Tony Blair’s relationship with the Royal Family during his time as Prime Minister was not exactly smooth. His wife Cherie did not curtsey to the Queen on her first visit to Balmoral in 1997, and wore a trouser suit – which allegedly left the Queen Mother "mortified". Her Majesty’s interests famously clashed with Mr Blair’s, too.
It is no secret that the monarch loves the countryside, country sports, horses and dogs, while Mr Blair prefers the city, holidays in Barbados, tennis and football.
For this reason, the traditional annual visit by the Prime Minister to Balmoral reportedly became something of an ordeal for the Labour leader and the lengths of their stays were kept to a minimum.
Moreover, according to a throwback report by the Daily Express, the former Prime Minister found himself at odds with the monarch, when he was accused of showing disrespect to her.
The report claims the former Labour leader joined in the laughter when youth TV presenters June Sarpong and Dermot O’Leary joked about the possibility of him becoming “President Blair” and replace the monarch as head of state.
The incident reportedly occurred when Ms Sarpong was introducing former US President Bill Clinton via a video link at a Labour anti-poverty rally.
How Labour PM risked royal backlash from Queen after 'disrespectful' joke (Image: GETTY)
Tony Blair’s relationship with the Royal Family during his time as Prime Minister was not smooth (Image: GETTY)
She is quoted as saying to the audience: “I’m very excited because I have always wanted to say, ‘It’s my pleasure to introduce you Mr President’ and obviously we can’t say this over here.”
Mr O’Leary then jokily added, “Yet” – sending the audience of Labour supporters into hearty laughs.
When Ms Sarpong asked if he had “anything to say to that”, a smiling Mr Blair did not dismiss the idea.
Instead, he replied: “Absolutely nothing. You carry on.”