What Does The Queen Think Of Brexit? Officially, She's Not Allowed To Have An Opinion
It's safe to say that most people are fed up with Brexit. Just when the nation thought a decision would be made, politicians put up a few more barriers to block the way. But what does the Queen think of Brexit? The figurehead of the country must have an opinion, right? Well, it's not quite as simple as that.
As the head of state, the Queen must remain politically neutral at all times and not express a view on any political issues. But according to some, the 92-year-old monarch may have alluded to Brexit in a couple of her speeches.
In January, the Queen gave a speech to the Women's Institute in Norfolk. As ITV reports, she appeared to reference the toxic debate that has erupted around Brexit. "Every generation faces fresh challenges and opportunities," she stated. "As we look for new answers in the modern age, I for one prefer the tried and tested recipes, like speaking well of each other and respecting different points of view, coming together to seek out the common ground, and never losing sight of the bigger picture."
This echoed a similar statement given by the Queen during her 2018 Christmas speech. She spoke of "deeply held differences" and mentioned treating other people with respect as "a good first step towards greater understanding," reports the Express.
In relation to the January speech, BBC royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell said: "It is impossible to imagine that the head of state would use a construction of words such as this without it being appreciated that they would be seen as a reference to the current political debate." In other words, the Queen was almost certainly sending a message to both the people and politicians.
Three years ago, the monarch's alleged Brexit opinions resulted in much controversy. In 2016, The Sun published an article with the headline "Queen backs Brexit." The paper reported that two sources (both unnamed) had claimed the Queen had criticised the EU during two private functions.
However, a twist came nine months later when the BBC's political editor Laura Kuenssberg told Radio 4 that a source told her a similar story: “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?'"
According to the Guardian, the BBC usually requires a story to have at least two sources. Kuennsberg said she couldn't find someone to corroborate the quote, so was unable to publish it. I should also stress that it's not clear whether the story is even true.
The Queen wasn't even able to escape Brexit chat when she met President Donald Trump in the summer of 2018. "She said it’s a very — and she’s right — it’s a very complex problem," Trump said in an interview with Piers Morgan, reports the Guardian. However, he wouldn't reveal anything about her personal opinion on the matter.
It's not that easy being a royal, is it?