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

·2-min read
queen elizabeth obama
Queen Elizabeth II and then-President Barack Obama in the Music Room of Buckingham Palace ahead of 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 UK's former 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 at a talk with Lord Ed Vaizey, a former Tory member of Parliament and minister, hosted by the Old Pauline Club, an association for alumni of St. Paul's School. Insider attended the talk virtually.

Osborne told the audience: "I was at a banquet — the state banquet in Britain for Barack Obama. And the Queen came up to me and said: 'Will you tell the president it's late and I want to go to bed.'

"And I looked over at — Barack Obama was having a great time, kind of knocking back vodka martinis with his mates, and I was like, 'Oh, my god, I'm going to be the person that has to go and tell him to go home.'"

Obama visited the UK in May 2011. He and first lady Michelle Obama were the guests of honor at a state banquet held in Buckingham Palace. Osborne was the chancellor at the time.

Obama also visited the UK in 2011 and 2016, but neither were state visits and no banquets were held.

The president made a gaffe at the 2011 state banquet. His toast to the Queen was interrupted by the band playing "God Save the Queen" after Obama started his toast by saying, "To Her Majesty the Queen." Obama continued with the rest of his toast as the UK's national anthem was played.

Two years later, at the G8 summit in 2013, Obama repeatedly called Osborne "Jeffrey" and later apologized for mixing him up with his "favorite R&B singer," Jeffrey Osborne, the Financial Times reported at the time.

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

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