Former TOWIE star Joey Essex reveals how he was prepared to risk his life to get close to Her Majesty while filming his new series of Educating Joey Essex…
What’s the idea behind your latest Educating… documentary, Reem Queen at 90?
“The idea was to meet The Queen or get as close to the Royal Family as possible. The whole thing is based around the Queen’s 90th birthday. I can’t believe she’s 90 now – that’s mad!”
So, did you get to meet The Queen?
“It’s a real privilege to meet The Queen and I thought I was going to meet her in person, but then I found out I was going to be behind a gate. We’d gone to meet The Queen at Windsor Castle when Prince Phillip spotted us and said: ‘If you want meet The Queen, jump over the fence!’ I knew if I did, I could have been shot or Tasered, so I didn’t. But I’m gutted now. It would’ve hurt… but at least I would’ve got closer to The Queen.”
You do get to meet lots of Royal experts throughout the programme, starting with The Queen’s former press secretary, Dickie Arbiter. What was he like?
“Dickie told me how, once, after having lunch with The Queen, he then went to do the washing up when she walked in and said: ‘I’ll clean those plates!’ He had to obey what she said, though, it was his job.”
We know The Queen loves her corgis. Don’t you also learn how to become a corgi trainer in the show?
“I did, yeah. They’re actually quite vicious dogs; they might look cute, but they’re quite snappy. I raced them around a little track and I learned about what makes the ‘perfect’ corgi.”
And what was it like meeting Royal super-fan Margaret Tyler?
“I’ve got some super-fans and people don’t see The Queen as a celebrity, but she’s got some HUGE fans. I went to Margaret’s house and it’s just ridiculous. There’s hardly any room to walk through her house because she’s got about 10,000 different ornaments and things all related to The Queen. Everything you could imagine: cups, plates, cardboard cut-outs… even scarecrows!”
After wandering the magnificent corridors of Buckingham Palace with former Royal reporter Jennie Bond, you then visit the Tower of London. What did you learn there?
“Every night, for the past 700 years, guards march with The Queen’s keys and lock up the tower in the same way. There’s about five men, all shouting things to each other! We have so much tradition in England. Everything’s mind-blowing to me – but that was major mind-blowing!”
Now you’ve learned more about the monarchy, would you like to be King?
“It really is a job for life but I think it would be too much hard work for me. I wouldn’t want to be a real King… just the King of Essex!”
Educating Joey Essex: Reem Queen at 90 can be seen on Sunday, June 12 at 8pm on ITV2.