When President Joe Biden on Friday closed out a speech to gun control advocates by exclaiming, “God save the Queen, man,” confused members of the White House press corps wondered what, exactly, the president meant.
Was he speaking of Her Late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, who passed away in September 2022 after a full seven decades on the throne of the United Kingdom and 14 other commonwealth reams — the longest reign of any British monarch and of any female monarch in recorded history?
Or was he referring to Queen Camilla, who in May was crowned alongside her husband, King Charles III?
Perhaps he was not referring to any British queen, but was instead speaking of the leader who took Elizabeth II’s place as the longest-serving European monarch, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark?
According to the White House, the correct answer is: None of the above.
Deputy Press Secretary Olivia Dalton clarified the situation slightly late on Friday by telling reporters who were travelling with the president that Biden was merely “commenting to someone in the crowd”.
Dalton did not add anything further on who the president was responding to or what prompted the strange remark.
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Yet Biden, a proud Irishman who was accused of harboring anti-British sentiments after he followed the example of previous American presidents by not personally attending the May 6 coronation, has previously expressed the same pro-British sentiment at a key moment in recent US history.
When, as vice president, he presided over the January 2017 counting of electoral votes which confirmed former president Donald Trump’s surprise 2016 election victory, Biden made the exact same remark in jest to then-House Speaker Paul Ryan after gaveling the counting session to a close.