Queen attends cabinet meeting in Downing Street


The Queen was greeted by David Cameron as she arrived at Downing Street to attend her first cabinet meeting, as part of the government’s diamond jubilee celebrations. Dressed in a royal blue coat, the Queen walked up the red carpet on the steps of No 10 before standing chatting with the prime minister at the door to pose for photographs. However, claims that this was the first time a monarch has attended a cabinet meeting since Queen Victoria were disputed by one historian, who said King George III was the last to have done so. In honour of the Queen’s visit, secretaries of state conducted a ministerial whip-round and bought her a gift, to be presented at the gathering in Downing Street. The prime minister’s spokesman declined to say what the gift might be, although the BBC reported that ministers all chipped in an equal amount. The Queen, who arrived just after 10am, was attending as an observer and was expected to stay for around half-an-hour at the meeting, which will last approximately 90 minutes. She is expected to sit between Cameron and the foreign secretary, William Hague.