Vladimir Putin and The Queen have a tense relationship – with the Russian leader awkwardly making her wait and Her Majesty reportedly making an intriguing comment during his visit in 2003
The Queen usually doesn’t comment on world leaders – but she reportedly made an exception for Vladimir Putin.
Her opinions on the Russian leader will undoubtedly have got even worse since his government launched their assault on Ukraine on Thursday.
Tensions between Britain and Russia have escalated and Buckingham Palace are braced for the worst case scenario.
In the event of bomb ever hitting the UK, ‘Operation Candid’ would be rolled out as a possible nuclear escape which would ensure the Royal Family are safe and secure.
The Queen has met Putin on a number of occasions – with their most eventful meeting coming during his state visit to the UK in 2003.
Putin is known for his bad, or perhaps intentionally late, timekeeping and he made the Palace nervous by keeping The Queen waiting for 14 minutes.
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Later on, a dog’s reaction to Putin allegedly prompted The Queen to break royal protocol and take a brutal swipe at the Russian President.
According to David Blunkett, who was Home Secretary at the time, his guide dog reacted defensively towards Putin.
Mr Blunkett told the BBC: “The only time I met Vladimir Putin was back in 2003 on an official visit and my then dog barked very loudly.
“I did apologize to the Queen who was obviously hosting. I don’t think I am giving anything away when I said, ‘Sorry your Majesty about the dog barking.’
“She said, ‘Dogs have interesting instincts, don’t they?'”
The alleged remark would be a break from royal protocol as The Queen must usually remain “strictly neutral with respect to political matters”.
Back in June 2014, The Queen was seated away from Putin during a D-Day commemoration event in France.
The pair gathered with world leaders at Chateau de Benouville in Normandy, which was awkwardly just months after Prince Charles was alleged to have compared Putin’s rule to the Nazi regime.
The tension was seemingly laid bare when everyone went to pose for a group photo.
The Queen was helped down a set of steps by then US President Barack Obama and New Zealand’s Governor-General Jerry Mateparae.
But observes pointed out that Putin, who was stood close to them but not looking in their direction, did not bother to help the elderly monarch.
In 2018, Russia remarkably slammed the Queen for downing gin, wine and champagne every day in a ‘fake news’ propaganda blast against the UK.
Senator Aleksey Pushkov, an ally of Putin, said the monarch treats drinking like a “ceremony” while Prime Minster Theresa May has a brandy habit.
According to the Sun, Pushkov told Staterun TV: “Before dinner she [Her Majesty] drinks a cocktail made from gin and another based on wine, with ice and lemon.
“After the meal, she has a glass of wine with a bar of chocolate.
“She also drinks dry Martini. At the end of the day, she likes to drink cool champagne.”
At the time, senior Tory MP Bernard Jenkin said the ‘absurd’ comments were aimed at undermining Britain’s claim Russia tried to kill ex-spy Sergei Skripal and Yulia Skripal.
The Queen clearly has an interest in Putin, as President Joe Biden revealed she asked him about the Russian leader in June last year.
During his visit to the UK to attend the G7 summit in Cornwall, President Biden and his wife Jill had a chat with the 95-year-old monarch over tea at Windsor Castle.
Mr Biden said they talked about a range of topics and the Queen asked him about his relationship with Xi Jinping, the Chinese leader, and Putin.
This was potentially the second time that President Biden had broken the royal protocol by revealing their private conversations.
The president told reporters: “She wanted to know what the two leaders that I – the one I’m about to meet with, Mr Putin, and she wanted to know about Xi Jinping.”
The Queen certainly won’t be speaking with Putin any time soon – but the Palace are making preparations for a worst case scenario if World War 3 breaks out.
It is understood that Russia holds around 6,255 nuclear weapons, with the US not far behind with 5,550, and the Daily Star reported that plans are already in place should the very worst happen.
A declassified document revealed the Queen and her close family members would either take refuge on a super yacht or be placed in a secret bunker.
The document, known as Operation Candid, revealed Her Majesty and her loved ones would disperse to country houses away from London.
Known residences, such as Balmoral Castle and Sandringham House, would not be used and they would be hidden in lochs in Scotland.
Where there was sufficient time, the royal family would be evacuated to sea, with the Royal Yacht Britannia earmarked to keep them safe.
But it’s been 60 years since the plan was first devised so the current status is unknown.
The royal yacht was decommissioned in 1997, meaning another vessel would need to be used – potentially a submarine.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.