UK

EU referendum: 'Irritation and acceptance' at Queen claims

Queen Elizabeth II Image copyright PA

A "Queen backs Brexit" headline will provoke both irritation in palace circles and a weary acceptance that it was probably inevitable that the royals would be dragged into this divisive debate.

This is an attempt to shine a light on what is rarely illuminated - the Queen's private thoughts on political matters.

Officials are keen to stress she's neither for Leave nor Remain; but on the fence, neutral and impartial - a space, they say, she's occupied for 63 years.

Their challenge is that the Queen did enter the political fray recently.

It was an intervention that garnered only muted criticism. Historians may pass a different judgement.

During the 2014 Scottish referendum, the monarch was judged to have backed Scotland remaining within the UK when she told a well-wisher: "I hope people will think very carefully about the future."

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