, LONDON, United kingdom, May 11 – Queen Elizabeth II was caught on camera describing some Chinese officials as “very rude” in a rare diplomatic gaffe by the long-serving British monarch over a state visit that drummed up billions in Chinese investment.
Her comments, aired on Wednesday, came just hours after Prime Minister David Cameron on Tuesday also made inadvertently public remarks, referring to Afghanistan and Nigeria as “most corrupt”.
Dressed in a pink coat and hat with white gloves, the queen could be heard during a garden party at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday making unguarded comments about a Chinese state visit last year.
Police commander Lucy D’Orsi was introduced to the queen as the woman who oversaw security for the visit of President Xi Jinping and his wife in October, to which the monarch replied: “Oh, bad luck”.
The queen went on to say to D’Orsi that members of the Chinese delegation “were very rude to the ambassador” and exclaimed: “Extraordinary!”
The BBC said that the queen’s comments were blanked out on BBC World transmissions in China.
The British monarch never expresses overtly political views in public and is known for her reserve and discretion, never granting an interview in her 64-year reign.
Her husband Prince Philip on the other hand is notorious for his gaffes and off-colour jokes.
He told a group of British students during a visit to China in 1986 that they would become “slitty-eyed” if they remained in the country.
Prince Charles has had a famously fraught relationship with China because of his friendship with the Dalai Lama and has yet to make an official visit to the country’s mainland.
– ‘Hugely stressful’ –
He referred to Chinese leaders as “appalling old waxworks” in a private journal entry about the Hong Kong handover ceremony in 1997.
London and Beijing both hailed Xi’s visit as a high watermark in Chinese-British relations at the time.
A clutch of contracts said by Cameron to be worth almost £40 billion (51 billion euros, $58 billion) were announced during the visit.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang on Wednesday said the visit had been “very successful”.
“Both sides have high level recognition of that,” he said.