Stephen Fry praised Queen's "tolerance" of Prime Ministers in Jubilee speech

The actor made the speech while Boris Johnson looked on from the royal box

The actor made the speech while Boris Johnson looked on from the royal box

Stephen Fry drew gasps and cheers from the onlooking crowd at the Queen’s Platinum Party at the Palace on Saturday. 

The award-winning author, actor, comedian and mental health campaigner was given the honour of introducing Prince Charles and Camilla to the stage at the BBC concert at Buckingham Palace. 

Wearing a sequined red tie and pink shirt Fry began his speech by expressing his thanks for all the Queen’s years of public service. 

How many #PrimeMinisters tolerated? For that alone no admiration is high enough. #PlatinumPartyatthePalaceRT if you agree with the fantastic #StephenFry! #PlatinumPartyatthePalace— Professor Kishan Devani BEM 💙 (@Kishan_Devani) June 4, 2022

“We are all Elizabethans and that’s a wonderful thing to be,” he said to the onlooking crowd, which included members of the royal family and Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie . 

“As a nation, we have been lucky, lucky, lucky above all others to have had our Queen to represent us over 70 years of Trooping the Colour, royal tours, Christmas Day at three in the afternoon,” Fry said.

He continued: “How many local sewage works has our Majesty opened with a bright smile? How many plaques unveiled? How many trees planted, ribbons cut, ships launched? How many prime ministers tolerated – for that alone, no admiration is high enough.”

The actor’s final remarks led to an audible gasp in the crowd, particularly as Boris Johnson was in attendance and watching Fry’s speech. The comments instantly began trending on Twitter, delighting users who almost universally praised Fry’s remarks. 

One Twitter user wrote: “ And it begs the question, which are more odious, the sewage works or the PM’s?”

While another simply commented: “National treasure” beneath the video of Fry. 

But it wasn’t just Stephen Fry poking fun at Johnson; earlier in the evening comedian Lee Mack made a reference to “Partygate” in his opening address to the crowd. 

The prime minister and his wife were watching from the royal box when Mack opened the event, announcing to the tens of thousands of onlookers: “Finally we can say the words ‘party’ and ‘gate’ and it’s a positive.”

The joke drew a big laugh from the crowd and Prince William and Kate were pictured chuckling along, while Boris Johnston appeared to laugh behind them from the royal box. 

The jokes appear rather close to home today for the Prime Minister who will be facing a vote of no confidence from his party later this evening. 

Juliana Piskorz

Juliana Piskorz is a freelance journalist and broadcaster. Over the course of her career she has written for a smorgasbord of magazines and national newspapers including The Sunday Times, Dazed and Confused, the Independent, the Guardian, Refinery29 and The Face among others.

Before going freelance, Juliana was the Digital Editor at the Evening Standard Magazine and a Staff Writer at the Observer Magazine.

Juliana has a partcular interest in art, fashion, travel and the pop culture.