Former British Prime Minister David Cameron prompted a rare royal rebuke this week from Buckingham Palace, after he made several claims about private meetings with Queen Elizabeth II during a media tour promoting his new memoir.
On Thursday, Cameron told the BBC that some years ago he asked the queen – who is supposed to remain politically neutral – to help the pro-“remain” side in Scotland’s 2014 independence referendum.
He said he felt “panic” that the pro-secession side might win, and told her private secretary that “just a raising of the eyebrow, even, you know, a quarter of an inch, we thought might make a difference.”
She subsequently surprised many when she told well-wishers days before the referendum that Scots should “think very carefully about the future” before voting.
The pro-remain side won the vote 55 percent to 45 percent.
“I didn’t ask for anything improper to be said or done,” Cameron said, before saying he had “nothing more to say” about the matter.
“I’ve already said perhaps a little bit too much,” he said.
It appears the remarks were enough to anger the queen. Palace officials told local British media that the former prime minister caused the queen “an amount of displeasure” with his claim.
“Make no mistake, they are furious about this,” a royal source told MailOnline.
Cameron continued to throw fuel to the fire overnight Thursday with additional revelations about the head of the British royal family.
Speaking to The Times’ Red Box Podcast, Cameron revealed the monarch was given to driving “at breakneck speed” at Balmoral – her Scottish holiday estate – and that she told him she was “the only woman to have driven the King of Saudi Arabia.”
“You get into a car, sort of 7 o’clock at night, often driven by the queen herself, driven at breakneck speed up on to the moor,” he said. “And there’s the Duke of Edinburgh cooking grouse on a barbecue, a barbecue he himself designed and built. That’s extraordinary to be cooked for by Her Majesty the Queen and Prince Phillip.”
Cameron added that the queen asked “incredibly perceptive questions” and spoke of seeing the royal family “in relaxation” at their Balmoral “haven.”
On Friday, a senior palace source told the Mirror that Cameron’s “fast and loose” remarks are a “betrayal of trust” and “not fitting of the office he once held.”
“It’s fair to say everyone is wondering what on earth he will reveal next and he’s said more than enough already,” the source added.
The 93-year-old queen has been dragged back into politics through a Supreme Court challenge to Prime Minister Boris Johnson's decision to suspend Parliament for five weeks as the Brexit deadline approaches.
Opponents of the government claim the suspension was illegal and accuse the prime minister of misleading the queen, whose formal approval was needed for the move.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.