Elizabeth II was ‘very understanding’ of global financial problems – Gordon Brown


Queen Elizabeth II was “very understanding” of the problems facing the world during the 2008 financial crisis, Gordon Brown said.

The former Prime Minister recalled his many meetings with the Queen before her funeral on Monday.

He first met the Queen almost four decades ago when she opened the Mossmorran chemical plant in Fife in 1986.

Mr Brown, a former MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, would then attend regular audiences with the Queen when presenting the budget as Chancellor and then as Prime Minister from 2007 to 2010.

His tenure came during the severe global economic crisis that plunged Britain into recession.

Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland’s Sunday Show, Mr Brown said: ‘She understood very well the issues we were all facing at the time of the global financial crisis.

The late monarch, he said, volunteered to entertain world leaders at the G20 meeting in 2009 – as the effects of the crisis were felt.

During the meeting, the Queen put former Italian minister Silvio Berlusconi “in his place” for his late arrival.

Mr Brown recalled: “We had this group photo and it was center stage. I was sitting next to her, Obama was there.

“Berlusconi rushes in late and shouts ‘Obama’ and wants to be the center of attention – rushes up to the queen and Obama.

“And, of course, the sternest look I’ve ever seen. Berlusconi was certainly put in his place by the Queen.

The former Labor leader also told how the Queen was always aware of current events but never tried to “impose her will” on the elected government.

(Left-right) Former Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown during the Accession Council ceremony at St James’s Palace, London, where King Charles III was formally proclaimed monarch (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

He added: ‘She was diligent, dedicated, read all the papers and never tried to tell you what to do, but was always ready to ask questions.

“She asked me ‘why did the bankers do so badly?’ because of the financial crisis, but she would never impose her will.

“I think the dignified role of the monarchy that Prince Charles promised to uphold, was really established in the way she handled the affairs of state, that she was there to listen,” he said. he adds.

“She was there to ask questions, but she was not there to impose her will. It was for the elected parliament at the time.


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