Britain is facing an unprecedented constitutional crisis as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II makes it clear she and her immediate successors will not sit on the throne if Boris Johnson becomes the nation’s prime minister.
Buckingham Palace insiders have told me that Her Majesty has privately expressed her view that Mr Johnson is “an uncouth oink” and a “shallow, self-promoting root rat”, and that he is not a suitable person to take over from Theresa May as PM.
“The Queen acknowledges her stance is not in line with the traditions of the UK’s constitutional monarchy established over centuries which require the sovereign to serve the nation regardless of the person or party in power at any one time,” one source said on condition of anonymity.
“But she is prepared to establish a controversial precedent in this case because of her intense dislike of Mr Johnson.”
Another royal insider told me the Queen had been overheard at a Royal Family gathering saying about Mr Johnson: “One knows one has had some rolled-gold fergies in one’s own family over the years, but that man takes the cake. One simply finds it abhorrent that one would have to lower one’s standards to grant a regular audience to a buffoon as stupid as that one.”
What’s not widely known is that Her Majesty is not, as many assume, a political conservative. In fact she is far from being a fan of the actual Conservative Party.
Although as Monarch she doesn’t vote, many palace insiders have told me that she is quite the opposite to conservative and has been known over the years to express views that some regard as quite “bolshie”.
One source told me that Her Majesty is known among her close friends and long-time personal staff to have been a great supporter of past Labour Party PMs like Harold Wilson and Jim Callaghan.
“She didn’t really care for many of the Tory PMs that have led her governments over the decades she’s been on the throne and she absolutely detested Maggie Thatcher,” the source said.
“While she leans to the left the Queen didn’t really warm to Tony Blair, or ‘Thatcher-lite’ as she called him behind his back. She never really forgave him for the whole Iraq War disaster. Or as she put it: ‘Sending my troops to certain death on the word of that half-wit Bush.’
“No, the Queen is above all a ‘leftie’ and quite militant when it comes to workers’ rights and industrial relations generally.”
The palace source said most people would not know that Her Majesty was a great supporter of the trade union movement and several years ago established an in-house union within the Royal Family, the Sovereign and Heirs Action Group with its only eligible members being herself as Monarch, Prince Charles as first in the line of succession, and Prince William as second in line.
“The Queen insists that to be a member of SHAG you must be at least 18 so baby Prince George can’t join for many years,” the insider said.
The Queen has already led a SHAG picket outside 10 Downing Street (main picture) to make clear she and her heirs will not work with Boris.
British constitutional experts I spoke to said the action led by the Queen amounted to a strike by the Monarch backed by her heirs which left little room for Mr Johnson to manoeuvre if he were elected Conservative Party leader and prime minister.
“If push comes to shove and Boris becomes PM, it may be left to Prince George to commission him to form a government,” one expert told me.
“This will raise some very tricky constitutional questions given he is only five.”
“What if his father refused to give George any meaningful autonomous power, as happened to Henry the Young King in the 1100s?
“Can George in fact commission Mr Johnson to form a government if he’s not a king with any real power. It could all get very messy especially if he’d rather just play with his toys.”
Another legal expert joked that if the decision were left to Prince (or King) George “we could end up with one of the TeleTubbies as PM, but then again with Boris it’s hard to tell the difference”.