'It sounds as though the referendum may go the wrong way'

The transcript released by CKOI FM in Montreal of the conversation between the Queen and Pierre Brassard
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The Independent Online
PALACE SWITCHBOARD: Buckingham Palace: Buckingham Palace?

DJ: Yes this is Jacques Chretien, Prime Minister of Canada.

BP: Hello, sir.

DJ: Hello.

BP: I am just trying to connect you to Her Majesty now. (Phone rings.)

Queen: Hello?

DJ: Oui, hello.

Queen: Ah, Prime Minister.

DJ: Good evening, majesty.

Q: Hello

DJ: Bonsoir.

Q: Bonsoir.

DJ: Vous allez bien?

Q: Yes thank you.

DJ: Please accept my deepest respect.

Q: Thank you very much.

DJ: And please excuse the poor quality of my English.

Q: (laughs)

DJ: Your Majesty, I am really stressed out these days.

Q: I'm sure you are.

DJ: Yes.

Q: We've been following it with great interest.

DJ: The Canadian political situation is very critical.

Q: Yes.

DJ: Our latest polls are showing that the separatists are going to win the referendum on the independence of Quebec.

Q: Well, it sounds ... it sounds as though it might ... the referendum may go the wrong way.

DJ: But we still have some 'ope, because there is still a large number of undecided voters.

Q: Yes.

DJ: We deeply believe that should Your Majesty have the kindness to make a public intervention, we think that your word could give back to the citizens of Quebec the pride of being members of a united country.

Q: Um, I mean I know I have said ... I have said whilst I have been in Canada ... I have tried to give the same message. Um.

DJ: So. Do you think you can tell that on national television?

Q: Um. Well, listen, can I ... Can I ... Can you hang on a minute?

DJ: Yes. Yes, of course.

Q: Wait a minute.

Q: (Aside to someone else in the Palace). Robert, he does want me to do exactly what you think, go on Canadian television. What shall I say. (silence)

Q: Right ... right ... Um.

Q: (Returns to phone) Do you think you could give me a text of what you would like me to say?

DJ: Sure, sure.

Q: Could you fax me a text and I can get back to you this evening.

DJ: Of course Your Majesty. OK.

Q And I'll ... I will probably be able to do something for you.

DJ: Aaah. Thank you Your Majesty.

Q: No problem, no, I can do that. I mean, it would have to be moitie- moitie, wouldn't it. It would have to be half-English, half-French.

DJ: OK. Half and half.

Q: Yes. If you could let me have a text.

DJ: My personal secretary [named] will write the text, and after my other secretary [named] fax to your machine and you will receive this text.

Q: I think, if I can help, I would be delighted to do anything I can, of course.

DJ: Your Majesty, I am very nervous. Is it possible to talk in French?

Q: Allez. Go on

DJ: I am more at ease in French, Your Majesty.

Q: Um-hm.

DJ gives background to referendum issue

DJ: I find that is very kind on your part to agree to this.

Q: No, I would like very much ... um ... to help as much as I can.

DJ: Your Majesty. My team is going to work on writing the text, and it will not be too long.

Q: Very good. As short as possible, saying the most important things. I hope it helps.

DJ: It will be transmitted on all the television and radio networks in Canada. You know, I don't want Quebec to secede.

Q: Oh, certainly not.

DJ: Because, if it secedes, there will be problems with our currency, as well.

Q: No, but with the currency and... (lapses into English) The money and the business is difficult, isn't it?

DJ: Yes.

Q: (in French) But, if I can help, in any case, I will be very very happy to do that.

DJ: That's very kind. Your Majesty, how is your family? The family is well?

Q: Yes, very well thank you. They are going off everywhere.

DJ: They are everywhere.

Q: And I hope I will see you in Auckland.

DJ: Yes, Oui. We will see each other. That will be a pleasure. In New Zealand.

Q: Yes, in New Zealand. But at this point you will send this text.

DJ: Well, I am going to send you the text.

Q: Thank you.

DJ: Yes. You can make any corrections you like, Your Majesty.

Q: Ca ne vous ... (back into English) You don't mind doing that?

DJ: It don't shock me. (back into French) No, there's no problem. I have confidence in you. I look forward to our trip to New Zealand, where we can see each other again.

Q: Yes, that's right.

DJ: Besides, I have some advisers who are already there.

Q: Yes, they are already there. Yes, I leave on Monday. We are going to New Zealand.

DJ: Each year, there is a peculiar thing, which is that Canada will offer a contribution of food at the time of this meeting in New Zealand.

Q: Oh yes.

DJ: It has already left. I imagine that you must be feeling the Hallowe'en atmosphere in England at the moment.

Q: Yes, at the moment, that's true.

DJ: Are you doing anything to celebrate Hallowe'en?

Q: Yes. Certainly for the children.

DJ: You are not going so far as to wear a costume?

Q: No, no. (laughs)

DJ: OK. Your Majesty.

Q: If I can help you, I will.

DJ: I will send you the fax with the text and then if you want to dress for Hallowe'en, just put on a hat. I thank you very much again, Your Majesty.

Q: Good, goodbye for now.

DJ: Thank you (in English) Good evening. Thank you.

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