The British monarch was caught on camera yesterday (May 10) accusing Chinese officials of being “very rude” to the British ambassador when president Xi Jinping visited the UK last year.
At a garden party celebrating her 90th birthday, the queen was introduced to Metropolitan Police commander Lucy D’Orsi, who headed up security for the Chinese visit. “Oh, bad luck,” the queen remarked. D’Orsi confessed it was “quite a testing time,” and the two went on to discuss how rude the Chinese delegation was.
At the time, the visit was hailed as the beginning of a “golden era” for trade relations between the UK and China, but not, it seems, for diplomatic relations. Queen Elizabeth normally keeps her opinions to herself, leaving the business of embarrassing gaffes to her husband, Prince Philip.
The queen wasn’t the only one caught out by roving cameras with live mics at the party. Prime minister David Cameron, speaking with the queen and others, was recorded saying unkind things about his counterparts in Nigeria and Afghanistan.
“We’ve got some leaders of some fantastically corrupt countries coming to Britain… Nigeria and Afghanistan, possibly the two most corrupt countries in the world,” Cameron said, during a chat about an upcoming anti-corruption summit in London. “They are coming at their own expense aren’t they?” another minister joked.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who was elected last year on an anti-corruption platform, said he was “shocked” at the prime minister’s comments. An Afghan official called it “unfair.”