It is known that she has a great sense of humour, but in news that may surprise some people, it has been revealed that the Queen once played a joke on a group of unsuspecting visitors from the US.

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It is known the the Queen has a great sense of humour. Image: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II and other members of the Royal Family usually spend six weeks at the royal residence, Balmoral Castle, in Scotland each year. One day, the monarch was out for a walk outside the castle with one of her protection officers, Richard Griffin, who worked with the Royal Family for more than 30 years, when they encountered a group of visitors from the US. They didn't recognise the sovereign, possibly because they were used to seeing her dressed for events and state occasions, and, on this occasion, she was dressed down in tweeds and a headscarf, as she leads a more low-key lifestyle when she stays at Balmoral.

The Queen likes to spend six weeks at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. Image: Andrew Milligan - WPA Pool/Getty Images

The visitors clearly presumed that she was a local, and asked her if she lived nearby and if she'd ever met the Queen? The head of the Royal Family replied that she did indeed live nearby, but she had "never met the Queen." She then gestured towards Richard Griffin and added that "this policeman has," so the visitors were immediately more interested in the officer. Speaking to The Times, Griffin recalled how the group then went on their way, blissfully unaware that they had just had a conversation with the Queen herself.

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The Queen is normally dressed for events or formal occasions. Image: Simon Dawson/WPA Pool/Getty Images

Built for Queen Victoria in 1855 as a private residence for the Royal Family, the grounds at Balmoral cover an area of around 50,000 acres. The Queen's granddaughter, Princess Eugenie, once described it as "the most beautiful place on earth."  “I think Granny is the most happy there," she said, on TV channel ITV’s documentary, Our Queen at 90. “I think she really, really loves the Highlands  - walks, picnics, dogs, a lot of dogs, there’s always dogs, and people coming in and out all the time. Family-wise we’re all there, so it’s a lovely base for Granny and Grandpa to be. And for us to come and see them up there, where you just have room to breathe and run.”

They also have a lot of fun, if this funny little tale is anything to go by.

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