Boris Johnson broke convention and revealed what the Queen said to him in their first meeting with him as Prime Minister.
Mr Johnson became the 14th Prime Minister to be offered by the Queen to form the next Government when he met her at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday.
According to one reporter, the monarch told the incoming PM: “I don’t know why anyone would want the job”.
Vincent McAviney, UK correspondent for Euronews, tweeted that Mr Johnson had revealed the Queen’s comment during a tour of Number 10 before being “told off by staff not to repeat those things so loudly”.
According to convention, Prime Ministers keep private what is said during audiences with the Queen.
In 2014, David Cameron apologised profusely after telling former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg that the Queen had “purred down the line” when he told her that Scotland had voted against independence.
The Queen herself had followed convention by declining to take sides in public.
But her views were revealed when a Sky News microphone picked up Mr Cameron recounting his conversation with Mr Bloomberg.
Other than revealing what she had said, Mr Johnson adhered to convention elsewhere, by bowing his head as he shook the Queen’s hand at the start of their 25-minute meeting.
Buckingham Palace confirmed the appointment of the new premier in a short statement: "The Queen received in audience the right honourable Boris Johnson MP this afternoon and requested him to form a new administration.
"Mr Johnson accepted Her Majesty's offer and kissed hands upon his appointment as Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury.”