IT can’t be much fun, waking up to realise everyone’s talking about your eyebrows. It’d be enough to make you rub your peepers in disbelief and furrow your brow in horror – then immediately glance around in case there was a zoom lens pointing at you through a window.

As if the Queen didn’t have enough on her plate right now, what with the collapse of Westminster democracy, headlines about her being hoodwinked and season three of The Crown in post-production. The last thing she needed was blabbermouth David Cameron emerging from under his rock to spill more royal secrets in a bid to flog his book.

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Buckingham Palace has made no official comment on his latest protocol-breaching pronouncements, but the unofficial response is clear: we are not amused. In fact we are absolutely raging.

The problem with saying something you shouldn’t about the Queen is that once you’ve said it you can’t take it back. People will always be asking you about it. “Remember when you said the Queen purred down the phone to you on learning the result of the independence referendum?” “Yes, I did say that she purred, but it was a terrible mistake and I got straight back on the phone to whimper an apology to her. I really regret saying she purred and it would be great if people could never mention the purring thing again. Starting with me. Starting now. No more mentions of the Queen purring … shit! I’ve just done it again. And now I’ve gone and said shit as well! Bollocks!”

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Of course, the suggestion that Her Majesty might have raised an eyebrow – even a quarter of an inch – to indicate her support for the Union was a daft one. Had Cameron forgotten that the monarch had been practising her poker face for more than six decades? She’s married to Prince Phillip, for goodness’s sake. Her eyebrows would have fallen off by now if she’d been shooting them up every time he insulted a foreigner, fat-shamed a child or asked a woman about her knickers.

Everyone knows the Queen only has three expressions: the on-duty bland smile that says “how delightful to meet you – please just ignore him”; the beaming grin reserved almost exclusively for dogs and horses; and a full-on grimace that says “this is absolutely hellish”. There is no royal resting face. You can’t just ask the Queen to raise an eyebrow, any more than you can ask Mike Ashley to raise your wages or Jim Davidson to raise a laugh. It is simply not the done thing.

It’s long been suspected that when she urged a well-wisher at Balmoral to “think very carefully about the future”, Liz was doing the bidding of the UK Government, and Cameron’s latest squealing session appears to remove any doubt.

(Incidentally, why are people who hang around royal haunts hoping for a newsworthy interaction with the Queen always described as “well-wishers”? What if some of them are in fact shit-stirrers, or indeed ill-wishers who would take pleasure in seeing a royal pratfall up close? Maybe they are neutral observers with nothing better to do other than tick off famous eyebrows in their I Spy pocket guides? I once ate a mini battenberg while standing just inches away from David Mundell, and I’d hate to imagine my proximity being interpreted as an endorsement).

The National:

If Cameron had thought a bit more strategically, he could have found much better ways for the Queen to help dampen enthusiasm for Scottish independence. If he’d started planning in 2013 – rather than waiting until the polls tipped towards Yes in summer 2014 – he could have asked her to insert some subliminal messages into her Christmas speech. The demonic face that fleetingly pops up during The Exorcist could have been morphed with that of Alex Salmond and shown for just a fraction of a second, leaving viewers scared and mistrustful of the First Minister but with no clear memory of why.

Alternatively he could have asked her to communicate with her subjects via headgear, as many observers believe she did at the state opening of parliament in 2017, when she wore a hat that bore a striking resemblance to the EU flag.

READ MORE: Scots have carried on ‘thinking carefully’ since the referendum

She could even have dropped No-campaign keywords into her usual script, such as “how delightful to meet you, and also you – and even better to meet you together (wink)”, or “Please ignore my husband – he’s an absolute liability, yet ours is nonetheless a precious union”, or “Would I like to leave this tedious event, stick on my wellies and headscarf, jump in the Land Rover and go for a long walk with my corgis? Oh yes pl... I mean ... No thanks.”

Now the cat’s well and truly out of the bag. The private purring was one thing (and if anyone had forgotten about that, they’ve now had a timely reminder), but loose-lipped Cameron has made sure that during indyref2 the monarch’s every wink, flinch, cringe and sneeze will be scrutinised for evidence of political bias. She can never again be the “phone a friend” lifeline for a Prime Minister playing a high-stakes game of Who Wants to Be A United Kingdom?

All this so that a political has-been can promote a book about how he got us into the current mess (but how it wasn’t really his fault), and in the process helped pushed support for independence so high that panicked Scottish Tories are coming up with new ways of shifting the goal posts on an almost daily basis.

He’s certainly put the cat among the pigeons, in more ways than one.