Diplomatic Faux Pas: U.S. Sends Queen Elizabeth Birthday Wishes A Week Early
The State Department has conceded committing a diplomatic faux pas by sending birthday greetings to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II a week early.
Spokesman P.J. Crowley allowed that a congratulatory message from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton sent Friday on what the department thought was the eve of the queen’s official birthday was premature.
“We were a week early,” the chagrinned spokesman told reporters, adding quickly, “As always, better to give a greeting a week early than a week late.”
In London, Buckingham Palace confirmed it was aware of the mistake but declined to say whether the State Department had offered an apology. Under palace policy, the queen’s office does not comment on details of correspondence with other nations.
“No offense was taken at all,” said a palace official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in keeping with official British policy.
Of course it’s all very confusing anyway since the Queen’s Birthday isn’t really the anniversary of the day that Elizabeth Windsor was born:
The queen’s birthday is April 21, but she celebrates a second, official birthday on a Saturday in June decided by the government — this year, June 12. The tradition of celebrating two birthdays began under King Edward VII, who was born in November but wanted his birthday parade to take place in summer.
How very British.