Downing Street apologies to Buckingham Palace over parties on eve of Philip’s funeral

Downing Street have issued an apology after it emerged a number of parties had taken place on the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral and during national restrictions.

The parties took place the night before The Queen sat alone at her husband’s funeral, while a further 29 members of the family sat in St George’s Chapel, grouped by household.

The striking image of the Monarch sat alone was shown around the world, striking a chord with many, who had also lost loved ones and faced severely-restricted – or in some cases, virtual – funerals.

Prince Philip’s coffin draped in his personal standard arrives at the catafalque (@RoyalFamily)

The Queen looks towards Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin during his funeral service

A week prior to the parties, the UK entered a period of national mourning, where government communications were put on hold. This included no COVID press conferences, no ministerial interviews and no press releases unless relating to essential public health.

The Prime Minister’s deputy official spokesman said: “It’s deeply regrettable that this took place at a time of national mourning, and No10 has apologised to the Palace.

“You’ve heard from the Prime Minister this week, he’s recognised No10 should be held to the highest standards and take responsibility for the things we did not get right.

“Misjudgements have been made and it’s right people apologise.”

Funeral of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, at Windsor Castle; The Queen sits alone

The Queen conducts her weekly audience with Prime Minister Boris Johnson over the phone (Royal Family)

It’s thought the apology happened through official channels over the phone, rather than the Boris Johnson speaking to The Queen directly or it being put in writing.

The spokesman said he was not aware of any recent conversations between Mr Johnson and The Queen, apart from their weekly audience.

The Telegraph reported accounts from eye-witnesses at the alleged parties, who said alcohol was consumed and guests danced to music; one guest was sent to a local shop with a suitcase to buy wine.

The revelations come a day after it was announced Prince Andrew was handing back his military affiliations and royal patronages, after a bumpy couple of years for the Monarchy in light of Harry and Meghan choosing to cease official working duties, and ahead of the Platinum Jubilee this year.

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