Queen caught on film calling Chinese officials ‘very rude’
THE Queen was embroiled in an embarrassing row yesterday after she was taped calling Chinese officials “very rude”.
The words of the 90-year-old monarch, whose private views on politics and diplomacy are rarely made public, were picked up by a TV camera microphone at a Buckingham Palace garden party on Tuesday.
The Queen and Metropolitan Police Commander Lucy D’Orsi were discussing the behind-thescenes difficulties of staging a State visit to Britain for Chinese President Xi Jinping last October.
The Queen was introduced to Ms D’Orsi by Earl Peel, Lord Chamberlain of the Royal Household.
When Lord Peel said Ms D’Orsi had been “Gold Commander” for the State visit, the monarch replied: “Oh, bad luck.”
Lord Peel, reading from notes, told the Queen the officer had been “seriously undermined by the Chinese” but added that she had managed to “hold her own”.
When Commander D’Orsi asked the Queen if she knew it had been a “testing time”, the monarch interjected: “I did.”
The officer then described how Chinese officials walked out of a meeting at London’s Lancaster House with Barbara Woodward, British ambassador to China.
The Queen commented: “They were very rude to the ambassador.”
Her remarks were recorded by her official cameraman and the tape was aired by the BBC.
Chinese censors blacked out her comments when they were broadcast on BBC World.
And there were suspicions in China that the Queen, who made a planned remark urging Scots to “think very carefully” before voting in their independence referendum two years ago, had been put up to making the criticism. Academic Michel Hockx, director of SOAS China Institute, said some people on Chinese social media believed the conversation scripted because Lord Peel reading from his notes.
The remarks about the Chinese were recorded on the same day that Prime Minister David Cameron was even was was recorded inside the Palace calling Nigeria and Afghanistan two “fantastically corrupt” nations in conversation with the Queen.
The two controversies led to jokers calling it “open mic night at the Palace” but left courtiers, politicians and diplomats red-faced.
The BBC faced some criticism for broadcasting the Queen’s words on China.
Prince William made a cutting remark on a visit to Oxford University. He met a student on leave from her job as a BBC journalist and said: “I won’t hold that against you.”
Officially both the British and Chinese governments insisted that in spite of the strains of the State visit, it had gone well.
Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, speaking in Gibraltar, said: “Big State visits are big logistic challenges. I was involved in this and, yes, at times it got a bit stressful on both sides. But it was a great State visit, hugely successful.”