Date
17 October 2017
Elizabeth, in pink, commiserates with Lucy D'Orsi, who was in charge of security during Xi Jinping's state visit to Britain. Photo: BBC
Elizabeth, in pink, commiserates with Lucy D'Orsi, who was in charge of security during Xi Jinping's state visit to Britain. Photo: BBC

Queen Elizabeth says Chinese ‘very rude’ during state visit

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth was caught on film by the Buckingham Palace cameraman making unguarded comments about last year’s state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

At a garden party in the palace gardens, Elizabeth was introduced to Metropolitan Police Commander Lucy D’Orsi, who was Gold Commander in charge of security during the visit by Xi and his wife, Peng Liyuan, in October.

The Lord Chamberlain, the Earl Peel, made the introduction and couldn’t hide his feelings about the behaviour of the guests, the Daily Mail reports.

Nor could the Queen, who is normally the model of discretion.

She commiserated with D’Orsi and complained how rude the Chinese had been to the British ambassador.

The Queen’s astonishing comments were caught on film and fed to the country’s top broadcasters.

The exchange went:

Chamberlain: “Can I present Commander Lucy D’Orsi, who was Gold Commander during the Chinese state visit …”

Queen: “Oh, bad luck.”

Chamberlain: “… and who was seriously, seriously undermined by the Chinese, but she managed to hold her own and remain in command. And her mother, Judith, who’s involved in child protection and social work.”

D’Orsi’s mother: “Yes, I’m very proud of my daughter.”

Chamberlain: “You must tell your story.”

D’Orsi: “Yes, I was the Gold Commander, so, I’m not sure whether you knew, but it was quite a testing time for me.”

Queen: “Yes, I did.”

D’Orsi: “It was, er, I think at the point that they walked out of Lancaster House and told me that the trip was off, that I felt err …”

Queen: “They were very rude to the ambassador.”

D’Orsi: “They were, well, yes, she was, Barbara was with me and they walked out on both of us.”

Queen: “Extraordinary.”

D’Orsi’s mother: “I know, it’s unbelievable.”

D’Orsi: “It was very rude and very undiplomatic I thought …”

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said later: “We do not comment on the Queen’s private conversations. However the Chinese state visit was extremely successful, and all parties worked closely to ensure it proceeded smoothly.”

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