The Queen was 'an expert in getting people to relax', Sir David Attenborough told ITV's Julie Etchingham
Sir David Attenborough has paid tribute to the Queen - saying he will remember her by her "most precious" laugh.
Britain's leading natural history expert, 96, knew the monarch through his work promoting nature and conservation to the world.
The pair, who were the same age, enjoyed global admiration as icons of British culture throughout their long careers.
On Thursday, the Queen died "peacefully" at the age of 96, Buckingham Palace confirmed.
Sir David recalled the monarch's sense of humour on Friday, as he reflected on a friendship, and working relationship, that spanned many decades.
He recalled working on documentaries with the sovereign throughout their long careers - telling ITV News she was “incomparably professional” every time.
While it was easy enough for anyone to make a polite laugh “if there was something funny she laughed in a genuine way”, he recalled.
And when the Queen truly laughed “she wasn’t putting it on and that made it very easy,” Sir David added.
“She was an expert at getting people to relax.
“When you met her you were well-aware that you were in the presence of someone who was extremely important to our society and yet she made it seem that you were meeting another human being with exactly the same conditions that all human beings have.”
Together, the pair filmed The Queen’s Green Planet - a 2018 ITV film about the Queen’s dream of creating a lasting legacy of a network of national forest parks from each of the 53 Commonwealth nations, called the Queen's Commonwealth Canopy.
The remarkable life of the Queen remembered in our latest episode of What You Need To Know
He also helped produce the Queen’s Christmas messages during the 1980s and 1990s.
Sir David told ITV News’ Julie Etchingham about giving the Queen style advice and asking her to re-record her message the very first time he produced it, due to a taping error.
Sir David said the first time he produced the Queen's Christmas broadcast, he had to ask the monarch to redo it due to a taping error
Over his years of working on the Christmas broadcast, Sir David told of how he watched the Queen become “more and more skilled at maintaining a position, maintaining a way of behaving and speaking, and of mastering a brief and doing a job with conviction.”
The Queen met hundreds of thousands of people during her long reign and had a “mastery” of putting people at ease and engaging with them, said Sir David.
While the Queen was ever the professional, Sir David recalled the time he was not.
While filming The Queen’s Green Planet, the naturalist and monarch were walking and talking when she asked him to check on the trees she had planted to mark the birth of her children.
Sir David couldn’t find his glasses and the notice was overgrown with moss, so Britain’s best-loved environment expert made a guess and it was wrong.
However, it was encounters such as this which allowed the Queen and Sir David to form a bond over the course of their long lives, something which left him not only “delighted” but also knowing “it was a great privilege”.
You can watch the full interview with David Attenborough on ITV News next Wednesday, 14th September.