Strict rules when staying at Balmoral after Cherie Blair was left ’embarrassed’ to take contraception

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It is the ultimate test for anyone attempting to make a good impression on the Queen.

Princess Diana is said to have been the perfect guest while former Prime Minister Tony Blair's wife, Cherie, is believed to have fell short after the Queen Mother was said to have been left "mortified" by the lawyer's trousers.

However the wife of the ex Labour leader, 66, has since revealed that their youngest son Leo, now 21, was conceived at the Scottish holiday home to the Royal Family, Balmoral Castle, after she left her contraception at home.

The barrister described how she fell pregnant with their fourth child in September 1999 during the annual Prime Ministerial visit to the 50,000-acre estate in the Scottish Highlands.

Cherie, who was married to Tony during his leadership from 1997 to 2007, described in her autobiography, Speaking For Myself, how she was left mortified when her belongings had been unpacked, including her toiletry bag, during her stay in 1998.

And a royal expert told OK! that it is 'usual' for a member of the indoor staff at Balmoral to unpack for guests staying with the Queen.

Therefore Cherie decided to leave her contraception at home ahead of their 1999 visit out of 'sheer embarrassment'.

Cherie penned: "As usual up there, it had been bitterly cold, and what with one thing and another…"

After her period failed to arrive, she added: "I thought, I can't be. I'm too old. It must be the menopause."

Meanwhile the former PM described his visits to Balmoral as “a vivid combination of the intriguing, the surreal, and the utterly freaky”, and confessed he was served drinks with the strength of “true rocket fuel” during his stay.


Mum-of-four Cherie gave birth to Leo in May 2000 which marked the first baby born to a sitting prime minister in 150 years.

Former royal butler Grant Harrold, who worked for the Royal Family for seven years, revealed that an invitation to Balmoral 'can be a bit of a test' and guests are expected to 'dress the part, speak the part and behave the part'.

"For Princess Diana, that was easy. She came from a similar background but that’s not true of all the guests who are invited to Balmoral," he told the Daily Record.

“It can be terrifying for anyone to spend a few days with the people who are going to be your in-laws regardless of who they are, let alone one of them being the Queen.”

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