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God Save the Queen(’s Rehearsal Double)

You wouldn’t know it from the outside, but if you want to get Queen Elizabeth II involved in a high-profile event, you’re first going to need Ella Slack.

Slack is not the queen’s secretary, or personal assistant, or even head of security. She’s the British queen’s professional stand-in. Not a body double, or lookalike, or even stunt double (Elizabeth performs all her own stunts, of course), but her stand-in.

What does a professional stand-in do, exactly? Well, she stands where the queen will stand. Except, of course, it’s not that easy. Ella needs to essentially be the queen so that rehearsal choreographers, photographers, security personnel and anyone else involved in an official Elizabeth II event will know exactly where queen will be and how she’ll act so they can flawlessly execute their jobs in the right places at the right times.

This all started 30 years ago, when some folks planning a ceremony didn’t anticipate the sun being in the queen’s eyes, as they were 6-foot-tall men and Elizabeth is a strong 5’2”. Since then, Slack has mastered the art of walking, standing, and emanating Elizabeth over 50 times.

Slack wouldn’t really stoke up screaming selfie-ers on her way to the grocery store as a royal lookalike— she’s rather a be-alike. They’re of similar stature, height and demeanor, and they even royal-wave so much alike that the queen’s retinue relies on Slack’s experience to plan for the queen’s presence.

Although Slack lives at Royal Court on Queen’s Promenade (pretty fitting, right?), she still can’t actually sit on the throne. That is a right reserved only for the queen herself, so when she stands in for Elizabeth in throne room matters, she has to awkwardly hover over it (ugh, royalty amirite?).

Slack sees her hustle as the queen’s double as noble work. When an appearance or ceremony involving the queen goes out to millions of people across the world, Slack knows she had a major part in making sure it happened perfectly.


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