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British RoyalsThe Queen

Did The Queen back Brexit?

It has been claimed The Queen did in fact back Brexit.

The BBC’s political editor, Laura Kussenberg claimed she was told about the comments made by The Queen months before The Sun ran with the headline “Queen backs Brexit” in March during the referendum campaign.

The front page caused a huge political storm which involved Buckingham Palace making a successful complaint to press regulator Ipso as it said it was “misleading”. The Sun editor, Tony Gallagher, says the paper did not make a mistake even though a ruling was made by Ipso.

He said on Radio 4: “I don’t think were I doing this again tomorrow I would act in any way differently whatsoever. Given what I know about the detail of the sourcing and given what I know about the detail of the conversation, frankly, we would be better packing up and going home as journalists if we didn’t actually put these things in the public domain.”

Kussenberg said that her “jaw hit the floor” when an unnamed source told her that The Queen had told a private lunch that she could not see why Britain could not simply leave the EU.

The political editor for the BBC told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme:

“In a casual chat with one of my contacts, they said, ‘Do you know what? At some point, this is going to come out, and I’m telling you now and I don’t know if the BBC would touch it, but the Queen told people at a private lunch that she thinks that we should leave the EU’.

“Apparently at this lunch she said, I don’t see why we can’t just get out. What’s the problem?”

Kussenberg then tried to find a second source to verify the claim but couldn’t so the BBC was unable to publish the story. However, a couple of months later The Sun did.

Whether or not The Queen actually said what is being reported still isn’t clear. The BBC tried to verify the story but failed, although Kussenberg’s reaction seems to give credit to the legitimacy of the claim. However, Buckingham Palace did take action against The Sun; whether this is actually due to the legitimacy of the claim or due to the politicising of The Queen we do not know.