British queen slips out for quiet date with hubby

Thu Oct 15, 2009 10:00am EDT
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LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Britain's Queen Elizabeth stunned theater-goers in London this week when she and her husband slipped in to see a play unannounced and at the last minute, newspapers reported.

The queen and Prince Philip apologetically squeezed past other theater-goers to get into their seats for the West End production of World War One play "War Horse" at the New London Theater.

"The Queen and the Duke sat down as the lights dimmed and it was a huge shock when people realized who they were," said a journalist at the show for The Lady magazine. "They were incredibly apologetic for asking people to let them past and there was no hubbub or fuss about it all."

The queen and her husband often make incognito trips to the West End, but are rarely spotted, an aide told London's Evening Standard newspaper.

"The Queen has regularly undertaken similar private visits throughout her reign without any fuss," the aide said. "It allows her to live a bit more of a normal life."

The journalist from The Lady said the queen appeared to enjoy the performance, disappeared during the interval and then reappeared discreetly.

"When they left at the end, they were given a round of applause, which the Queen acknowledged with a wave," she said.

(Reporting by Paul Casciato; Editing by Steve Addison)

<p>Britain's Queen Elizabeth is shown in a vehicle in London in this October 9, 2009 file photo. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor</p>