Veteran broadcaster John Humphrys has laughed off suggestions that he broke royal convention by asking the Queen direct questions about the health of her husband as she was being given a tour of the BBC's new studios yesterday.
Humphrys' journalistic curiosity got the better of him as he was introduced to the Queen, and the Today Show host could not resist a couple of probing questions after it had emerged that the Duke of Edinburgh was being treated at a clinic close to the BBC's new Broadcasting House.
But his efforts to find an impromptu scoop were rebuffed by the monarch, who was there to declare the new studios officially open and clearly had no intention of divulging any private matters.
When Humphrys asked how her husband was faring, the Queen responded: "I’ve no idea, he’s only just gone in.”
Undeterred, the presenter said the Duke of Edinburgh "was looking well yesterday", but again he was stonewalled as the Queen simply replied: "That's because he's not ill."
Humphrys was teased about the exchange on air this morning by BBC radio colleague Sian Williams, who jokingly chided him for breaking royal protocol by asking the Queen a direct question.
But like Her Majesty, Humphrys was having none of it.
"You can’t doorstep the Queen," he insisted. "She wouldn’t let you.”
In another surreal moment yesterday, the Queen appeared to 'photobomb' BBC newsreaders as she appeared in the background of a live broadcast on the BBC News Channel.