Downing Street apologises to Queen after 'parties' before Prince Phillip's funeral

By Kate Lally

Downing Street has apologised to Buckingham Palace after it emerged parties were held in Number 10 the day before the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral last year.

Two gatherings reportedly took place at Downing Street, with the Prime Minister's former director of communications James Slack apologising for the "anger and hurt" one of the events - a leaving do held for him - had caused.

A spokesman for the Prime Minister confirmed Number 10 has said sorry to the Palace.

READ MORE: Lockdown Parties: Full list of alleged events which have rocked Westminster

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."

The day after the events on April 16, 2021, the Queen attended her husband Philip's funeral wearing a face mask and sat alone - socially distancing from her family at Windsor Castle, in line with covid restrictions.

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."

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