Downing Street apologises to Queen for lockdown parties on eve of Prince Philip's funeral

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The Queen sits alone during Prince Philip‘s funeral – a day after a leaving party was held in Downing Street (PA)

Downing Street has apologised to the Queen after it was revealed a party was held in Number 10 on the eve of the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral.

The Telegraph revealed on Thursday night that as Her Majesty prepared to say goodbye to her husband of 70 years, staff in Downing Street held a raucous leaving party which saw a staff member going to the shops with a suitcase to buy alcohol, and a swing used by the PM's toddler son was broken in the garden.

At the time England was under strict rules to stop the spread of COVID, and Prince Philip's funeral was limited to only 30 people.

One of the defining images of the pandemic became the image of the Queen sat on her own, having to be distanced from her own family as she grieved the loss of her husband.

Boris Johnson leaves PMQs on Wednesday after more details of lockdown parties at Downing St emerged. (Getty)

The further revelations of parties inside No.10 during lockdown have heaped more pressure on the embattled prime minister. (Getty)

A spokesperson for the PM said: “It’s deeply regrettable that this took place at a time of national mourning and number 10 has apologised to the palace.”

On what exactly was said, Number 10 said they would not get into “individual conversations with the Palace”.

When asked whether Boris Johnson will personally apologise to the Queen, his spokesperson said: “As I’ve said Number 10 has apologised to the palace.

He added: “I would obviously not get into any details of the private conversations the prime minister has with the Queen.”

On when the last time the PM spoke to the Queen, his spokesperson said: “You’re aware the prime minister has his regular conversation with the Queen.

“I don’t have any further conversations on top of those.”

Senior civil servant Sue Gray is including the party on 16 April as part of her investigation into widespread allegations of parties in Downing Street during lockdown.

The news also comes amid a wider conversation of the culture within Downing Street, after Boris Johnson issued a grovelling apology after he admitted attending a party in the gardens of Downing Street during the height of the first lockdown, when social gatherings were banned under COVID legislation.

More to follow…

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