President Obama botches toast to the Queen
May 24, 2011 - 3:58 pm
What short, strange trip it’s been. The president mentioned Ireland and “occupation,” then went ping ponging while disasters raged at home, inexplicably signed the Buckingham Palace visitor book with the wrong year, and now has to use note cards to get through a toast — and screws up the timing. I’m starting to wonder about our young president.
“Ladies and gentlemen please stand with me and raise your glasses as I propose a toast,” the president said, putting down his note cards and grabbing his glass. “To her majesty the Queen.”
The president paused, the guests stood, and the orchestra prepared to play.
But the president wasn’t done speaking.
“The vitality –“ the president said before the orchestra began.
Then the familiar tune – you might know it better as “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” – started up.
The president kept going: “ — of the special relationship between our peoples and for the words of Shakespeare to this blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England,” the president said as the awkward moment played out.
The Queen looked ahead as the UK anthem played.
“To the Queen,” the president finally said.
He lifted his glass to her, she smiled a bit uncomfortably.
But because the song was playing, no one drank from his or her glass, including the president, who put his glass down on the table.