How Queen slapped Tony Blair in the face with truth: ‘Got a sense of my lack of seniority’

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QUEEN ELIZABETH II brought Tony Blair back down to earth with a cutting remark, the former Prime Minister revealed in a throwback report.

The Queen and Tony Blair had a very up-and-down friendship throughout the 10 years he served as Prime Minister. The former Labour leader did not enjoy partaking in royal traditions and he and his wife, Cherie, would often break royal etiquette. Her Majesty’s interests famously clashed with Mr Blair’s too.

It is no secret the monarch loves the countryside, country sports, horses and dogs, while Mr Blair prefers the city, holidays in Barbados, tennis and football.

Moreover, according to a 2002 report by the Telegraph, their relationship did not start well either.

Her Majesty reportedly helped bring Mr Blair back down to earth the morning he became Prime Minister by reminding him of his relative youth and inexperience of government.

Recalling the meeting on May 2, 1997, when she formally invited him to form a new government, Mr Blair said: “She did say to me that Winston Churchill was the first Prime Minister that she dealt with, and that was before I was born.

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How Queen slapped Tony Blair in the face with ugly truth: ‘I got a sense of my lack of seniority’ (Image: GETTY)

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Tony Blair and Queen Elizabeth II (Image: GETTY)

“So I got a sense of my, er, my relative seniority, or lack of it.”

Mr Blair, who was 43 at the time and had never held a government office, recounted the anecdote for the first time in a BBC documentary, in which Prime Ministers past and present discussed their relationships with the Queen.

Mr Blair only agreed to appear in the documentary, the Telegraph claims, after a chance encounter at a Cornish hotel restaurant owned by the wife of William Shawcross, the programme’s writer and presenter.

Mr Shawcross was waiting on tables when Mr Blair and his wife turned up for dinner in 2001 at the Tresanton hotel run by his wife, Olga Polizzi, sister of the hotel magnate Rocco Forte.

Although the other four living Prime Ministers who have served under the Queen had agreed to appear in the documentary, Shawcross’s requests for Mr Blair to contribute had been persistently and emphatically rejected by Downing Street.

The report says: “So, when the Blairs had finished eating, and the dessert course had been cleared away, the producer-turned-waiter seized his chance, approached their table and asked the Prime Minister to appear.

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Tony Blair and his wife reportedly hated visiting Balmoral Castle in Scotland (Image: GETTY)

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Tony Blair in 1997 (Image: GETTY)

“Downing Street officials had thought it ‘inappropriate’ for a serving Prime Minister to discuss his relationship with the Queen, but Mrs Blair urged her husband to take part and he agreed.”

In the programme, Mr Blair said he had shared innermost thoughts with the Queen.

He said: “There are only two people in the world frankly to whom a Prime Minister can say what he likes about Cabinet colleagues. One’s the wife, and the other’s the Queen.

“She [the Queen] is about the only person that you can tell something to in complete confidence and know that the confidence will never be broken.

“And I’ve done that on.”

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Queen Elizabeth II (Image: GETTY)

The Queen once reflected on the importance of the weekly audiences with her Prime Ministers in 1992 documentary ‘Elizabeth R’.

She said: “I have had quite a lot of Prime Ministers, starting with Winston.

“Some stayed longer than others. They unburden themselves or they tell me what is going on or if they got any problems

“Sometimes one can help in that way too.

“They know that one can be impartial, I think it’s rather nice to feel that one is a sort of a sponge and everybody can tell one things.”

Her Majesty noted: “Some things stay there and some things go out the other ear and some things never come out at all. Nobody knows about it.

“Occasionally you can be able to put someone’s point of view that perhaps they hadn’t seen from that angle.”

Source: EXPRESS CO UK