The author has written a new book on the monarch A Queen For All Seasons and had the rare opportunity to meet Her Majesty.
She said: “It’s extremely terrifying, for some reason its… even the people who say ‘what an honour, oh you’ll love it, she’s so friendly’, no matter how much of that goes on you’re absolutely terrified the first time you see the Queen.
“You have… it’s almost like an electric shock because somebody so familiar is suddenly in front of you.
“The Queen is suddenly a different dimension, a different size, and people always say ‘her eyes, her eyes are so blue, so stunning – when she looks at you her eyes are so blue’, and so you have that shock and you immediately start being rather dim and rather babbly.”
She has mixed with numberous Royals over the years but she said she found it impossible to find appropriate things to say to Her Majesty in their time together.
Ms Lumley recalled being left red-faced after she said she “babbled” about her concerns over legalising drugs to the Queen at a Buckingham Palace lunch.
She added: “I went to one of the lunches at Buckingham Palace and for some extraordinary reason I… she said ‘tell me what you’re doing nowadays’ and (I) said I’m very concerned about legalising drugs.”
“I mean what happened to me, as if she would care, she had no interest in it.
“Anyways she let me babble on for a little bit because she is very good at listening to people, she’s very good at listening.”