Queen 'not offended' by Berlusconi at G20 photoshoot

5th April 2009, Comments 0 comments

A video clip of the queen turning round and saying "What is it? Why does he have to shout?" after Berlusconi shouted "Mr. Obama" at an official photo session has become a YouTube hit.

London -- Buckingham Palace denied Friday that Queen Elizabeth II was irritated by Italy's colourful Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, in an incident at this week's G20 summit.

A video clip of the queen turning round and saying "What is it? Why does he have to shout?" after Berlusconi shouted "Mr. Obama" at an official photo session has become a YouTube hit.

The incident happened on Wednesday when leaders of the Group of 20 leading developed and developing nations gathered for a traditional "family photo" after a reception at the British monarch's official residence.

Lensmen took their pictures as usual, then at the end of the photoshoot Berlusconi was heard to shout to US President Barack Obama, apparently trying to get his attention from the back row of the assembled leaders.

Buckingham Palace insisted that the queen's retort was made in jest, showing mock frustration with the Italian leader who is well known for making a spectacle of himself at formal occasions.

"It was loud and jolly and very jovial, there were no gaffes and no offence taken," said a Palace spokeswoman, adding that the royal reception was "warm and friendly" and everyone involved was good-natured.

Berlusconi, a former cruise ship crooner and multi-millionaire businessman, also got himself in the papers at the summit family photo Thursday, grinning broadly in between Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

Past gaffes have included the time he played hide and seek with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at talks in Trieste, while he once broke a lectern as he gushed praise on then US president George W. Bush.

Berlusconi also made headlines when he described Obama as "young, handsome and tanned", shortly after the Illinois senator's historic election victory in November.

AFP/Expatica

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