Former UK chancellor says the Queen asked him to tell Obama to leave a state banquet because she wanted to go to bed

Queen Elizabeth Obama

Queen Elizabeth II and then President Barack Obama in the Music Room of Buckingham Palace before a 2011 state banquet.Chris Jackson / AFP via Getty Images

  • George Osborne said the Queen once asked him to tell Obama to leave a state banquet.

  • Osborne said the Queen asked him to tell Obama it was “late and I want to go to bed”.

  • Obama visited the UK in May 2011 and attended a state banquet at Buckingham Palace.

The former British Chancellor of the Exchequer said the Queen once asked him at a state banquet to tell then-President Barack Obama to leave because it was late and she wanted to go to bed.

Former Chancellor George Osborne made the remarks during a meeting with Lord Ed Vaizey, a former Tory MP and minister hosted by the Old Pauline Club, an association for St. Paul’s School alumni. Insider took part in the lecture virtually.

Osborne told the audience, “I was at a banquet – the UK state banquet for Barack Obama. And the queen came up to me and said, ‘Are you going to tell the President it’s late and I want to go to bed?’

“And I watched – Barack Obama had a great time, upset vodka martinis with his buddies, and I thought, ‘Oh my god, I’ll be the person who has to go and tell them to go home.'”

Obama visited the UK in May 2011. He and First Lady Michelle Obama were guests of honor at a state banquet at Buckingham Palace. Osborne was Chancellor at the time.

Obama also visited the United Kingdom in 2011 and 2016, but neither state visits nor banquets.

The president made a slip at the state banquet in 2011. His toast to the Queen was interrupted by the band playing “God Save the Queen” after Obama began his toast with “To Her Majesty the Queen”. Obama continued with the rest of his toast as the UK national anthem was played.

Two years later, at the 2013 G8 summit, Obama repeatedly called Osborne “Jeffrey” and later apologized for mistaking him for his “favorite R&B singer” Jeffrey Osborne, the Financial Times reported.

Buckingham Palace and Osborne did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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