The Queen ‘spoke out in favour of the EU in the late 1980s’4 min read

0
82
The Queen attended the wedding of Lady Gabriella Windsor and Thomas Kingston at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle on Saturday

The Queen attended the wedding of Lady Gabriella Windsor and Thomas Kingston at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle on Saturday

Her role as a neutral figurehead for Britain means she has kept out of politics over the almost seven decades of her rule.

But the Queen apparently once spoke out in favour of her realm being closely linked to Europe and a member of the European Union.

The monarch told a former ambassador from West Germany in the 1980s that the British were ‘still a highly insular people’ when he came to Buckingham Palace for a farewell audience in 1988, the Times reported.

A diplomatic cable sent back to the then capital Bonn by Rüdiger Freiherr von Wechmar reported that the Queen questioned the views of then prime minister Margaret Thatcher, months after the Iron Lady had warned about an ‘European superstate’.

He also said she sarcastically said ‘it’s about time’ when they discussed a £5million UK government publicity campaign after Thatcher’s comments, made in a Bruges speech.

‘I told her I sometimes couldn’t escape the impression that Mrs Thatcher wanted a different Europe to the Europe we wanted’, the German diplomat wrote in his cable.

Check this out  Shocking footage shows thousands of dead bees after 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck California

‘She responded to this remark with an observation alluding to the strained relationship between the two women: ‘That will soon change If she is still around.’

Mr von Wechmar also said that the Queen made a joke about the coming of the Single Market in 1992, which had been agreed in the 1986 Single European Act, which had been approved by the UK.

‘The British were, she said with a chuckle, still a highly insular people, and most of them could not make very much of the magic number 1992,’ he said. 

Rüdiger Freiherr von Wechmar was West German ambassador to the UK from 1983 to 1988. He died in 2007 so his claims cannot be verified

Rüdiger Freiherr von Wechmar was West German ambassador to the UK from 1983 to 1988. He died in 2007 so his claims cannot be verified

The Queen (pictured on Saturday) is said to have discussed Europe with the former West German ambassador Rüdiger Freiherr von Wechmar in 1988

The Queen (pictured on Saturday) is said to have discussed Europe with the former West German ambassador Rüdiger Freiherr von Wechmar in 1988 

The German, who was ambassador to Britain from 1983 to 1988, went on to become an MEP and died in 2007.

The Queen’s views on Europe and Brexit remain a much discussed topic since the referendum in 2016. 

In January she was praised after she urged people to seek ‘common ground’ in an apparent plea for compromise as politicians and the country became heavily polarised. 

Check this out  Rumours fuelled far-right protest after killing in...

Speaking at an event in Sandringham, the monarch stressed the importance of ‘respecting’ other views and said everyone needed to keep the ‘big picture’ in mind.

Using barely coded language in a speech to her local Women's Institute in Norfolk, the Queen said she preferred 'respecting different points of view' in a January speech

Using barely coded language in a speech to her local Women’s Institute in Norfolk, the Queen said she preferred ‘respecting different points of view’ in a January speech

The Queen made her comments in a speech to mark the centenary of the Sandringham Women’s Institute, of which she is president. 

‘Reflecting on a century of change, it is clear that the qualities of the WI endure,’ she said.

‘The continued emphasis on patience, friendship, a strong community focus, and considering the needs of others, are as important today as they were when the group was founded all those years ago.

‘Of course, every generation faces fresh challenges and opportunities.

‘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.

Check this out  Samantha Wills to close her jewellery business after 15 years

‘To me, these approaches are timeless, and I commend them to everyone.’

In her Christmas address the Queen touched on the same theme, telling the nation: ‘Even with the most deeply held differences, treating the other person with respect and as a fellow human being is always a good first step towards greater understanding.’ 

As head of state, the Queen remains publicly neutral when it comes to political matters and does not express her views on issues.

But her words were seen as a clear reference to the toxic national debate around Britain leaving the EU.

The comments were endorsed by a slew of senior politicians amid the bitter wrangling over relations with the EU.

Theresa May’s spokesman echoed the remarks, while Chancellor Philip Hammond said Britons had always been ‘pragmatic’ in solving problems.

But two years previously Buckingham Palace made an official complaint after it was reported that the monarch backed Brexit before the referendum.

The Sun reported that she told former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg during a lunch at Windsor Castle that she thought Europe was going in the wrong direction.