Pres. Obama is a Yankee gaffe-machine in England


I saw this video about an hour ago, and it has made my day. It is ridiculous!! You put Pres. Obama in England, amongst the royal family, and he turns into a Bush-style gaffe machine. Okay, here’s the set-up: The Obamas are in the midst of an official state visit to England, and England has pulled out all of the stops for them. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh (and the prime minister and his wife) set up meetings and photo ops throughout the day yesterday, including the one with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Will and Kate). Last night, the Queen hosted a major state dinner for the Obamas. Like with every state dinner, the visiting head of state is required to give a toast to his host, in this case, the Queen. What the president is NOT supposed to do is shout his toast OVER “God Save the Queen”. That would be like the Queen belching through “The Star-Spangled Banner”. So, here’s the video… I’ve already watched it five times and I laugh every time. The look that the Queen shoots the president is HILARIOUS.

The Queen is not amused. And she can turn presidents into humbled schoolboys with just an icy royal glare. CB and I were debating this – I find it hilarious, she kind of feels bad for Obama. It’s true that there’s a massive amount of protocol that goes along with these state visits, and it’s very easy for any leader to make a gaffe, and besides that, what does it hurt the Queen to have her royal protocols shaken up a bit? I do think Obama had the decency to be genuinely embarrassed, so there’s that. But he’s still the dude who shouted his toast OVER “God Save the Queen”. Which is hilarious.

In addition to this gaffe, look at how President Obama signed the Buckingham Palace guest book (courtesy of Gawker):


2008?!!?!? I feel bad when I write “2010” still.



Photos courtesy of WENN.

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92 Responses to “Pres. Obama is a Yankee gaffe-machine in England”

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  1. gloaming says:

    His Oirish accent was even more cringeworthy.

  2. gee says:

    Shouldn’t someone have explained all of this protocall to the President beforehand?

  3. You don't say says:

    His mind is most likely on what is going on back here in the states, so I give him a pass.

  4. I blushed just looking his face after the queen shot her evil eye at him…

  5. momoftwo says:

    That is hilarious! And it would be offensive if he had deliberately done it to dishonor the Queen or the nation. But in this case just seems like a “DOH!” moment!

  6. pebbles says:

    ah, whatever….. he meant well……this is why we fought the Revolution in this country……to get out from under all this ridiculous deference to a human being……..Her Majesty’s blood is not any different than ours….royal blood, my ass.

  7. teehee says:

    That sort of environment just sets peole up to fail….Its bound to happen. She could have softened up and given him a gentle hint.
    But this is just the lack of humanity that so badly bothered Diana… its like they cant be human for a second.

  8. Michelle says:

    Give him a break. Not too bad. WTF these are tax paid royalty welfare frauds. Who the f cares if he gives a polite toast while music is playing. PLEASE. So much more important in the world right now. Seriously.

  9. Esmom says:

    #4, totally agree with you. He’s got way more pressing things to think about than flawless protocol.

  10. Fabianne says:

    It sounds like Obama wasn’t even finished with his toast when the song started. Why couldn’t they wait for him to finish?

  11. embertine says:

    Eh, I know I’m only one Brit but I don’t think anyone over here is going to care about stuff like that. Bush’s gaffes were the only thing that ever endeared him to me. I like the idea of politicians being a bit crap on these occasions; it makes Obama look a bit less like a slick operator and more like a person.

  12. Darlene says:

    It sounds as though Obama began his toast and someone started the music AFTER he had already begun. What was he supposed to do, stop? Whoever started the music made the gaffe, not Obama.

  13. kibbles says:

    I’m sure Obama wishes it were 2008 when he was at his peak as media darling and hero for millions of youth. Not to get too serious on a gossip blog, but his policies at home have been a disaster. He has continued much of the Bush doctrine. We are still at war and there are millions of long term unemployed with no relief in sight. Obama chose to bail out Wall Street instead of using the financial crisis as an opportunity to change the system. I could personally care less about his pr trips abroad but if he is going to do one good thing to improve relations abroad, he should at least learn basic protocol and manners. He’s nearing his fourth year in office. There is no excuse. I remember several similar gaffes in the past that seemed to be no-brainers to me.

  14. Annaloo says:

    I love Obama, but that was pretty fricking funny!

  15. Ben says:

    Hahaha ah well. She’s seen so many Presidents and Prime Ministers come and go, she’ll have seen much worse.

  16. Angel says:

    Silly speculators. Obama was clearly allotted a small amount of time, in all the excessively planned event, to give a toast to the Queen. Which he was doing when the ‘sound guy’ jumped the gun and played God Save the Queen too early. The look wasn’t ‘at’ or ‘to’ Obama at all, merely a reaction to what was indeed a major f up. You can be sure said bloke promptly lost his job.

    Not Obama’s gaffe.

    All that being said, Obama did quite well, and of course, God Save the Queen! :)

  17. Zelda says:

    Sounds to me like they started during his speech? SO while protocol might be to stop once the song has started, the gaffe is not really his–it’s the person who started the music.

  18. L says:

    Didn’t he visit in 08? That would explain the picture.

    And yea, the music started AFTER the speech did. The music person was at fault-not the prez.

  19. azurea says:

    This pales in comparison to when Ronald Reagan referred to Diana as “Princess David” when toasting the royal couple at a state dinner in Washington.

  20. Eve says:

    Someone should have explained it to him beforehand. But I don’t really care…I still think he’s one of the most elegant American presidents ever.

    As far as “Yankee-gaffe” goes, that’s nothing compared to the many ones made by Bush.

    P.S.: Also, I love his voice. He’s a handsome man, HGF material even (in spite of his ears).

    P.P.S.: I agree with Teehee (# 9).

  21. anon says:

    Music started while Obama was talking. Oops, not so bad. I hope the sound person doesn’t lose their job.

  22. ladybert62 says:

    I thought the 2008 was hysterical and I agree with the above that that was a freudian slip as he wishes it was still 2008 when he was king of the world!

  23. Ron says:

    Wow, whatever. I thought by the headline he asked for Mike Hunt or something.

  24. Kimble says:

    I’m sure the Queen would be more annoyed at the music being played over the President than the other way round …

    I also believe that Palace “officials” worry more about protocol than the Queen.

  25. kiki says:

    @ Pebbles,

    I understand your sentiment, but that certainly is NOT why the Revolutionary War was fought.

  26. whitedaisy says:

    That was cringeworthy. Yeesh. Could he have signed his name any LARGER? His is an out of control ego.

  27. viper says:

    Still not as bad as when Bush had mistaken Queen Elizabeth the second for Queen Elizabeth the First-live on national and international TV during her official visit to the US.

    I mean it’s pretty hard to top that; and her reaction was priceless.

  28. whybenice says:

    I think the truly priceless moment was Camilla belting down her drink as soon as possible.

  29. Eve says:

    By the way, as pointed out by other posters above, it seems to me that the real gaffe was made by whoever hit the “play” button during his toast.

  30. OtherChris says:

    Whatever. Her own people wouldn’t elect her if they had the chance so who the heck is she to judge him?

  31. Lindsay says:

    I’ve been cringing the whole way through this visit. Cameron was embarrassing with Obama, high fiving and trying to be cool – urgh – couldn’t watch.
    The Obamas look a bit lost with all the pomp and protocol – it’s reassuring that the most powerful man in the world feels just like we do in unfamiliar situations.

  32. Samihami says:

    He is such an embarrassment to the US. hopefully we’ll actually get someone dignified after the next election.

  33. lou says:

    here’s the thing it was played in another room by one of th bands, their signal was when he said “her majesty the Queen” that’s when they were meant to start

  34. Lala11_7 says:

    @ Kibbles…

    Obama is PRESIDENT…he is not a lawmaker, you want public policy to change, the war to stop, Wall Street to stop being funded, et al…ELECT CONGRESSMEN & SENATORS (lawmakers) WHO WON’T SELL OUT TO CORPORATE INTEREST!!!

    I mean…REALLY!!!

    Other than that…that message is from his 2008 trip…and he didn’t speak OVER “GSTQ” (refrain from putting Sex Pistols lyric here)…


  35. DGO says:

    How does he not know this? It’s kind of like the time he said there were 57 US states.

  36. truthzbetta says:

    Very funny.

    That signature he has is amazing…it begs analysis.

    It’s huge, inflated, and there’s nothing of detail or substance inside. I have never seen another like that.

  37. Leticia says:

    Why is it that when Pres Obama fumbles, people feel compelled to drag up former Pres Bush again? Bush made plenty of mistakes and has already been crucified for them. Now please allow Pres Obama to make his own mistakes without reminding us of Bush’s mistakes, as a distraction to Obama’s mistakes. It is so transparent.

  38. Leticia says:

    His goof over the toast is embarrassing, but not a big deal. But it does seem like he is unlucky with the Brits. There was the faux pas of Mrs. Obama back-slapping the Queen, plus giving dvds in the format only playable in the US to the Prime Minister, plus sending Churchill’s bust back, etc. I wish this administration would consult with someone familiar with British protocol so that these instances could be avoided.

    But we are currently fighting one new war plus two old wars, so other things are more important.

  39. jm says:

    @Lala11_7 Nice try, but Obama didn’t go to england may 2008, plus he wasn’t even president yet…
    and seriously I don’t care so much about the gaffe, but its irritating when people bring up stuff bush (and REAGAN – from 25 years ago, really?) did as an excuse

  40. the original bellaluna says:

    At least he didn’t barf on the Queen Mum.

  41. Praise St. Angie! says:

    “what does it hurt the Queen to have her royal protocols shaken up a bit?”

    it doesn’t.

    I have a family member who works VERY closely with Hillary Clinton and has met the queen and been to “formal” events with her.

    a lot of people don’t know this, but the queen is NOT the most strict when it comes to protocols. that is, following them herself. in fact, some might call some of her behavior at these “formal” events quite rude and uncouth. contrary to popular belief, the queen doesn’t always exercise proper etiquette.

    “Obama chose to bail out Wall Street instead of using the financial crisis as an opportunity to change the system.”

    um…you DO realize that “bail out” was done under the Bush admin, right?

    GD, there are some uniformed people on this thread.

  42. embertine says:

    bellaluna, that would have been particularly embarrassing as she’s been dead for nine years. ;)

    If I ever meet the Queen, I must remember not to call her Liz, which is what I and most of my family refer to her as.

  43. kibbles says:

    “Obama chose to bail out Wall Street instead of using the financial crisis as an opportunity to change the system.”

    um…you DO realize that “bail out” was done under the Bush admin, right?

    GD, there are some uniformed people on this thread.

    Um…NO, Bush’s wars and tax cuts for the rich led to the economic collapse right before the presidential election in 2008. The actual financial bailouts happened under the Obama administration around 2009. Here are a few articles:

    Bush was a horrible president but let’s not pretend that Obama is innocent from continuing the destruction of the Bush administration by allowing the financial industry to loot the coffers under his watch. It’s been nearly 4 years. Obama owns this economic disaster now.

  44. the original bellaluna says:

    @ embertine – WHOOPS! Colour me chagrined!

  45. spinner says:

    Michelle’s dress & style are atrocious & if you’ve ever studied handwriting analysis, Obama’s over-inflated signature says it all.

  46. Praise St. Angie! says:

    “Bush Proposes $700 Billion Wall Street Bailout Plan

    The Bush administration and Congress have been hustling this weekend to design a sweeping rescue plan for banks and other financial institutions.”

    “The bailout program being negotiated by the Bush administration and Congressional leaders calls for the government to spend up to $700 billion to buy distressed mortgages. ”

    your posts refer to “another” bail out. the first was done under Bush. that’s what I figured that poster was referring to.

  47. original kate says:

    it seems to me that the music started playing while obama was speaking…or am i seeing things? if so then it was not his mistake. either way, mistakes happen – big deal.

    BTW, why am i in moderation hell lately?

  48. lio says:

    I also think the problem is more with the music beginning while he is speaking than the other way round. And it’s nothing compared with the video of his super-car being stuck at the gate of the Amercian embassy
    That’s hilarious!

  49. bluhare says:

    The Bush gaffes get brought up because if we mentioned anything negative about Bush back then, all we got was 9/11!! 9/11!!! He was president on 9/11!!! Sure got sick of that one. Obama’s been getting crap for “vacationing” during the tornado disaster (although he had FEMA there and working immediately), while Bush sat in Texas for five days during Katrina . . . and Obama isn’t vacationing. He’s on his way to a summit. THAT’s why it gets brought up. SO we can call people out on the hypocrisy.

    @original kate: I have decided that only the cool people are in moderation. :)

  50. Eve says:

    I don’t think people are bringing former presidents’s gaffes in order to divert others from this one made by Obama — that I repeat, doesn’t seem so bad if you think that it was the song that interrupted his toast. People are simply comparing similar situations, which is fine in my opinion.

    You can criticize his toast, saying it was too long, perhaps, but not that he stupidly spoke while “God Save The Queen” was playing.

  51. Ell says:

    The media over here have been very positive about Obama’s visit, I haven’t seen the ‘gaff’ reported.

  52. Kunf Fooey says:

    Ye-huh, a “mistake,” just like when Michelle shook the Queen’s hand during their last visit, which is another big no-no. Cause we all know that the Obam just LOVES the British to death.

  53. hairball says:

    It wasn’t that bad… I think the Queen was looking at him with a mixture of feeling awkward and embarrassed for him.

  54. jm says:

    Please, you cannot possibly think that no one was allowed to criticize bush, did you not watch the news? Even if that was some peoples’ response (not mine) doing the same makes you just as hypocritical.

    Further, you do realize that the president cant just decide to send troops into the state because he thinks he should. The request has to come from the state and local authorities, which it did not. However, within four days of Katrina Bush signed 10.5 billion relief bill, I hope Obama will do the same.

    PS just heard – traditional toast is just “To the queen” or something short like that, which is why the music started after he finished saying as much

  55. original kate says:

    “The request has to come from the state and local authorities, which it did not.”

    @ jim: so wrong. louisiana did ask for help and it took almost a week for FEMA to get there. bush said that FEMA had to “wait for the water to go down” before they could send in help; guess he never heard of these marvelous new inventions called boats that were used by other agencies within 24 hours after katrina struck.

    and may i remind you that after 9/11 ari fleischer famously said during a press conference that “americans better watch what they say.” anyone who criticized the bush administration at all was called “un-american” and worse. yeah…good times.

  56. jenni says:

    I love the very end where Obama repeats, “To the Queen” a 2nd time for good measure, as if to wrap it all up w/a “well didn’t that go well?” bow. Then looks across the table w/a sheepish smile at somebody (Michelle?).
    I don’t think the Queen was giving any sort of stink eye. She’s got to be used to gaffe-crazy Americans at this point. And at least he put some time into composing a thoughtful toast.

  57. garvels says:

    I am not an Obama supporter,( because I truly disagree with his economic policies), but he seems to be a nice guy and I give him a pass on this royal protocol gaff.

  58. Eve says:

    @ Original kate:

    Loving your comments here :) .

  59. sam says:

    If nagin had gotten off of his butt and made people evacuate (like bush was telling him to days before) there would have been less problems. GWB can send FEMA, he does not tell them what to do after that.

    We are flooding in the northern plains, TN has had two major floods, Texas is burning and the Mississippi is flooding, what has obama done to help? Has he called FEMA in? Nope. Our local governments have taken care of the situation without obama doing anything. It is a local problem first and then a federal problem. But obama hates republicans and white people.

  60. Amy says:

    Honestly, they do so much traveling… European jet lag is horrible. To always have to be on point and suffering from lack of sleep… I always wondered how celebs and politicians did it, especially during press junkets/continent wide tours.

    So yeah he messed up–he’s allowed to. But lol, his year mix up reminds me of when the Queen visited the US a few years back when Bush was still in office. He was making a speech and about to introduce her to the press. And he was about to say “In 1976 you helped celebrate the US’s bicentennial anniversary.” Instead he started off with in “in 17….” And he trailed off and looked at the Queen and said “She just gave me a look only a mother can give to a child.” You can find the clip on youtube, it’s very amusing.

  61. feebee says:

    The gaffe is on the British side, not the President’s. Sure, I “suppose” you shouldn’t talk over God Save the Queen (BTW, it’s just the song title it’s not like God will save the Queen over any other citizen in particular should it come to that)… but you also shouldn’t start music when the President of the United States, supposedly an honoured guest is making a toast. It’s not the Oscars when a no namer goes on and on and is up to thanking their first grade teacher….

    At least he didn’t take out some of the royal gardens in a golf cart, even though that was Priceless Footage :)

  62. jm says:

    @sam, thanks, I’m at work and don’t have much time to really look this stuff up…I shouldn’t even be reading this :-/, I was going from a bit of memory, thanks for correcting me

    @amy, thank you for a use of a Bush gaffe to show that its no big deal for either as opposed to others who are all “well Bush (and Reagan!) was worse”..ugh

  63. Slim Charles says:

    @ Hairball -It wasn’t that bad… I think the Queen was looking at him with a mixture of feeling awkward and embarrassed for him.

    I agree. I didn’t see her shoot him an evil look.

    It gets funnier every time.

  64. Ja says:

    Well, at least he doesn’t steal like our Czech president. When I see the video, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry…

  65. lio says:

    @bluhare and original kate: so proud to be in the moderation-cool-people-only-band!

  66. eternalcanadian says:

    Lolz! I say the music started before Obama was done his toast. He didn’t start speaking after the music started. And besides, that’s weird to have God Save the Queen played like that at a dinner? Oh well, still a funny thing!

    I’d be more concerned why he’s writing 2008 instead of 2011 in the guest book than some speech gaffe.

  67. anne_000 says:

    @45 kibbles: actually the tarp/bank bailout was during bush’s term. it’s well-documented, as it’s part of history, & i remember it personally cuz i was against bush giving out that $ to the banksters.
    obama was still talking when whomever cued the music started the song playing.

    the brits do have a royal protocol office & if they had let obama know that the moment he said “queen” they would have started playing (even though he was into his next sentence), then obama would have been mindful not to say “queen” until the end of his short toast.

    the “gaffe” was on the guy who cued the music.

  68. Turtle Dove says:

    Oh… who cares. Obama kicks butt and I like him and Michelle immensely. As far as I’m concerned why should anyone bow and simper to another person? We all sh*t, piss, and sqr*w, so why should one person believe that they can “lord” (literally and figuratively) over another?

  69. Maravilha says:

    They shouldn’t have started the music while he was still speaking! I think Obama is great!

    I agree with you! Like Morrissey said at the time of her visit to Ireland: “the message from the Queen will be the same as ever: who we are born to is more important than what we achieve in life.’

  70. anne_000 says:

    @62 sam: u have ur history a bit fuzzy.
    friday, 8/26: LA declares state emergency & gulf states request pentagon troop assistance

    saturday: MI declares state emergency & LA requests FEDERAL state of emergency. Federal S.E. declared allowing for DHS & Fema to respond

    sunday: katrina upgraded from 3 to 5; N.O. mayor mandatory evacuation; bush/fema/dhs alerted about reports that water might be going over levees, they send only 100 buses instead of 700 requested by LA governor.

    monday: katrina hits land. fema finally requests 1000 fed. employees for assistance, giving them 2 days to arrive while bush alerted that water coming over levees by LA & fema, but instead bush talks to dha about immigration then attends mccain’s b-day party in AZ, attends AZ resort to give medicare program speech, flies to CA to talk more about medicare, & goes to bed w/o responding to gov of LA’s request for more asssitance.

    tuesday: dhs says they only found out about levee failures this day. bush stays in san diego giving speech on iraq. pentagon says gulf states dont need more troop assistance while USS Bataan off the gulf coast is not used as aide. bush returns to crawford, TX to finish out his vacation.

    etc. this is from a website entitled “katrina timeline”

  71. hmm says:

    It’s been said before but it’s obvious that the music started after he began speaking, so it wasn’t his faux pas.
    And from the countless British accounts that I’ve read, he has been well received and I’m just happy that the Brits don’t seem to suffer from Obama Derangement Syndrome that seems to affect so many in this country. Now the right wingnuts are talking negatively about him drinking Guinness while in Ireland. I remember when we conservatives were considered more intellectual but they just keep amping up the stupid since Obama won.
    On another note, I love that the Obamas are effusive and welcoming to everyone from the Queen to the Irish villagers they met the other day.

  72. fallen says:

    The person who started playing the song while he was still talking seems to be in the wrong to me.

  73. J.D.M.J. says:

    ah, whatever….. he meant well……this is why we fought the Revolution in this country……to get out from under all this ridiculous deference to a human being……..Her Majesty’s blood is not any different than ours….royal blood, my ass.

    Totally agree w/you 100% on ALL points.

  74. Smithy says:

    Haha, how uncomfortable was the shot where NO ONE ELSE raised their glass? Oh well, at least he didn’t try to give her a neck rub a la Bush.

  75. constance says:

    I have laughed at a few times today! Golden! As much as I feel bad that he obviously didn’t know “how dis workz,” Good for him. F- them and their protocols. Let him say the speech before roaring into the music. Man’s the President of the damn free world! LOL

  76. JennJenn says:

    Agree with some other commenters that it is the British who committed the gaffe by starting up the National Anthem while the US president was giving his toast.

    Michelle’s dress is hideous, especially the bolero with the funny oversized back. She should stay away from full skirts and stick with sleek chemises or softly draping fabrics like the purple dress and royal blue jacket ensemble she wore during the visit.

  77. Knotstu says:

    As in princess diaries when King Rupert is mentioned the people say “King Rupert may he rest in peace.”
    When Her Magisty is addressed to as such as Obama addressed her , the custom is to have that played !

  78. sam says:

    Ann: This is what i found:

    Friday, August 26, 2005
    Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco declares state of emergency.

    Saturday, August 27, 2005
    Blanco asks President Bush to declare federal state of emergency for Louisiana.

    Bush complies.

    Quote: The President’s action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures.Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency.

    New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin orders a voluntary evacuation of all residents from the city of New Orleans.

    Sunday, August 28, 2005
    Nagin makes his evacuation order mandatory. For residents who lack the means to leave the city, Nagin orders the Superdome opened as a shelter of last resort.

    National Hurricane Center forecasters brief President Bush via video conference on Katrina, then a Category 5 storm, and its expected impact.

    Monday, August 29, 2005
    Hurricane Katrina hits Louisiana and Mississippi coast as a category 4 storm

    Bush goes to CA August 30th. So are you giving a pass to Obama for being in EEngland with what is going on America right now?

  79. sam says:

    Kibbles – totally agree with your post!

    LALA: Obama is PRESIDENT…he is not a lawmaker, you want public policy to change, the war to stop, Wall Street to stop being funded, et al…ELECT CONGRESSMEN & SENATORS (lawmakers) WHO WON’T SELL OUT TO CORPORATE INTEREST!!!

    I mean…REALLY!!!

    So if you believe this we can stop blaming Bush for everything and start blaming it on the congress/senate?

  80. chris says:

    The President has more important things to think about like wars, etc than following protocols from an archaic monarchy. Vid is hilarious though. Kind of feel bad for Obama but not really. Shouting over the song was hilarious.

  81. Farah says:

    What a bafoon even Bush could remember the protocol and for crying out loud the DATES!

  82. Tom says:

    This has to make Jim Carter very very happy. He is no longer the dumbs president to serve the White House.
    How do you people like your change?

  83. trolleydolly says:

    Amazing how so many posters seem to think that Obama is viewed as buffoon in Europe. Wishful thinking my dears, we absolutely LOVE HIM.

  84. Flim says:

    @kibbles: the Bush administration performed the bulk of the bailout action, and a president represents only one branch of the government. Yeesh.

  85. katen says:

    Protocol is spelled as such, not protocall.

  86. Irish ex-pat, Switzerland says:

    What a lot of nonsense! I’ve been watching the British press coverage of the state visit and the Queen and President Obama seem to have a very friendly relationship which has been widely commented upon. The Queen will forgive him his minor gaffe. He has already been travelling to engagement after engagement for 4 days and there’s still the G8 summit to come. Give the man a little bit of slack!

  87. kwoww says:

    it looked to me like they started playing the music over his toast, not the other way around. who gives a shit, anyway.

  88. sec818 says:

    The sound guy did NOT start the music early. Obama’s people should have told him what the procedure was. He should know the protocol of any foreign country he visits. After he said her name, they play their national anthem, just 1 verse, and everyone is to remain quiet and stand still – then he could have resumed his toast.