This wasn’t worth posting on the merits when it happened, but now the media’s trying to drum it up into some kind of minor international incident replete with regal “we are not amused” frosty glare. Drudge is actually leading at the moment with this dopey Daily Mail article, in which the queen allegedly greets Bush’s wink with an icy countenance while somehow magically teleporting from his left to his right.
Can’t tell much from the tape, but here it is anyway. She does look down, perhaps in embarrassment, as soon as he says “17–“. On the other hand, it seems like she’s only half-listening to what he’s saying, and when she suddenly finds him staring at her after saying “1976,” she blurts out what sounds like “good year” — which might mean that she didn’t hear the “17–” part at all and had no idea why he had paused to look at her, or might mean that she was so overcome with embarrassment that she couldn’t muster anything more clever than that.
Whatever the real reason, between him rubbing Merkel’s shoulders, chewing with his mouth open while talking to Blair, and grabbing Hu Jintao by the sleeve at the White House, I’d say we got off easy here.