The “golden era” of UK-China relations appears to have lost some of its glitter after the Queen accused Chinese officials of being “very rude” to the British ambassador during President Xi Jinping’s first state visit to Britain last year.
During a garden party at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday, a pool cameraman working on behalf of British broadcasters filmed her discussing Xi’s trip with Metropolitan police commander Lucy D’Orsi.
When D’Orsi was introduced as the officer responsible for security during the visit, the Queen was heard to remark: “Oh, bad luck.”
Later, the Queen told her guest: “They were very rude to the ambassador” – referring to Barbara Woodward, Britain’s first female ambassador to China.
D’Orsi 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”.
“Extraordinary,” the Queen replied.
“It’s very rude and very undiplomatic, I thought,” the police commander concluded.