Moment Queen Elizabeth II Roasted George W. Bush Shared in Resurfaced Clip

The moment Queen Elizabeth II roasted President George W. Bush during a 2007 dinner at the British embassy in Washington has gone viral, after a clip from the monarch's toast at the event resurfaced on social media.

The visit was Elizabeth's fifth to the U.S. as queen and, alongside Prince Philip, included in her tour the 400th anniversary celebrations of the founding of the Jamestown settlement in Virginia.

The queen took aim at Bush during a dinner she hosted for the president and first lady at the end of her visit, and referenced a gaffe he made during his welcome speech days earlier.

Queen Elizabeth II and George W. Bush
Queen Elizabeth II and George W. Bush photographed at the White House May 7, 2007. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

At the official welcome reception on the White House's South Lawn on May 7, the president said: "The American people are proud to welcome Your Majesty back to the United States, a nation you've come to know very well."

"After all, you've dined with ten U.S. presidents," he said before muddling his dates in a way that made it sound as if the monarch was over 200 years old.

"You helped our nation celebrate its bicentennial in 17—in 1976," he said flustered, to the laughter of the crowd. The queen was seen to share a brief glance at Bush, to which he replied with a laugh: "She gave me a look that only a mother could give a child."

The gaffe was widely commented on and was the standout news story from the presidential welcome which also included a glittering state dinner held in the queen's honor.

While in the country, the queen and Philip witnessed the 133rd running of the Kentucky Derby and visited the Children's National Medical Center in Washington before hosting a return dinner for the Bush's at the British embassy.

Opening her formal toast, in a clip uploaded to TikTok by user middleagemashup that has been viewed over 800,000 times, the queen poked fun at the president, saying wryly: "Mr. President, I wondered whether I should start this toast saying, 'When I was here in 1776,' but I don't think I will."

A number of TikTok users have praised the queen for her sense of humor in returning fire at the president and also remarked on the pairs' jovial relationship.

"She had a great sense of humor," said one user.

"I love his mischievous grin and her cheeky retort," wrote another, with a further commenter adding: "Lmao, the fact he stopped and looked at her like."

This was not the first Bush related gaffe handled with humor by the queen on a visit to the U.S.

In 1991, again on the White House's South Lawn, the monarch stepped up to the presidential podium to deliver her welcome address, but found that no one had taken into account the distinct height different between herself and President George H. W. Bush.

The result meant that the queen's face wasn't visible above the podium's microphone—only her hat.

Queen Elizabeth II White House Podium Gaffe
Queen Elizabeth II photographed behind the presidential podium with George H. W. Bush on the White House's south lawn, May 14, 1991. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

When it came time for the monarch to address Congress at a later part of her tour, she took the opportunity to alleviate the solemnity of the occasion with a joke, saying: "I do hope you can see me today from where you are."

This resulted in a standing ovation for the queen who went on to discuss the democratic bonds shared between the U.S. and U.K.

At the time of her death, Queen Elizabeth personally met 13 sitting U.S. presidents and President Joe Biden along with the first lady represented the nation at the monarch's state funeral in London on September 19, 2022.

James Crawford-Smith is Newsweek's royal reporter based in London. You can find him on Twitter at @jrcrawfordsmith and read his stories on Newsweek's The Royals Facebook page.

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