Royal Interference: 6 Times The Queen Broke Protocol And Got Political

The monarch was overheard sharing her opinions on world leaders in an uncharacteristic manner recently.

The Queen obeys the apolitical stance expected of a constitutional monarch almost all of the time – but she did let her true thoughts slip last Thursday when discussing the UN’s climate summit, COP26.

Her comments normally remain private, but on this occasion her conversation was caught on a livestream as it occurred the opening of the Welsh parliament.

She was overheard saying: “I’ve been hearing all about Cop. Still don’t know who is coming. No idea.

“We only know about people who are not coming…and it’s really irritating when they talk, but they don’t do.”

The UK will be hosting the vital climate conference in Glasgow at the end of October but some world leaders including China’s President Xi Jinping are expected not to attend.

This is not the only time the monarch has let her real thoughts slip though.

1. Endorsing the Covid vaccine

The 95-year-old Queen was delighted to share her experience of the Covid vaccine with health leaders who were rolling the jab out across the UK.

She said it “didn’t hurt at all” and was “very quick” while encouraging those hesitant to “think about other people”.

The monarch added: “Once you’e had the vaccine you have a feeling of, you know, you’re protected which is, I think, very important.”

The Queen said she had been vaccinated near the beginning of 2021
Chris Jackson via Getty Images
The Queen said she had been vaccinated near the beginning of 2021

2. A curt description of the Chinese officials

The Queen was caught on camera describing some Chinese officials as “very rude” when talking to a Metropolitan Police chief back in 2016.

They were explaining to the monarch how difficult to was to organise the state visit of President Xi.

The Queen added that it was “bad luck” when she heard someone in the police force had been assigned to watch over the visit.

3. Scottish independence remarks

The Queen caused a stir when she told some well-wishers in Aberdeenshire to “think very carefully about the future” shortly before the 2014 Scottish independence referendum.

Her comments were taken as an endorsement of the No campaign at the time.

Then-prime minister David Cameron later claimed the monarch “purred” down the telephone line when he told her Scotland had voted not to leave the UK.

4. Spat with Margaret Thatcher

The monarch’s relationship with former prime minister Margaret Thatcher is remembered for being rocky, but tensions escalated when the Queen was said to be upset by Thatcher’s “uncaring” leadership style.

Their fallout stemmed from Thatcher’s refusal to back sanctions against South Africa’s apartheid regime, which the Queen feared would undermine the Commonwealth in 1986.

Buckingham Palace later dismissed the reports to be “without foundation”.

The Queen with Thatcher in 2005
Max Mumby via Getty Images
The Queen with Thatcher in 2005

5. Sharing her thoughts on losing the States

Back in 1976, the Queen celebrated American independence by visiting the States. She told a crowd in Philadelphia that losing the US taught the UK “a very valuable lesson” which helped turn “an Empire into a Commonwealth”.

She continued: “We lost the American colonies because we lacked that statesmanship to know the right time and the manner of yielding what is impossible to keep.

6. Vaccinating her children against polio

In a move which was almost unprecedented at the time, the Queen shared details of her family’s health by telling the public her two eldest children had received the polio vaccine.

Speaking in 1957, she said her then eight-year-old son Prince Charles and six-year-old daughter Princess Anne had been inoculated to soothe fears about the vaccine’s side-effects.