Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II stands in 2010 with several prime ministers who served during her reign. With the Queen, from left, David Cameron, John Major, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.
Winston Churchill (1951-1955): The Queen was said to be in awe of her first Prime Minister, Winston Churchill. When asked once which prime minister she had enjoyed meeting, she replied, “Winston of course, because he’s always so interesting.”
Anthony Eden (1955-1957): Her Majesty the Queen found her second prime minister to be a sympathetic listener and their relationship was a constitutionally appropriate one. The biggest political event that occurred in the time of Aden was the Suez Crisis. During this time, he believed it was crucial to keep the Queen informed, so he showed her all the Suez papers – the first time that secret government documents had been shown.
Harold Macmillan (1957-1963): The Queen originally found Macmillan difficult to deal with, but they eventually warmed up to each other. Her Majesty relied on Macmillan for his wise advice – both while in office and after his retirement in 1963.
Alec Douglas Home (1963-1964): The Queen was well acquainted with Douglas Home, shown in the background, as he was a childhood friend of the Queen Mother. So Her Majesty has worked hard to re-establish her informal relationship with him. Over the course of the year he was in office, Douglas Home assisted the King in naming several of the royal horses.
Harold Wilson (1964-1970, 1974-1976): Wilson, who came from a lower-middle-class background, became the Queen’s first Prime Minister in the Labor Party. Often breaking with tradition, Wilson, shown here next to Prince Philip, enjoyed helping with laundry after barbecues at Balmoral – one of the Queen’s residences. However, the Queen made ready for Wilson’s informal presence, and even invited him to stay for drinks after their first meeting, which was unfamiliar.
Edward Heath (1970-1974): Her Majesty’s relationship with Heath was difficult, particularly because their views differed greatly. While the Queen saw her role as Head of the Commonwealth of paramount importance, Heath favored European integration.
James Callahan (1976-1979): Callaghan was famous for the Queen, but noted that she offered him “friendliness, but not friendship.” In an interview with the BBC’s David Frost, Callahan spoke of the moment when he asked for Her Majesty’s opinion because he couldn’t decide. He said the Queen looked him “softly in the eye” and said, “That’s what I paid for.”
Margaret Thatcher (1979-1990): While Thatcher and the Queen were closest in age, Thatcher maintained their strict professional and formal encounters. The Iron Lady’s relationship with the King was reportedly strained during their traditional weekly meetings. Thatcher also regarded her annual visits to the royal house at Balmoral as a boycott of her work. But despite this, Thatcher is said to have been incredibly respectful of the Queen, eventually becoming the longest-serving Prime Minister.
John Major (1990-1997): John Major and the Queen provided mutual support for each other during his leadership. They have shared many crises together – the Gulf War and the economic recession, the fire at Windsor Castle and the marital problems of her son Charles, Prince of Wales, and his wife Diana.
Tony Blair (1997-2007): Blair viewed the United Kingdom’s relationship with the monarchy as an outdated institution, and was intent on modernizing it. In his book “The Journey,” he ridiculed the annual tradition of visiting the Queen at the royal house at Balmoral, noting “the lively mixture of curiosity, surreal, and utterly frightening. Her whole culture was quite exotic, of course, not that the royals were not very welcoming.” Meanwhile, the Queen has reportedly considered Blair’s relationship with US President George W. Bush very cordial.
Gordon Brown (2007-2010): While the Queen and Brown are believed to share a close relationship, it wasn’t enough to secure his invitation to Prince William’s wedding. However, Her Majesty the Queen at times imitated his Scottish accent.
David Cameron (2010-2016): The relationship between David Cameron and the Queen appears to have been warm. He is not only the Queen’s youngest prime minister, but they are related as well. He is a direct descendant of King William IV, making him the Queen’s fifth cousin, and he has been deposed twice.