Boris Johnson gives the distinct impression that he is reluctant to get involved in Megxit, especially as he hasn’t actually finished on Brexit yet. Having claimed, inaccurately as it turned out, to have “got Brexit done”, he has enough to do on that, on Covid and on the economy more generally than to have to add royal rift to his “to do list”. So far he has confined himself to routine praise of the Queen (“highest admiration”) and a promise not to get involved in what the police used to call “a domestic”.
However, the sheer scale of the television audience and the gravity of some of the claims being levelled against the palace are so serious that he may yet have to furnish his advice to the Queen on the current crisis. Constitutionally, she is obliged to take it, even when it relates to members of her own family and her staff. She might feel doubly dubious about doing so, given that Johnson wasn’t entirely frank with her about the prorogation of parliament last August. That was soon ruled unlawful and void by the Supreme Court, and she might well feel ill-used by her prime minister. Yet she knows the rules of the game and will follow them.
What though could Johnson advise her to do? He has plenty of personal experience of family rifts, embarrassing racist remarks and no doubt knows the personalities involved. However, presentation isn’t necessarily his strong point, and he’s hardly the most woke personality in public life. His advice, if sought or offered, is likely to be non-committal.