The late Queen’s former postmaster has revealed how she played pranks on staff, initially calling him the “creepy postman” because of his tattoo and earring.
Ick Delaney spent 19 years at Buckingham Palace and has nothing but good things to say about the Queen, who once smacked him on the back of the head with a spoon in a hilarious game with the staff.
The Brixton native also revealed how Queen Elizabeth II would read a room in seconds and research everyone she met to feel comfortable talking to her.
During his tenure, Mick received a number of gifts from the royal family, including Christmas cards from the Queen and Prince Philip and a slice of Charles and Camilla’s wedding cake, which he helped prepare.
The Millwall fan, who now lives in Co Louth with his family, said he has spent so much time with the Queen that his wife Audrey would laugh that she was the third person in their marriage.
“I started working for the Royal Mail when I was 16 and was supposed to start in the House of Commons, but I was sent to Buckingham Palace on sick leave and stayed there,” he said
“All castles have their own post office and their own staff. I was promoted through the ranks and eventually ended up as Court Postmaster with responsibility for all telecommunications and postal services
“I don’t have a single bad word to say about the Queen or Prince Philip. When she died I got so many messages from my Irish friends it was like my nana had died.
“She was always working and was meticulous in everything she did. She was so smart. She could read a room in moments and research them all so she could have a relaxed chat with them. If she met you in two years, she would ask about your family.” She never seemed to forget it.
“I remember the first few days I worked I wasn’t in my full uniform and asked her who the creepy postman was after she saw my earring and tattoo,” he laughed
“She was always very relaxed and had a lot of fun. She regularly showed up at staff parties to chat.
“I remember when we were at the Duke of Westminster’s country house. It was very similar to Downton Abbey in that all the staff were having tea and chatting downstairs. The Queen’s Constable started telling us about a game she was playing with a spoon when she appeared below.
“He said, ‘Your Majesty, do you remember the game with the spoon?’ She smiled and said, “Yes! Would you play it with the postmaster?”
“So she sat in a chair and I had to walk around her. I put a spoon in my mouth and knocked it off her head. Of course when you have a spoon in your mouth there is no power behind it so it doesn’t hurt.
“Then it was my turn. She walked around me and hit me over the head with the spoon in her hand. She started laughing like everyone in the room and it was a few seconds before I realized I was after a Face slapping was head with a spoon from the queen.
“On another occasion we were at Balmoral. There was a green Range Rover we called the Green Lady that the staff ran to the store in and you gave your order to the cop at the gate.
“One day a message was sent to a new cop that we wanted some chips and a can of Coke from the store. However, unbeknownst to us, the Queen left her green Range Rover at the same time.
“So this young policeman stopped the car and asked the Queen if she could get chips and a can of Coke at the store.
“She laughed and said, ‘I think you’ve got the wrong Green Lady. But I’ll get her for you if you want!’
“They were so normal in so many ways. Prince Philip used to make his own sausages and cook them up for anyone around and I once had the pleasure of seeing the late Queen Mother’s gardens at her request at her home in Birkhall on the Balmoral Estate.
“I think the loyalty I have to them is because they treated us with such respect. The husband of a royal telephone operator died suddenly while I was there and every year on his anniversary the then Prince of Wales (King Charles) personally presented her with a bouquet of flowers.
Mick also worked on many state visits and met Russian President Vladamir Putin and former US President George Bush Junior.
“Putin was quite small and very quiet. After the event, two Russian KGB agents offered me a drink from a bottle of whiskey from 1973, the year I was born. It was 11 a.m.!”
When Princess Diana died, Mick recalls working two 24.5-hour shifts in one week.
“Every member of the Royal family planned and practiced their funeral, but Diana was too young for that. When she died, we had to base her invitation list for the funeral on her Christmas card list. We drove around in a van and delivered all the invitations.
“Diana was stunningly beautiful and always smelled amazing, which only added to her appeal. On a normal day there were usually around 15 sacks of mail at Buckingham Palace, but in the days following her death the number rose to over 500 sacks of condolences. And there was a lot more at Kensington Palace.”
Mick traveled the country with the Queen and famously ate from the same menu when the Queen was away privately.
“You ate what she ate because the chef wouldn’t cook anything else for you. So I got used to the best ingredients and even now my family is laughing because when I eat out it’s very hard to live up to my expectations and standards years later.
“Audrey didn’t see much of me flying across the country. I was waiting for the Queen’s mail at Windsor Castle one evening as she was returning from a trip to Thailand. She arrived late and apologized to me a huge bouquet of Thai orchids and told me they were for Audrey.
“We also had to go to the Royal Boxes at some points when not in use. They were always offered to staff so they could go to Royal Ascot or Wimbledon if the royal family couldn’t go.”
“I watched Manchester United against my beloved Millwall in the Royal Box at Cardiff Stadium
Despite leaving 19 years ago, he admits he still misses all the “pomp and pomp.”
“I worked very closely with them. So when they got to the balcony of Buckingham Palace, I was in the next room making sure the flyby flight paths were working and all communications were up to date
“I miss the pomp and pomp, but it was also nice to see the side of the Queen that the public rarely gets a glimpse of. She was as normal as she could be. She went out of her way to treat the staff well and with respect and she was great crazy.
“When I left she absolutely stopped by and said goodbye and she had done some research on exactly where I was moving and a little bit about it and she was like that with everyone. She made you feel important and part of a big family.”
https://www.independent.ie/news/queen-elizabeth-called-louth-man-the-scary-postman-due-to-tattoos-and-earring-and-once-whacked-him-on-head-with-a-spoon-42196820.html Queen Elizabeth dubbed Louth Man “the creepy postman” due to his tattoos and earrings, and once hit him on the head with a spoon