Awkward Moment During Obama Toast to Queen – May 24, 2011
The president and the orchestra at Buckingham Palace this evening were a bit out of synch.
When the president toasted the Queen the orchestra misunderstood a pause and what seemed to be a cue from the president for “God Save the Queen” to begin playing.
“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.
Then once the song was over, everyone raised a glass.
It almost felt like one of those moments at the Academy Awards when the speech from the recipient for Best Original Screenplay goes on too long and the orchestra tries to hustle him or her off the stage.
Kind of weird.