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Cameron overheard saying Queen Elizabeth 'purred' over Scottish referendum result

David Cameron's comments about the queen's reaction to the Scottish independence vote were a breach of protocol.

By
Gabrielle Levy
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II stands alongside the British Prime Minister David Cameron at No.10 Downing Street. UPI/Hugo Philpott
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II stands alongside the British Prime Minister David Cameron at No.10 Downing Street. UPI/Hugo Philpott | License Photo

NEW YORK, Sept. 23 (UPI) -- British Prime Minister David Cameron committed a protocol faux pas Tuesday while describing the queen's reaction to the Scottish referendum result.

Cameron, who was in New York to attend the U.N. General Assembly, told former mayor Michael Bloomberg that Queen Elizabeth "purred down the line," when he called to inform her of Scotland's rejection of independence.

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"The definition of relief is being the prime minister of the United Kingdom and ringing the queen and saying 'It's alright, it's OK.' That was something," Cameron said, in comments caught on pool cameras at Bloomberg LP's headquarters.

"She purred down the line," he added. "I've never heard someone so happy,"

The comment is a lapse not only because communications between the prime minister and the queen are kept private, but also because the queen, as head of state, is supposed to remain above the political fray.

The queen spoke out very little before the referendum, only asking that Scots "think very carefully about the future." And palace officials said she was privately "horrified" by the idea of Scotland breaking apart the United Kingdom.

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Cameron's office and Buckingham Palace both said they would not be commenting on the remarks.

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