By Lobsang Tenchoe
DHARAMSALA May 11: Signaling a possible rupture in the “golden era” of UK-China relations, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II has labeled Chinese officials as “very rude” during President Xi’s state visit last year.
The Queen while discussing Xi’s trip with Metropolitan police commander Lucy D’Orsi reportedly told her guest: “They were very rude to the ambassador” – referring to Barbara Woodward, Britain’s first female ambassador to China.
A video filmed by a cameraman of British broadcasters captured the Queen making the remarks during a garden party at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday. In the video, when the Metropolitan police commander Lucy D’Orsi introduced Barbara Woodward as the officer responsible for security during the visit, the Queen can be heard saying: “Oh, bad luck.”
D’Orsi further complained to the Queen that Xi’s visit had been “quite a testing time for me” and claimed that at one point, Chinese officials “walked out” on both her and the British ambassador, telling her “that the trip was off”. To which the Queen simply remarked, “Extraordinary”. The short video ends with the police commander saying “It’s very rude and very undiplomatic, I thought”.
Lu Kang, China’s foreign ministry spokesman, declined to directly address the Queen’s comments or confirm whether the “golden era” was still alive. Pressed by the Guardian to confirm whether the “golden era” was still ongoing, Lu said, “Both sides have expressed the hope that they would implement the outcomes of President Xi’s visit and push forwards a steady and stable rise of the bilateral relationship. This requires the common efforts of both sides.”
Asked if he had been surprised by the Queen’s comments, he laughed and said: “I have already said what I can say.”