The Castle of Mey, formerly owned by the Queen Mother, has done a U-turn and announced it will considering hosting civil partnerships for gay couples.

After gay rights groups protested, manager of the castle’s trust James Murray said the castle was prepared to apply for a licence to conduct the ceremonies.

He told the Press and Journal: “We’ve only just launched this initiative and we have not so far had any requests to host a civil partnership ceremony.

“It’s something we hadn’t discussed before, but we have now and decided that, if we get an inquiry, we’ll deal with it.

“I hope people appreciate that there was no intention to in any way upset or alienate people entering into civil partnerships – it was just something we hadn’t thought about.”

Yesterday, David Alllison of Outrage! said the Queen Mother would have been “spinning in her grave” at news of the ban as she had a number of gay friends and servants.

The Castle of Mey was the only home the Queen Mother actually owned.

She had it restored and renovated from its near-ruined state.