The Queen was caught on camera making unguarded comments about the Chinese government during a garden party at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday.
The Queen made the comments about the highly sensitive Chinese state visit on the same day that Prime Minister David Cameron was also filmed telling her that Nigeria and Afghanistan were “fantastically corrupt countries.”
Queen Elizabeth II looks at China’s President Xi Jinping as they stand next to China’s First Lady Peng Liyuan and Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, at the royal pavilion on Horse Guards ParadeCredit: AFP/Getty Images
The Queen was introduced to Commander Lucy D’Orsi, who was commander of the policing operation for the Chinese state visit last October, during the monarch’s first garden party of the season at Buckingham Palace.
She commiserated with Commander Lucy D’Orsi that it was “bad luck” to be the senior commander during the state visit.
She was overheard telling Commander D’Orsi that the Chinese delegation was “very rude” to the British ambassador to China, Barbara Woodward.
Commander D’Orsi agreed and said that the Chinese delegation walked out on her and Ambassador Woodward which she described as “very rude and undiplomatic”.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan visited the United Kingdom in October 2015 .
At the time the Queen described the first state visit by a Chinese premier for 10 years as “a milestone in the unprecedented year of co-operation and friendship between the United Kingdom and China.”
The state visit has so far been perceived as highly successful both in China and in the UK.
David Cameron was praised for taking a different path from China’s rivals, a strategy that according to the Global Times would help Beijing improve ties with the West.
The Prime Minister, however, has been less than praised for being caught on camera telling the Queen about an anti-corruption summit he is hosting in London on Thursday which will see “leaders of some fantastically corrupt countries coming to Britain.”
The PM then went on: “Nigeria and Afghanistan – possibly two of the most corrupt countries in the world.”
Mr Cameron’s comments threatened to become a diplomatic incident, when Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari said his government was deeply “shocked and embarrassed”