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Boris Johnson reveals BBC interview about Queen prior to her death left him in tears

Boris Johnson has revealed he had to order a BBC news crew to leave him alone after they asked him to speak about the Queen as if she had already died while filming a few months ago.

The former UK prime minster, who was one of the last people to see Queen Elizabeth II alive, gave a characteristically impassioned speech to the House of Commons following her death, where he admitted the BBC incident devastated him.

“We sat down, and the cameras started rolling, and they (BBC) requested that I should talk about her (the Queen) in the past tense,” he said.

Queen Elizabeth II seen greeting Prime Minister Boris Johnson at Buckingham Palace on June 23, 2021.
Camera IconQueen Elizabeth II seen greeting Prime Minister Boris Johnson at Buckingham Palace on June 23, 2021. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/AP

“I’m afraid I simply choked up. I couldn’t go on. And I am really not easily moved to tears, but I was so overcome with sadness that I had to ask them to go away.”

Mr Johnson had met with the Queen just two days before her death when he attended Balmoral, accompanied by his wife Carrie, to officially offer his resignation as prime minister.

Her Majesty then swore in Liz Truss as the new leader of the UK.

During that final visit, Mr Johnson said the Queen was still incredibly sharp and engaged.

“She was radiant and as knowledgeable and as fascinated by politics as ever I can remember, and as wise in her advice as anyone I know — if not wiser.”

Spending time with her was an enormous privilege…she was the wisest, kindest and most steadfast woman.

The former prime minister reflected on Her Majesty’s ability to keep the nation going when times were toughest, through wars and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“She had the patience and the sense of history to see that troubles come and go and that disasters are seldom as bad as they seem.”

“It was that indomitability, that humour, that work ethic, that sense of history which together made her Elizabeth the Great.”

Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie.
Camera IconBoris Johnson and his wife Carrie. Credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Carrie Johnson paid her own emotional tribute to the Queen, where she revealed the monarch had consoled her when the PM almost died in intensive care after contracting COVID-19 in 2020.

“I will always remember her comforting words when Boris was very ill in ICU and I was sick with worry,” the 34-year-old mother of two wrote on Instagram.

Ms Johnson also shared a personal memory from a visit to Balmoral last year with her husband where the Queen pulled out some old family toys for their son Wilf to play with.

“Spending time with her was an enormous privilege…she was the wisest, kindest and most steadfast woman,” she said.

The Sunday Times remembers Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in a FREE 16-page pictorial liftout. Daughter, wife, mother, monarch – a tribute to her life in photos. Only in The Sunday Times and available to view on the digital replica of The Sunday Times.

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