Was Queen Elizabeth II angry at Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi for trying too hard to get President Barack Obama's attention? Apparently not.
The question developed after video surfaced on YouTube showing the queen complaining about Berlusconi talking too loudly during a visit to Buckingham Palace before the Group of 20 summit.
The queen’s press people say the whole thing was little more than a joke among friends. But the popular video of the event has surfaced on YouTube — so viewers can judge for themselves.
The short clip from a Buckingham Palace reception for Obama and other world leaders on the eve of the summit shows the queen pretending to be exasperated with Berlusconi and reprimanding him for talking too loudly after a group photo was taken.
On the video it sounds as if she is saying, “Why does he talk so loud?” as she slumps her shoulders in mock frustration after Berlusconi said, “Mr. Obama” in a bid to get the president’s attention.
A spokesman for the queen who asked not to be identified because of palace policy said Friday the queen was not offended by Berlusconi.
He said it was “a jovial lighthearted moment” and that the queen had been making jokes about posing for “a happy photo” moments before the group portrait was taken.
The photo was taken after the leaders gathered for an informal champagne reception attended by many members of the royal family, including Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla.
Berlusconi has been criticized in the past for a number of unguarded comments, including his jokes about Obama being more tanned than most world leaders.
Before the reception, Obama and his wife Michelle Obama had a private meeting with the queen and her husband, Prince Philip.