Queen Elizabeth was “disappointed” when 66-year-old harmonic player Ray Boddington was voted off TV talent show Britain’s Got Talent.

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Ray auditioned for the show – which chooses a contestant for the Royal Variety Show, a show which members of the Royal Family attend – in Manchester in February, and promptly wrote to the monarch after judge Simon Cowell refused to let him through to the next stage of the competition.

He said: “I was very annoyed at Simon Cowell’s attitude – he was clearly in a bad mood and hardly let me play. But I knew for a fact that the Queen Mother had specifically asked for a harmonica band to appear on one of the Royal Variety shows in the 1960s.

“That’s when I decided to write to the queen to get her view on the way I’d been treated. I thought Simon had been disrespectful to Her Majesty and told him so, but he just laughed.”

As well as a letter from the queen saying she was “disappointed” he had not been chosen for the show, Ray – who claims he is one of the best harmonic players in the world – also received an acknowledgment letter from Prince Charles’ private secretary, confirming the queen had passed on Ray’s letter to her son.

A spokesman for the show denied Simon and fellow judges Amanda Holden and Piers Morgan had unfairly treated the musician, adding: “All entrants for Britain’s Got Talent go through the same process from application through to their audition in front of the judges themselves and the fourth judge, which is the general public in the theatre.”

Last year’s winner of Britain’s Got Talent, opera singer Paul Potts, sang in front of the queen at the show and has since gone on to forge a successful music career in both the UK and the US.