THE Queen is said to have sought counsel from her aides on the 
circumstances under which she could sack a Prime Minister for the first time in her 67-year reign.

Sources told the i newspaper the monarch sought constitutional clarity ahead of last Tuesday’s bombshell Supreme Court ruling that Boris Johnson’s proroguing of Parliament was “unlawful”.

Buckingham Palace said it did not comment on rumours.

It is not thought any conversations were in relation to active attempts by the Queen to dismiss the Prime Minister, but rather to gain an understanding over her exact position legally should she be approached by opposition MPs at any point, if Mr Johnson refused to step down after losing a vote of no confidence.

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It comes after further reports that Mr Johnson telephoned the Queen 
to personally apologise for the embarrassment caused by the ruling he had acted unlawfully when he advised the monarch to suspend Parliament for five weeks – advice which she was obliged to accept.

As Head of State, the Queen has always remained strictly neutral in regards to politics and is unable to vote or stand for election, so the relationship with her Prime Ministers is regarded as vital.

She gives the PM a regular weekly audience during their term in office and if either the Queen or the PM are not able to meet, then they will speak by telephone.

Under the British constitution, the Queen has a number of personal discretionary powers which includes the right to appoint the prime minister and other ministers.

A House of Commons select committee clarified in 2003 that these powers also include a right for the sovereign to act contrary to, or even without, ministerial advice in a “grave constitutional crisis”.

Princess Elizabeth became Queen at 26 and during her 67-year reign, 14 Prime Ministers have served.