UK’s Cameron to apologize to queen over purring protocol breach

Prime Minister David Cameron said he'll apologize personally to Queen Elizabeth II after talking about her reaction to the result of last week’s Scottish independence referendum.

Cameron was caught on microphone saying that the head of state “purred down the line” when he called her following the defeat for the independence campaign. The comments, made on a visit to New York, were a breach of protocol because communications between the prime minister and the queen are traditionally kept private.

“I’m very embarrassed by this. I’m extremely sorry about it,” Cameron told British reporters who traveled to New York, in comments confirmed by his office in London Thursday. “It was a private conversation, but clearly a private conversation that I shouldn’t have had and won’t have again. My office has already been in touch with the palace to make that clear and I will do so as well.”

The lapse was caught on a pooled television camera recording a visit to Bloomberg LP’s headquarters in New York two days ago.

“The definition of relief is being the prime minister of the United Kingdom and ringing the queen and saying ‘It’s all right, it’s OK.’ That was something,” Cameron told Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York who is the majority owner of Bloomberg. “She purred down the line.”