Tony Blair, his first meeting with Queen Elizabeth II as Prime Minister in 1997 was clear that he was the one in control. After politely addressing him, the Queen said to Blair: “You’re my tenth Prime Minister.” Winston was my first, and it was before I was born.

Just months after Princess Diana’s death, Blair pretended to be the “saviour” of the monarchy, having convinced the reluctant Queen to travel from Balmoral back to London in order to pay tribute to her.

Blair was able to judge the public mood better back then. But the Queen is the one who has the last laugh.

Her popularity remains sky-high while Blair’s reputation has been irretrievably damaged by his decision to enter the Iraq war on a false prospectus – and the way he has raked in millions by advising foreign despots since.

The public’s reaction when he was made a Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter on the New Year’s Honours List 14 years ago is a vivid example of his fall from grace.

The Queen's popularity remains sky-high while Blair's reputation has been irretrievably damaged by his decision to enter the Iraq war on a false prospectus ¿ and the way he has raked in millions by advising foreign despots since

The Queen’s popularity remains sky-high while Blair’s reputation has been irretrievably damaged by his decision to enter the Iraq war on a false prospectus – and the way he has raked in millions by advising foreign despots since

Last night, 500,000 people signed a petition asking for his removal from knighthood. It is true, of course, that the award was the Queen’s personal gift – not granted on the advice of the Government. It is an honour that has been extended to every former prime minister – but it is perhaps telling that Her Majesty waited a full 14 years before granting it to Blair.

Given the bitterness, vanity, and folly of his real legacy, Blair wouldn’t have accepted any honour to protect Her Majesty.

Anthony Charles Lynton Blair, now 68, has a profoundly misguided belief regarding his position in the eyes British people.

Blair was desperate to make a name for himself as a statesman after his failure to be a Middle East peace envoy. He behaved much like an ambulance-chasing lawyer, seeking out new causes that would help him to improve his standing. Even the pandemic was a benefit to him.

A petition (pictured) calling for him to be stripped of his knighthood hit 500,000 signatures last night

Last night, 500,000 people signed a petition calling for his removal from knighthood.

He has attempted to reinvent himself over Covid at various times in the last 12 months.

To maximize the amount of persons with partial immunity, he was one of the pioneers who advocated leaving 12 weeks between first and second Covid jabs. This would have been a way to increase the availability of vaccine shots at a time in which they were scarce.

He was praised for his sound advice, which won him praise from all political parties. However, Matt Hancock (then Health Secretary) was furious. Blair stole his idea. Hancock maintained that it was his invention. Hancock told his friends that he wouldn’t take Blair’s calls anymore.

Truth be told, he doesn’t see any national crisis he cannot exploit.

Following the defeat of his party in the Brexit vote, the arch-Remainer demanded that the greatest democratic vote ever recorded in British history be reversed.

He even secretly held talks with Emmanuel Macron the French president, urging him not to compromise his position in UK-EU negotiations. This was to stop the Government from securing a Brexit agreement.

A former PM tried to undermine the negotiation position of an elected government with a foreign leader in a unique attempt at sabotage. He failed, but thankfully.

Nothing remains a bigger stain on Blair's reputation than the war in Iraq, a war in which 179 British military personnel lost their lives, hundreds more suffered life-changing injuries and more than 200,000 civilians are estimated to have died

Blair’s image is worsened by his involvement in the War in Iraq. It was a conflict in which more than 179 British personnel died and many more sustained serious injuries.

But then, Labour’s most successful prime minister – who won three consecutive general elections – has never been short of self-belief. He was clearly in control of the situation after his second victory by an overwhelming margin in 2001. After his victory in the Labour-supporting Daily Mirror, a headline declared that he would “cure the world.” It doesn’t matter if you are in Afghanistan, Rwanda, Israel, Northern Ireland or the Congo, we can solve it all.

British voters soon discovered that their messiah mentality meant they were paying a high price. Blair also led the nation into the war in Afghanistan that cost 457 British lives. For what purpose? 20 years later, and with Taliban control back, families that lost their loved ones or left thousands maimed in the wake of the Taliban’s defeat will feel forgiven.

Blair’s reputation is still tarnished by the Iraq war. In that war, more than 179 British soldiers died, and hundreds of others sustained life-altering injuries. More than 200 000 civilians were also killed.

It cost us a great deal in treasure as well as blood – the total cost of the UK’s military operations is estimated to have been more than £8billion.

The conclusions of the Chilcot report into the war were devastating for Blair, effectively accusing him of being a liar and a warmonger

Blair’s reaction to the Chilcot Report on War was devastating. It effectively made him a liar, and an international warmonger.

Blair’s fate was sealed by the Chilcot Report into war. It effectively accused him of being a lie and a warmonger. In the report of 2.6 million words, it concluded that the UK had joined the invasion in Iraq even though all peaceful disarmament alternatives were exhausted. At that point, military action was not an option.

‘The judgments about the severity of the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction – WMD – were presented with a certainty that was not justified. Saddam Hussein’s planning and preparations were completely inadequate.

Blair, however, insists that he is not regretful. He stated that the world would be better without Saddam because the 9/11 attacks changed the world forever and the terrorist activities in the area today have nothing to do back then.

It’s a massive act of denial. Blair defending the indefensible – a chain of astonishing political blunders as evidenced by the letter he sent to George W Bush in the summer of 2002. He wrote the following to President Bush: “I will be there with you, regardless.” Blind loyalty combined with political hubris.

Sir Anthony Seldon has published several books about Blair. He is a stubborn man with an arrogance that borders on vanity.

By Blair's side throughout his time in power was, of course, the spin doctor Alastair Campbell (pictured), with whom the PM turned our Rolls-Royce civil service, once the envy of the world, into a heavily politicised plaything

Blair was supported by Alastair, a spin physician (pictured), who helped to transform our Rolls Royce civil service from an envy of the rest of the world into a politically-charged plaything.

Blair had Alastair Campbell as his spin doctor, who helped transform our Rolls-Royce civil services, which was once an envy of the rest of the world into a highly politicised mess. The party’s political apparatchiks were appointed, and the impartial civil servants were fired. Even career civil servants had to adjust their advice in order to be heard by ministers and political appointees.

It was a travesty – and the ramifications still echo down through the years. While it might be tempting to dismiss Blair’s massive misjudgments and see them as a thing of the past; the Left-liberal bias that he brought into nearly every part of the State today.

Groupthink is so widespread that people who hold the Right of Centre views often find themselves excluded or sidelined from public positions.

On immigration, too, New Labour’s maniacal zeal to open Britain’s borders to all-comers, in an ill-disguised bid to reshape the electorate to the party’s advantage, had a devastating impact on many poorer communities, leading – ironically – to the very Brexit vote that Blair so despised.

Of course Blair’s tenure was not without its achievements – the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland, independence for the Bank of England and civil partnerships. They are now buried under the Iraq War and its compromise of civil service, dodgy contributions to office, and dirty deals made with dictators.

As the petition rattles ever higher, Blair should do the right thing – give up the knighthood and shield the Queen from any further controversy. Only then can he save what little reputation he has.