Divisive figure Abu Hamza, who has a hook for a hand, was renowned for his outlandish sermons, called Britain a toilet and his actions were condemned by many Muslims.

Although a Buckingham Palace spokeswoman says The Queen would not comment on such a case, BBC correspondent Frank Gardner said Her Majesty asked why a man who “appeared to be inciting violence and hatred was still at large”.

“Like anybody, she was upset that her country and its subjects were being denigrated by this man,” said Gardner, adding The Queen was “merely voicing the views that many have”.

However, the BBC has since apologised for revealing the details of the private conversation in an official statement, which read:

“This morning on the Today programme our correspondent Frank Gardner revealed details of a private conversation which took place some years ago with the Queen.”

“The conversation should have remained private and the BBC and Frank deeply regret this breach of confidence. It was wholly inappropriate. Frank is extremely sorry for the embarrassment caused and has apologised to the Palace.”

Yesterday, a panel of European court judges declined to refer the case of Abu Hamza and four other terrorism suspects to the European Court’s Grand Chamber, meaning they could face extradition to the US to face terrorism charges within three weeks.

Abu Hamza faces life imprisonment in the US if he’s convicted over allegations that he helped set up a terrorist training camp in the US and was involved in kidnappings in Yemen. He claims if extradited he will be treated inhumanely.

 His legal battle has cost millions of pounds over the past eight years.