Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II poses in 2010 with several prime ministers who served during her reign. With the Queen, from left, are David Cameron, John Major, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.
Winston Churchill (1951-1955): The Queen is said to be impressed by her first Prime Minister, Winston Churchill. Once when asked which Prime Minister she preferred to speak to, she replied, “Winston of course, because it’s always so much fun.”
Anthony Eden (1955-1957): Her Majesty found her second Prime Minister a sympathetic listener and their relationship was one of constitutional decency. The greatest political event in Eden’s time was the Suez crisis. During this time, he felt it was of the utmost importance to keep the Queen informed, so he shared all of the Suez papers with her – the first time her secret government documents were ever shown.
Harold Macmillan (1957-1963): The Queen initially found Macmillan difficult to get along with, but eventually they got a warm heart for each other. Her Majesty relied on Macmillan for his wise counsel both during his term in office and after his retirement in 1963.
Alec Douglas Home (1963-1964): The Queen knew Douglas-Home well, seen from behind, as he had been a childhood friend of the Queen Mother. So Her Majesty worked hard to mend her casual relationship with him. During the year he was in office, Douglas-Home helped the monarch name several royal horses.
Harold Wilson (1964-1970, 1974-1976): Wilson, who came from a lower middle class, became the first Prime Minister of the Queen’s Labor Party. Wilson, seen right next to Prince Philip, often broke from tradition, and he enjoyed helping with the dishes after barbecues at Balmoral – one of the Queen’s residences. However, the Queen was charmed by Wilson’s casual presence and even invited him to stay for a drink after their first meeting, which was unusual.
Edward Heath (1970-1974): Her Majesty and Heath’s relationship was difficult, mainly because their views were vastly different. While the Queen considered her role as head of the Commonwealth to be of extreme importance, Heath preferred European integration.
James Callaghan (1976-1979): Callaghan got on well with the Queen, but noted that she offered him “kindness, but not friendship.” In an interview with the BBC’s David Frost, Callaghan spoke of when he asked her for Her Majesty’s opinion, as he was unable to come to a decision. He said the Queen looked at him “with a twinkle in her eye” and said, “That’s what you get paid for.”
Margaret Thatcher (1979-1990): While Thatcher and the Queen were closest in age, Thatcher kept their encounters strictly professional, formal, and famously stiff. The “Iron Lady,” as she came to be known, reportedly had a strained relationship with the monarch during their traditional weekly gatherings. Thatcher also considered her annual visits to the royal house at Balmoral a break from her work. But despite this, Thatcher would have been incredibly respectful of the Queen, eventually becoming her longest-serving Prime Minister.
John Major (1990-1997): John Major and the Queen supported each other during his leadership. They shared many crises together – he the Gulf War and economic downturn, she a fire at Windsor Castle and the marital troubles of her son Charles, the Prince of Wales, and his wife, Diana.
Tony Blair (1997-2007): Blair viewed the United Kingdom’s relationship with the monarchy as an outdated institution and was determined to modernize it. In his book “A Journey,” he mocked the annual tradition of visiting the Queen at the royal house at Balmoral, recalling “the vivid combination of the intriguing, the surreal, and the utterly freaky. The whole culture of it was totally strange, of course, not that the royals weren’t very hospitable.” Meanwhile, the Queen would view Blair’s relationship with US President George W. Bush as too amicable.
Gordon Brown (2007-2010): While the Queen and Brown are believed to have had a close relationship, getting him an invitation to Prince William’s wedding was not enough. Her Majesty, however, occasionally imitated his Scottish accent lightly.
David Cameron (2010-2016): The relationship between David Cameron and the Queen seems to have been warm. Not only is he the youngest of the Queen’s prime ministers, but they are also related. He is the direct descendant of King William IV, making him the Queen’s fifth cousin, twice removed.