As the Queen prepared to bury her husband of 73 years in April 2021, two different parties were held at Number 10 on the eve of his funeral as the rest of the country was in lockdown.
Images of the Queen sitting alone at the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh were beamed around the world. But it’s now been revealed in a Telegraph exclusive that government officials were partying the night before, showing a stark difference in the following of lockdown rules.
Political Correspondent for the Telegraph Tony Diver exclusively revealed that two parties were held at Number 10 on 16 April 2021 – the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral.
In a Twitter thread, Diver revealed allegations of a leaving party held for a Number 10 photographer.
Diver claimed: “Staff partied in the basement of No10, to music DJd by a special adviser. One broke Wilf Johnson’s swing in the No10 garden. Another was sent to the Co-op with a suitcase to buy booze.”
Johnson maintains he believed it to be a work event but admitted to attending the gathering.
No 10 has since apologised to Buckingham Palace for two parties held “at time of national mourning” following the Duke of Edinburgh’s death.
A spokesperson for the prime minister said Downing Street had said sorry to the Palace following the reports.
The spokesman said: “It is deeply regrettable that this took place at a time of national mourning and No 10 has apologised to the Palace.
“You heard from the PM this week, he’s recognised No 10 should be held to the highest standards and take responsibility for things we did not get right.”
Asked why No 10 had apologised rather than Boris Johnson himself, the spokesman said: “Well, again, the Prime Minister said earlier misjudgments have been made and it’s right people apologise, as the PM did earlier this week.
“It remains the case that I can’t prejudge the inquiry, which you know is ongoing, which has been led by Sue Gray, but we acknowledge the significant public anger, it was regrettable this took place a time of national mourning.”