Michael Owen has revealed the mortifying moment he was ‘b******ed’ by the Queen after squeezing into a packed lift with her at Royal Ascot.
The former England striker has a passionate interest in horse racing and was desperately trying to observe etiquette on a visit to the sport’s blue riband event.
Writing in his new autobiography, Owen recalls: ‘When she [the Queen] walked into the royal lift there were perhaps 15 of us outside.
DailyMail UK reported Owen removed his top hat when he squeezed into the lift, only for the Queen to wind him up.
“Come on,’ she said, ‘We can all squeeze in.’
‘I obeyed, taking my hat off as I thought that correct etiquette.
“If you’d put your hat back on,’ she said, voice raised, ‘we might all fit in!’
‘I sheepishly put my hat on. I was mortified. To this day I have absolutely no idea if she was joking.
‘[Wife] Louise was nudging me from the other side trying not to laugh because I’d been ‘b******ed’ by the Queen.’
Ex-Liverpool and Manchester United forward Owen also reveals in ‘Reboot – My Life, My Time’ how he was eager to make the right impression during a pre-race meal at Windsor Castle.
He writes: ‘I was careful to hold my fork in the correct hand and so on.
‘I needn’t have worried. The Queen was throwing bits of starter to her corgis!’
Owen’s book has caused a storm of controversy with criticism of his former England strike partner Alan Shearer and fans of Newcastle United, according to DailyMail UK report.
But he also reveals how his love of horse racing helped persuade Sir Alex Ferguson to sign him for Manchester United in 2009.
‘Obviously I knew him given our shared interest and connections in horse racing, so we probably spent more time talking about racing than football in that first meeting,’ Owen recalls.
‘Strangely, I don’t think he ever directly said that he wanted to sign me. It was just assumed on both sides. I left knowing that I was probably about to become a Manchester United player.’