The Queen Teaches Boris Johnson A Lesson On How To Follow Covid Rules

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The Queen at Prince Philip's funeral in April 2021, following Covid rules (Photo: AP/Getty)
The Queen at Prince Philip's funeral in April 2021, following Covid rules (Photo: AP/Getty)

The Queen reportedly refused to waive Covid restrictions during Prince Philip’s funeral in April last year, which was held the day after Downing Street hosted two leaving parties for staff.

The image of the monarch sitting alone in St George’s Chapel while saying goodbye to her husband of 73 years stuck with many people who were also grieving at the time.

As none of the other 29 attendees were in her bubble, she was the only person in the chapel on her own.

Recent reports have since claimed that Downing Street staff actually filled up a suitcase with bottles of Co-op wine and then took it to No.10 for two parties just the night before the Duke of Edinburgh’s televised funeral.

Private Eye, who broke the story this week, claimed that the Queen was actually also offered an exception to the lockdown rules for the solemn occasion after Philip’s death on April 9.

Reportedly, this was because the next stage of Boris Johnson’s roadmap” out of the restrictions was set to happen in May – so the palace would only be a few weeks ahead of the general public.

The government reportedly asked if she wanted to invite more than 30 mourners but the Queen declined, “on the grounds she wanted to set an example rather than be an exception to the rules”.

As the news outlet pointed out, Downing Street subsequently “threw two parties instead” while the rest of the country was in a period of national mourning.

The Palace has not spoken out about Partygate, but Downing Street did admit that it recently issued an apology to the Queen over those particular social gatherings.

Johnson’s deputy spokesperson also told reporters it was “deeply regrettable” that the parties occurred during a period of national mourning.

Leader of the Opposition, Sir Keir Starmer, hit out at the prime minister over Partygate during Wednesday’s PMQs by comparing his behaviour to the monarch.

Starmer said: “Last year Her Majesty the Queen sat alone when she marked the passing of the man she’d been married to for 73 years, she followed the rules of the country that she leads.

“On the eve of that funeral, a suitcase was filled with booze and wheeled into Downing Street, a DJ played and staff partied late into the night.

“The prime minister has been forced to hand an apology to Her Majesty the Queen.

“Isn’t he ashamed that he didn’t hand in his resignation at the same time?”

Before Johnson could reply, the Speaker of the Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, interjected and said: “We normally would not, quite rightly, mention the Royal Family.

“We don’t get into discussions on the Royal Family.”

Erskine May, a famous publication which outlines parliamentary procedure, does state: “No question can be put which brings the name of the sovereign or the influence of the Crown directly before Parliament, or which casts reflections upon the sovereign or the Royal Family.”

MPs are allowed to pose questions on matters related to costs to the public or palaces.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.

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