Boris Johnson and wife Carrie were met by a chorus of competing boos and cheers as they arrived at St Paul’s Cathedral this morning for a service to mark the Queen‘s Platinum Jubilee.
The Prime Minister, who gave a reading of Philippians Chapter 4, verses 4-9 from the New Testament at the National Thanksgiving Service, appeared was met with a mixed reaction as he left his car with Carrie and walked up the steps of the cathedral.
Observers at St Paul’s disputed the level of booing, with some claiming that a round of cheers preceded some retaliatory booing among members of the public watching the PM arrive – while others said most of the crowd noise was jeering.
The audio of the several live feeds from the event carried differing volumes of boos and cheers. While Sky’s feed carried isolated cheers followed by a round of booing, the BBC audio had much louder levels of jeers.
According to Sky News, the PM was hit by a mixture of boos and answering cheers – though the BBC reported Johnson was ‘widely booed’.
His appearance comes amid growing uncertainty about his future, with a potential no-confidence vote on the horizon.
The PM wore a black jacket with a grey waistcoat, while Carrie opted for a long red dress, after stepping out in a vibrant pink outfit yesterday.
The mother-of-two teamed a Sandro dress with red pointed heels from Dune, and a white hat with a spray of red feathers from AJ Gretton Millinery.
Johnson and his wife later took their seats in the cathedral, where they were joined by ex-Prime Ministers including David Cameron and Tony Blair, as well as current politicians including Keir Starmer and Sadiq Khan.
It comes after months of controversy for Johnson and the Tory government following a number of rule-breaking Number 10 parties during lockdown.
The PM, Carrie, and the Chancellor all apologised in April after the Metropolitan Police handed them fixed penalty notices (FPNs) for the party in the Cabinet Room on June 19 2020.
In her recent report, senior civil servant Sue Gray also found boozy drinks parties were held at the heart of Government on April 16 2021, the eve of the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral – albeit not attended by the PM himself.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks at the National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee
The Prime Minister gave a reading of Philippians Chapter 4, verses 4-9 from the New Testament at the National Thanksgiving Service
Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie Johnson attend the National Service of Thanksgiving held at St Paul’s Cathedral
Boris and Carrie were joined by other politicians including Liz Truss and Prit Patel as they took their seats at St Paul’s Cathedral
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie arrive for a service of thanksgiving for the reign of the Queen
Carrie teamed a Sandro dress with red pointed heels from Dune, and a white hat with a spray of red feathers from AJ Gretton Millinery
Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie were pictured arriving at St Paul’s Cathedral for a memorial service for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee
The PM wore a black jacket with a grey waistcoat, while Carrie opted for a red colour scheme, after stepping out in a vibrant pink outfit yesterday
Prime Minister Boris Johnson ahead of the National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral
As part of their investigation into lockdown-busting parties in Downing Street and Whitehall, the Metropolitan Police deemed that coronavirus restrictions were breached ahead of the funeral.
However, the force did not specify which events led to fines being received.
At the time, socialising indoors with people from other households was not allowed and meeting others outdoors was limited to groups of six people or two households.
An increasing number of Tory MPs have publicly urged the Mr Johnson to stand down – although not all have revealed whether they have submitted letters to the 1922 Committee calling for a confidence vote to decide his future.
Home Secretary Priti Patel has told Tory MPs pushing for the Prime Minister to resign to ‘forget it’, that writing letters of no-confidence in Boris Johnson was a ‘sideshow’, and the party should be focused on ‘real challenges that we have to find solutions to’.
This week, the Prime Minister again came under criticism from the standards watchdog after he refused to give his adviser on the rules for ministers the freedom to launch his own inquiries into potential breaches.
Former prime minister Sir Tony Blair and his wife Cherie, Sir John Major and other ex-prime ministers Gordon Brown, Theresa May and David Cameron, and their spouses were all spotted arriving at the service. Cabinet ministers Sajid Javid and Liz Truss are also present.
Soon after, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was pictured arriving with her husband, and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer. Members of the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force lined up on either side of the Great West Door.
The Queen is watching on television from Windsor Castle after she was forced to pull out last night.
Prince Charles is officially representing the 96-year-old monarch at the service in London this morning, which is also being attended by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for their first joint royal engagement in two years.
Boris Johnson’s New Testament Reading in full
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone.
The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.
But the Queen will miss the event following a last-minute decision announced by Buckingham Palace at 7.30pm yesterday after she experienced ‘discomfort’ during Trooping The Colour events earlier in the day.
There will also be no appearance at St Paul’s from Prince Andrew after he tested positive for coronavirus. The Queen will be watching the service from her Berkshire residence, and it will be broadcast nationally on BBC One.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have seats in the second row of the congregation, with Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie and their husbands, and Lady Sarah Chatto, the daughter of Princess Margaret, and her family.
Harry and Meghan are seated behind the Earl and Countess of Wessex who are in the front row with their children, Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor and Viscount Severn, and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester.
Across the aisle, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, who have ornate chairs, have seats alongside them for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Princess Royal and her husband, Vice Admiral Tim Laurence.
Earlier, a member of the Royal Air Force in the military guard of honour lining the steps to St Paul’s collapsed, but was able to get to his feet and was helped away.
Then, a second member of the military personnel also collapsed, but was also able to get to his feet and was helped away on foot, despite a stretcher being brought out.
The Queen is understood to have had episodic mobility issues yesterday – and, in a statement, Buckingham Palace revealed the Queen ‘greatly enjoyed’ her birthday parade and flypast but ‘did experience some discomfort’.
It said: ‘Taking into account the journey and activity required to participate in tomorrow’s National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral, Her Majesty, with great reluctance, has concluded that she will not attend.’
The order of service for today’s Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral in London which begins at 11.30am today
Former prime ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown arrive for the Service of Thanksgiving held at St Paul’s Cathedral today
Ex-prime minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha arrive for the Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral today
Crowds gather before a service of thanksgiving for the reign of Queen Elizabeth II at St Paul’s Cathedral in London today
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrive for the Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral in London this morning
It is understood the decision ahead of the service, which begins at 11.30am today, was considered regrettable but sensible due to the length of the journey and time involved and the physical demands the service would require.
Senior members of the monarchy attending this morning also include the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who will be joined by the extended royal family.
Tributes will be paid to the Queen’s ’70 years of faithful and dedicated service’ in front of 2,000 people including Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Cabinet ministers, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and former prime ministers.
Public service is the theme at the heart of the religious event, with 400 people who are recipients of honours, including NHS and key workers who were recognised for their work during the pandemic, invited.
The Archbishop of York, the Most Rev Stephen Cottrell, will deliver the sermon to the congregation after stepping in at the 11th hour after the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, contracted Covid-19.
Hundreds of people gathered outside St Paul’s, some wearing Union flag hats and others hanging flags and bunting over the railings on the approach to the cathedral – and many guests had their photographs taken outside the Great West Door, where members of the Royal family are also due to enter the cathedral for the event.