The UK government on Friday apologised to Queen Elizabeth II, after revelations that Prime Minister Boris Johnson's staff broke coronavirus restrictions by partying on the eve of Prince Philip's funeral.
"It is deeply regrettable that this took place at a time of national mourning and Number 10 (Downing Street) has apologised to the palace," Johnson's official spokesman told reporters.
The message to the 95-year-old head of state is understood to have been sent through official channels by telephone, and not personally sent by Johnson, who is under growing pressure to quit after a slew of similar allegations.
Johnson has so far tried to weather the storm of public and political outrage, apologising in parliament this week for attending one of the events in May 2020.
But the two parties on April 16, 2021 as the Queen prepared to bury her husband of 73 years -- and revealed by the Daily Telegraph -- takes the scandal to another level.
The newspaper, for whom Johnson worked before going into politics, is normally supportive of his Conservative government.
Prince Philip's funeral at Windsor Castle was limited to just 30 guests due to government Covid rules, forcing the Queen to sit alone in a church pew to say her final farewell.
About the same number of Johnson's staff held separate boozy bashes the night before, with music from a DJ, and alcohol bought from a supermarket and smuggled into Downing Street in a suitcase.
Johnson, who is currently isolating due to a close family member contracting COVID, was at his official country residence, Chequers, at the time, according to the Telegraph.