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Number 10 Downing Street has issued a formal apology to Buckingham Palace for hosting two parties the night before Prince Philip’s funeral during a time of national mourning.
- The Prime Minister's office at 10 Downing Street has formally apologised to the Queen for hosting a party the night before Prince Philip's funeral.
- The parties took place on 16th April last year, the evening before Her Majesty was forced to grieve alone (opens in new tab) in St George's Chapel Windsor as she laid her husband to rest.
- This royal news (opens in new tab) comes after the Queen started 2022 in mourning amid another sad death (opens in new tab).
The Queen (opens in new tab) has received a formal apology from Downing Street for throwing two staff parties in Number 10 on the night before Prince Philip's funeral.
The gatherings, first reported by The Telegraph, took place on 16 April 2021 and went on until the early hours of the morning and this Number 10 apology to the Queen comes after an investigation by senior civil servant Sue Gray into other parties at Downing Street.
The PM's spokesman said it was "deeply regrettable that this took place at a time of national mourning".
Boris Johnson, who recently welcomed his second child with Carrie Symonds (opens in new tab), was not at either party - but he faces questions over alleged Covid rule-breaking (opens in new tab) at No 10.
The Prime Minister claimed in the House of Commons during PMQ's (opens in new tab) earlier this week that he believed a garden party held amid lockdown back on 20th May 2020 was "a work event".
He told the Members of Parliament, “When I went into that garden just after six on May 20 2020, to thank groups of staff before going back into my office 25 minutes later to continue working, I believed implicitly that this was a work event.
“With hindsight I should have sent everyone back inside. I should have found some other way to thank them."
And this Number 10 apology to the Queen has led to a backlash from opposition parties, who contrasted the behaviour of No 10 staff with pictures of the Queen sitting alone at the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral, due to Covid restrictions.
She was also restricted to 30 guests (opens in new tab) at the funeral.
A petition calling for his resignation has been circulated on social media.
The two staff get-togethers in April 2021 have been added to the list of parties in government buildings being investigated by senior civil servant Sue Gray (opens in new tab).
Boris Johnson has so far refused to resign, as he is awaiting the outcome of the investigation.
And it's another blow for the Queen, who stripped Prince Andrew (opens in new tab) of his royal patronages and military titles. Whilst Prince Andrew is still a prince (opens in new tab), her Majesty has taken back several Colonel-in-Chief and Commander roles.