Lawyer becomes first partner in court to publicly testify as to how the British queen picks up the phone
‘The Queen only picks up the phone for this two people’: royal expert
Queen Elizabeth only picks up the phone for two people, royal expert says
The Queen picks up the phone when she wants to discuss phone calls with two people, her court secretary said in a court appearance on Friday.
Lawyer Tristan Gooley became the first partner in the court to publicly testify as to how the British monarch selects the service that will deliver the phone call.
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“[Her Majesty] only picks up the phone when she is confident it will be of use to her,” Gooley told the Leveson inquiry into British media standards.
His statement came during a recording of an interview he gave to the BBC’s Woman’s Hour magazine in 2008.
The statement followed a disclosure in October that Gooley took part in a three-minute conversation in 2006 during which he described how Queen Elizabeth would ask him questions via his earpiece.
It is the latest evidence of the Queen’s meticulous attention to detail, as she prepares to celebrate her diamond jubilee year.
Her official title is the Defender of the Faith.
Gooley said as a junior member of the court he would use his earpiece to tell the Queen about a scheduled phone call.
He said the Queen would ask if he was on the call, and “if I have the answer”.
The Queen also made sure a female staff member, now retired, would be in the background while the phone call was taking place, Gooley said.
Her Majesty “must be confident that a contact will be up to the job and articulate it clearly”, he said.
It was also the Queen’s habit to return a call when she wanted to, she added.
“She was highly experienced with on-call telephone arrangements,” Gooley told the Leveson inquiry.
Several high-profile figures have spoken publicly about how the Queen selects the service that will deliver the call.
Broadcaster Oprah Winfrey revealed on US TV that she called the monarch on the Queen’s ancient handheld phone and was able to reach her.
Former England football captain Gary Lineker said in 2008 he was able to call the monarch after becoming a fan of the Buckingham Palace telephone number that she did not want to share.
“This has enabled me to call Her Majesty from just about anywhere on earth without having to change the SIM card,” he told listeners.
David Beckham also spoke about phone calls with the Queen.
Former England footballer David Beckham said he has had ‘fantastic’ conversations with Queen Elizabeth, and why he would never let David Beckham decide who gets the next England shirt
“The Queen has, I am told, a very unusual way of selecting a telephone call,” he told a 2007 TV series in the US.
“The phone rings and someone on your staff picks it up. Then you say, ‘Hi, it’s the Queen’.”
Beckham said that the Queen had “fantastic” conversations with him and because he knew his son played for Manchester United, he never got the chance to ask his Majesty about it.
“No matter what happened, no matter what the situation was, and whether I had lost the shirt, or I had won the shirt, whatever, I wanted to get that call,” he said.
Earlier on Friday, the inquiry heard that a tweet by Lady Gaga on World Press Freedom Day in 2013 prompted the British government to examine press freedom in the UK.
“Could you please pass my request for private media interviews to the PM @David_Cameron,” the singer posted to her 10.3 million followers.
“Calls me only on my mobile and I have to ask someone on set first! Great work today Britain! #Defendingfreedom”
A representative for Gaga’s spokesman said she did not know who had contacted her.