Harry, 17, said: "It was at the end of the meal, and she stood up and said: 'Darling, lunch was marvellous – respec'', and clicked her fingers." The family burst out laughing. The Queen was amused.

William said: "She had such a young sense of humour. Every single thing that went wrong or was funny for any reason, she laughed herself stupid about it – it kept us all sane. She was a historic link. I look up to her because what an achievement it was to live to 101... She always had some great war stories and, to hear them from her, it really brought it all to life."

Harry commented: "She was determined to do things without help. She always wanted to walk up steps on her own. And she was very interested in everything we did, whether it was school or polo or anything."

Prince William remembered lunch with his great-grandmother last September – the first day he went to St Andrew's University.

"As she said goodbye, she said: 'Any good parties, invite me down'," William recalled. "I said yes, but there was no way. I knew full well that if I invited her down, she would dance me under the table."