The Queen has been "revealed" to be a backer of a campaign for Britain to leave the European Union, known as a "Brexit," ahead of a referendum on the matter in June, according to a controversial report in The Sun newspaper on Wednesday.
Running the headline "Queen backs Brexit" on its front page, the newspaper said that details had emerged "of an extraordinary alleged bust-up between her and Nick Clegg (the former leader of the Liberal Democrat party) over Europe" that purportedly showed her anti-European feelings.
The Sun said that a "highly reliable source," which it did not name, who was present at a lunch at Windsor Castle at which Clegg was a guest, said that the Queen "let rip" at the well-known Europhile politician over Britain's continental neighbours, telling him that she though the political and economic bloc was "heading in the wrong direction."
The senior source quoted by the paper said: "People who heard their conversation were left in no doubt at all about the Queen's views on European integration…The EU is clearly something Her Majesty feels passionately about."
Buckingham Palace said it would not comment on "spurious" claims, and Clegg called the story "nonsense," the BBC reported. The palace insisted the Queen is "politically neutral" over the EU referendum.
Whether fact or fiction, the comments could be a boost to the "leave" campaign which has already attracted a number of high-profile politicians from the ruling Conservative party causing a split with leader and Prime Minister David Cameron who is campaigning for Britain to stay in a reformed EU.