British Prime Minister David Cameron said he will apologize in person for saying Queen Elizabeth II “purred” out of happiness when the Scotland independence referendum was rejected by voters.
The exact quote was, “She purred down the line. I’ve never heard someone so happy.”
The line was caught on a television crew’s microphone when the British Prime Minister was speaking with former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Cameron was in New York to attend a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly.
That couple of sentences is scandalous on multiple levels.
First, there are complex and delicate set of rules that govern references to Queen Elizabeth. Even if the rules make no specific reference to purring, it seems to violate the essence of the idea that the royal family needs special protocols that elevate above the English commoners. Especially considering purring usually implies something more than happiness.
Second, as a constitutional monarch, Queen Elizabeth is not supposed to weigh in on political events. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Queen Elizabeth already kind of violated that informal precept when she said that Scots should “think very carefully about the future” when voting for independence. Although the Queen wasn’t directly advocating a course of action, she seemed to be walking a thin line between royal banter and politics. Purring for a no vote is definitely over the line and now everyone knows her position on a divisive political issue.
Third, the Prime Minister has an unique and trusted position.
As the royal website explains, “The queen has a special relationship with the prime minister, the senior political figure in the British government, regardless of their political party.”
Queen Elizabeth II grants an audience with the David Cameron every week, something she’s done for 12 Prime Ministers since her reign began, starting with Winston Churchill. By talking about what the Queen said in a private conversation, Cameron was breaking a sacred trust.
David Cameron is horrifically embarrassed by the entire incident. There are reports that he will apologize in person. Naturally, the meeting will be strictly closed door.
Cameron also apologized to Scottish lawmaker Dennis Robertson saying his comments were “crass and incompetent behavior.”
The Prime Minister made a statement to reporters.
“Look, I’m very embarrassed by this. I’m extremely sorry about it. It was a private conversation, but clearly a private conversation that I shouldn’t have had and won’t have again.”
Of course, Queen Elizabeth II has not made any public comments, or animal noise, in response to the incident.
[Image Credit: DFID/Wikimedia Commons]