What We Know About Queen Elizabeth And Tony Blair's Relationship

Per the official British royal family website, "the queen has to remain strictly neutral with respect to political matters" but "has a special relationship with the prime minister, retaining the right to appoint and also meeting with him or her on a regular basis." Tony Blair was prime minister of the United Kingdom from 1997 until 2007, according to Britannica. Not only was his relationship with Queen Elizabeth II dramatized in the 2006 movie "The Queen," starring Helen Mirren and Michael Sheen, but Blair discussed it in his tell-all autobiography, "A Journey." As reported by Express, the book contained "some of the private conversations he had held with the queen, sparking a furious reaction from Her Majesty." 

According to British GQ, Blair and the queen got off to a shaky start and perhaps never fully recovered. Blair's wife Cherie didn't curtsy to Elizabeth upon meeting her for the first time and even wore a pantsuit, which reportedly left the queen mother "mortified." 

The clash between the informal Blairs and the tradition-bound monarch intensified when the queen declined to call Blair "Tony," as he introduced himself. Furthermore, the two had very different lifestyles — Queen Elizabeth famously "loves the countryside, country sports, horses and dogs" while Blair is more of a city person who enjoys "holidays in Barbados, tennis, and football." The queen was also reportedly "surprised" when Blair "became the first of her 10 prime ministers to alter the day of their weekly audiences at Buckingham Palace from Tuesday to Wednesday afternoons." Purportedly, "in genteel royal circles, the word 'surprise' indicates that the queen was seriously annoyed."

Did Queen Elizabeth express 'hauteur' toward Tony Blair?

Per Express, 15 years after the publication of "A Journey," it came to light that the queen had "a profound sense of disappointment" in Tony Blair for "betraying Her Majesty's trust by revealing sensitive details of private conversations he had with her." Among the details shared by Blair was the "hauteur" exhibited by the queen toward him, including her putting him in his place by informing him at their first meeting, "you are my 10th prime minister. The first was Winston [Churchill]. That was before you were born." According to British GQ, the queen and Churchill became quite close and "when asked which prime minister she enjoyed meeting the most she said: 'Winston of course, because it was always such fun.'"

Prince William was also reportedly upset by Tony Blair publishing details of conversations William had assumed would remain confidential. Among other revelations, Blair "claimed in his book that the future king hated the 'prison walls' of his destiny." In a surprisingly overt snub, Blair wasn't invited to the 2011 wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton; his Conservative Party prime minister predecessors, Sir John Major and Baroness Margaret Thatcher, both received invites. Per Express, this was explained away by "a spokesman for St. James's Palace" who "said Mr. Blair had not received an invitation because he was not a Knight of the Garter, unlike Sir John and Lady Thatcher." Still, some Labour Party members of Parliament reportedly "said it was 'surprising' and 'odd' that Mr. Blair had been snubbed."