September 16

You are my 10th Prime Minister, Mr. Blair

Tony Blair's account of meeting the Queen matches the fictional version of the event in the movie The Queen, says the scriptwriter (The Australian 10/9).

In Mr Blair's newly released memoir, A Journey, the former British prime minister recalls that as he went to kiss her hand at their first meeting in 1997 the Queen said: "You are my 10th prime minister. The first was Winston. That was before you were born."

Peter Morgan's script for the Oscar-winning film starring Helen Mirren has the monarch saying: "You are my 10th prime minister, Mr Blair. My first was Winston Churchill."

Mr Morgan told Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper: "I made up those lines. No minutes are taken of meetings between prime ministers and monarchs and the convention is that no one ever speaks about them, so I didn't even attempt to find out what had been said.

"There are three possibilities. The first is I guessed absolutely perfectly, which is highly unlikely; the second is Blair decided to endorse what I imagined as the official line; and the third is that he had one gin and tonic too many and confused the scene in the film with what had actually happened, and this I find amusing because he always insisted he'd never even seen it."

…meant as a hatchet job…

Incidentally, Mr. Morgan has previously admitted that he wrote the script with the intention of the film being a hatchet job on The Queen.

Justice and truth can prevail even against a jacobin writer.  The viewers saw the great and glorious Sovereign they know, not what he hoped they would see.

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