Downing Street has apologised to the Queen over its lockdown parties

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  • Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
    Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
    Prince consort
  • Boris Johnson
    Boris Johnson
    Prime Minister of the United Kingdom since 2019
Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

Downing Street has issued an apology to the Queen for two staff parties it held the night before the funeral of her husband, Prince Philip. At the funeral of her husband of 73-years, Her Majesty was forced to sit alone, away from family members, in accordance with COVID restrictions at the time.

The two parties in question took place on 16 April 2021 and continued into the early hours of the morning, The Telegraph reports. COVID restrictions at the time banned anyone not from the same household from socialising indoors.

In response to news of the parties coming to light, Prime Minister Boris Johnson's spokesperson said it was: "Deeply regrettable that this took place at a time of national mourning."

The PM was not at either of the parties which took place the night before Prince Philip's funeral, however, he is already facing strong backlash after admitting that he did attend a party in the Downing Street garden at the height of lockdown in 2020. But, plenty of royal fans and opposition party MPs have called out the government for their behaviour which contrasts that of the Queen, who was forced to sit alone at her husband's funeral – like many others who lost loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"This shows just how seriously Boris Johnson has degraded the office of Prime Minister," Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said. "The Conservatives have let Britain down. An apology isn't the only thing the prime minister should be offering the palace today. Boris Johnson should do the decent thing and resign."

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

Over on Twitter, one person said: "Our leader [the Queen] who’s seen it all obeying the covid laws during one of the worse days of her life. Boris and his cronies partying while people are having to go through hell. It makes me sick and angry really. He should be gone today."

"This was the scene in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle the next day. Prince Philip’s funeral was restricted to 30 people, and the PM declined to attend, to make more space for family. The Queen did not participate in the service" tweeted someone else, with another person adding: "For Gods sake. Who do they think they are? The Queen sat alone at her husband’s funeral out of respect for Covid rules & for the country. Yet this lot who made the rules think they are above them & show no respect for anyone by partying again."

A fourth tweeted: "What is wrong with Boris Johnson’s government? ANOTHER party, this time the night before Prince Phillip's funeral. The Queen, like thousands of others, sat alone while they got w*nkered."

When questioned why the PM had not apologised himself, his spokesperson told reporters: "Well, again, the Prime Minister said earlier misjudgements have been made and it's right people apologise, as the PM did earlier this week."

Both parties have been added to the list of government gatherings currently being investigated for breaking COVID restrictions during lockdown.

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