These are memorable gaffes of heads of state at public ceremonies
They commit gaffes like anyone else. They are presidents, prime ministers, and even members of the royal family. Here are a few embarrassing episodes these leaders would love to erase from their resume.
1. Barack Obama offers a solitary toast to the queen
With a style that sometimes allows some spontaneity, Barack Obama has in his history of US president some gaffes and protocol breaks that have turned into the subject of the press or simple anecdote.
On a visit to the United Kingdom in 2011, Obama made a big mistake when attending a dinner with Queen Elizabeth II in honor of the president’s visit. As he began to make a speech, the British national anthem began to play. Indifferent to the protocol, Obama continued the speech and lifted his glass for a toast to his Majesty, which was unsuccessful. He was alone in his gesture.
2. Boris Yeltsin stumbles during a ceremony
Former Russian President Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin, who died in April 2007, will always be remembered for having a few more drinks.
Several times he stumbled on stages and steps, spoke curled up, danced in public and even squeezed a woman’s ass during a charity party, or when he stumbles during ceremony in Uzbekistan. Once, after making one of his own, Yeltsin made then-President Bill Clinton laugh, something unimaginable in the Cold War era.
3. George Bush trying to escape
George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States from 2001 to 2009, became notorious for committing gaffes and talking without thinking. The press even coined the term “Bushism” to classify the verbal lapses and gaffes that became common in the years of its mandate. One hilarious moment was when he tries to open a locked door leaving a press conference in Beijing, China. As he sad, “I was trying to escape, but it didn’t work…”
4. Hugo Chavez, ¿Por qué no te callas?
The saying goes: whoever says what he wants, hears what he does not want. Former Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez talks too much and has no potatoes on his tongue. He called George W. Bush as the “Devil” in New York, named former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar as a “fascist” in front of King Juan Carlos and later accused the King himself of being “arrogant and disrespectful” .
The cause of this diplomatic embarrassment occurred during the XVII Ibero-American Conference, held in the city of Santiago, Chile, at the end of 2007. Hugo Chávez called the former prime minister of Spain “fascist.” Faced with the inconvenience, the king, despite being always so affable, told Chávez: “Why do not you shut up?” (in spanish, ¿Por qué no te callas?).
5. Merkel and Hollande change their ways
The world seems small for the Germans and the French. Francois Hollande, on a visit to Berlin for his first meeting with Angela Merkel, curl up in small hesitation on the red carpet. This was in 2012, when German Chancellor Angela Merkel received the new French president, François Hollande, with military honors on his arrival in Germany to begin their first bilateral meeting.