The Queen’s 70 years as sovereign have seen 14 prime ministers, from World War II statesman Sir Winston Churchill to present Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Political leaders have consistently hailed the monarch for her council of sages and impressive knowledge of home and world affairs during her private weekly audiences with her prime minister.
Sir Winston, her first prime minister, is thought to be her favorite.
He greeted the young, grieving monarch back on British soil after her sudden return from Kenya after the death of her father, King George VI.
When Sir Winston retired in 1955, the Queen sent him a handwritten letter telling him how much she missed him and how no successor “will ever be able to hold the seat of my first Prime Minister”.
Sir Winston had nurtured her through the early years and given her invaluable advice.
The Queen’s relationship with the starchy Sir Anthony Eden was certainly more formal, while Harold Macmillan was an urban figure as opposed to the monarch, who is a countryman at heart.
But on one occasion, instead of discussing state affairs with one of their audiences, the Queen and Mr Macmillan could be seen huddled over a transistor radio while American astronaut John Glenn hurried through space.
Sir Alec Douglas-Home reportedly met with royal approval.
A helper said: “He was an old friend. They talked about dogs and shooting together. They were both Scottish landowners, the same kind of people, just like old schoolmates.”
Harold Wilson loved the queen. “They stood on like a house on fire,” said a longtime member of the Labor Party.
He used to join members of the royal family for a picnic by the river in Balmoral.
Sir Edward Heath, however, is said to have struggled with small talk, and their weekly audiences have been described as “frosty”.
James Callaghan managed to establish a warm relationship.
He said of the Queen: “One of the great things about her is that she always seems to be able to see the fun side of life. All the conversations were very entertaining.”
But things were very different with Margaret Thatcher, who reportedly found the traditional September weekend at Balmoral painful.
An observer wrote: “A weekend in the country with aristocrats enjoying horseback riding, shooting, sports and games is Thatcher’s idea of torture.
“But her fears for the weekend subsided as the two women became somewhat more comfortable with each other.”
Baroness Thatcher also could not keep up with the performances she was expected to play after dinner at Balmoral, and the Queen later joked, at a meeting with six of her prime ministers, about “the party games that some of you have so nobly endured at Balmoral “.
When Baroness Thatcher died in April 2013, the Queen took the unusual step of attending her ceremonial funeral – a personal decision and an indication of the Queen’s respect for her first – and at that time her only – female Prime Minister.
Sir John Major was popular with the royal family, and especially the queen, mainly because of the genuine concern he expressed for the welfare of the two young princes William and Harry, first after their parents’ divorce and then their death. mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.
Sir Tony Blair was described in some palace quarters as a “head of state”, and there were courtiers who were not happy with what they saw as his encouragement of a “people’s monarchy”.
Neither Sir Tony, who later revealed details of his private conversations with the Queen in his memoirs, nor Gordon Brown, who was reported to have a good but formal relationship with the royals, were invited to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding in 2011 .
A red-faced David Cameron was forced to give a rude apology to the Queen in 2014 after his “purr-gate” blunder.
Sir. Cameron was caught on camera and told then-New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg that the monarch had “slung down the line” when he called and told her the result of the Scottish independence vote.
Theresa May was the second female Prime Minister during the Queen’s reign – and took office in July 2016 in the wake of the Brexit vote, more than a quarter of a century after Mrs Thatcher resigned.
Prior to the platinum anniversary, Mrs May told the House of Commons: “She has seen prime ministers come and go, I was number 13.”
She added: “She has greeted us all with charm and consideration and with an impressive knowledge and understanding of today’s problems.”
Mrs May was trying to get an impression of the Queen when she remembered how the head of state was driving her to a BBQ in the Scottish Highlands when they encountered a large red deer.
“Her Majesty hit the brake and said, ‘What is he doing here?’.”
She added: “She could not understand why he had fallen so low. She knew the landscape, she knew its animals.”
Mrs May’s premiere period ended in 2019, after enduring a violent time haunted by the Brexit issue. She was succeeded by Boris Johnson.
Johnson was only a few hours inside his position when he revealed what was said in his audience with the Queen when he accepted her invitation to form the next government and become prime minister.
A Euronews NBC correspondent said the outspoken politician claimed the monarch said “I do not know why anyone would have the job”.
Johnson, who revealed the remarks during a tour of 10 Downing Street, was told by staff who warned him not to repeat such things out loud.
He later spoke to their private audience again, describing their meetings as a “very hard interview”.
A few months into his premiership, Mr Johnson apologized to the Queen after the Supreme Court ruled that his advice to her – given by Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg at Balmoral – to prorogate Parliament for five weeks had been “illegal”.
Another apology to Buckingham Palace came from Downing Street in the midst of the pandemic when two staff members leaving events were held at number 10 on April 16 last year, the evening of the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral.
Sue Gray’s report on the partygate scandal later revealed that staff continued to drink at number 10 the night before Philips’ funeral until the early hours when the last person did not leave before 4.20pm.
On April 17, the queen sat alone in mourning for her deceased husband under strict Covid restrictions, with the congregation limited to only 30 people.
Johnson revealed during a parliamentary tribute to the Queen in her anniversary year that his regular meetings with the monarch were always “immensely comforting because she has seen it all”.