British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is under fire after holding multiple parties in Downing Street ahead of Prince Philip’s funeral last Spring. Johnson issued an apology on Friday as outrage swirls around his lockdown-defiant functions.
Johnson’s office held farewell parties for two staff members on April 16, 2021–the night before Prince Philip’s funeral.
Jamie Davies, a spokesman for the PM, said that Johnson and his team are aware that the parties have generated “significant public anger.”
“It’s deeply regrettable that this took palace at a time of national mourning and No. 10 has apologized to the palace,” he said, referring to Johnson’s 10 Downing St. office.
Johnson’s team claims that Johnson himself wasn’t in attendance on April 16, and did not even know that such parties were being held. Despite this, the news of these gatherings has been a significant blow to Johnson’s standing in the British government.
Johnson made an apology earlier this week for attending a Downing St. party in May 2020, a period in which the U.K. had enforced lockdown measurements.
Although Johnson and his team are attempting to move on from the scandal, many prominent members of Britain’s Tory party are calling for him to resign.
Boris Johnson criticized for parties held on the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral
The combination of lockdown-defying hubris and apparent disrespect for the Royal Family’s grief has created the perfect storm for the opponents of the PM. A spokesman for Johnson said it was “deeply regrettable that this took place at a time of national mourning.”
Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and consort of the Queen of England Elizabeth II, passed away on the morning of April 9, 2021, at the age of 99 at Windsor Castle.
Prince Philip’s marriage to Queen Elizabeth, which lasted 74 years, was the longest marriage of any British royals in history.
Born on the island of Corfu into the royal family of Greece and Denmark, the Prince knew little but constant upheaval as a child, when as a result of the chaos that ensued because of the Asia Minor catastrophe, his father, Prince Andrew of Greece, was forced into exile.
Philip himself had to be spirited out of the country hidden in an orange crate for safety, leading to many years of great difficulty in his life.
His mother, Princess Alice, who was the great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria, had been born in Windsor Castle on February 25, 1885. Her father was Prince Louis of Battenberg and her mother was Princess Victoria of Hesse and the Rhine.
In 1903, Alice married Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark (who was known as “Andrea” within the family), the fourth son of King George I of Greece and Olga Constantinovna of Russia. The couple settled down in Greece and had five children.
After the First World War and the referendum of 1920, Constantine I returned to Greece from self-imposed exile in Switzerland along with the rest of the royal family. In June of 1921, Princess Alice had Prince Philip, her fifth child, in Corfu.