On his first day in office, new Prime Minister Boris Johnson broke a royal rule in front of Queen Elizabeth II. The new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom — who was appointed on Wednesday, July 24, after former Prime Minister Theresa May’s resignation — met with the Queen yesterday at Buckingham Palace, where she welcomed him as the UK’s new head of government.
As exciting as the moment was, the meeting didn’t go too smoothly for Johnson. According to Euronews and NBC News journalist Vincent McAviney, the new Prime Minister broke royal protocol during his meeting with the Queen — and he was told off by staff at Buckingham Palace because of it. So how did Johnson break royal protocol? Apparently, he was gossiping too loud about what the Queen had told him. According to McAviney, the Queen told Johnson that she didn’t “know why anyone would want the job” of Prime Minister, which the new head of government repeated a little too loudly later in the day.
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“’I don’t know why anyone would want the job’ – what Johnson says HM the Queen told him during his audience! The PM revealed it during a tour in Number 10 before being told off by staff not to repeat those things so loudly,” McAviney tweeted, alongside a photo of Johnson shaking the Queen’s hand.
Exclusive: “I don’t know why anyone would want the job” – what Johnson says HM the Queen told him during his audience! The PM revealed it during a tour in Number 10 before being told off by staff not to repeat those things so loudly. 📷:PA pic.twitter.com/r5CX4LbnXa
— Vincent McAviney (@VinnyMcAv) July 24, 2019
Johnson isn’t the first non-royal to break royal protocol (and he won’t be the last.) At the Lion King London premiere in July, Beyoncé and Jay-Z broke an unofficial royal rule when they hugged Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Something similar also happened to Michelle Obama in 2009 when she met the Queen for the first time and the monarch invited her to sit in the back seat of a car with her. Typically, “After we’d touched down in a field on the palace grounds and said our hellos, however, the Queen abruptly threw a wrench into everything by gesturing for me to join her in the backseat of the Range Rover,” Obama wrote in her book Becoming. “I froze, trying to remember if anyone had prepped me for this scenario, whether it was more polite to go along with it or to insist that Barack take his proper seat by her side.”
Of course, neither of these seem as serious as gossiping about what the Queen had said. But either way, Queen Elizabeth seems cool enough to let Johnson’s mistake slide.