A purr-fectly excruciating audience with the Queen awaits for David Cameron

The PM has a 'women problem', the problem being that women can't stand him

Katy Guest
Sunday 28 September 2014 16:54
Prime Minister David Cameron speaks during a visit to Scottish Widows offices in Edinburgh
Prime Minister David Cameron speaks during a visit to Scottish Widows offices in Edinburgh

I'm a particular fan of the many faces of Her Majesty the Queen – which span a dramatic range from "My horse just won the-Gold Cup" through to "Hello, Mr Bond" and, well, bulldog-chewing-wasp. So, I wish I could watch when Her Majesty next runs into David Cameron. I'm picturing her expression souring to a combination of waking up with toothache, seeing her latest portrait as painted by Lucian Freud, and finding a non-organic hair on her Duchy Originals sausage. What I cannot imagine her doing, ever, is purring.

Poor Mr Cameron has promised to apologise to the Queen formally when he next sees her, after he was caught on mic showing off to the bigger boys about their conversations. Cameron told American politicians that when he rang her with the result of the Scottish referendum, he told her manfully, "Your Majesty, it is all right, it's OK", and "She purred down the line." Eeew! According to the royal website, the Queen's weekly audience with the Prime Minister "usually takes place on Wednesdays at 6.30pm … when they are both in London." Cameron was in the States last Wednesday, so would have missed their little chat. If I were him I'd stay out of town until after the general election.

There are many things wrong with the purring remark. One of them is Cameron's building his part up by revealing a private conversation to boast about his ties to royalty. But this is nothing new; in 2011, when asked at PMQs about cuts to air ambulances about which Prince William cares deeply, he replied: "I have been lobbied extensively about air-sea rescue, including by people from all walks of life, if I may put it that way." Wink wink, nudge nudge, get the picture?

However, the purring comment is far more offensive. Grown-up humans do not purr, unless they are George Galloway lapping a saucer of milk from Rula Lenska's cupped hands, and we all know what that did for his gravitas. The image of smug Cameron stroking the tremulous Queen until she purrs with pleasure is one to turn the stomach of any right-thinking person. And we know what type of man brags to his male pals about making women purr, don't we? The type who tells them to "Calm down dear" when they start having opinions, that's what.

Cameron, famously, has a "women problem", the problem being that women can't stand him, and no amount of Cabinet reshuffles or family friendly policies will change that if he keeps talking about us as though we're little fluffy kittens who ought to roll over and have our tummies tickled.

In a recent magazine interview, Cameron refused to call himself a feminist. He needs to phone up Emma Watson pretty sharpish and pledge his support for her #HeforShe campaign, in which men declare themselves pro-feminism. Perhaps while she's on she can teach him some spells for dodging the curse of the Queen's face.


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