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Obama's toast to the queen interrupted by the orchestra

By the CNN Wire staff
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Obama honored at UK state dinner
  • Musicians apparently thought President Obama had concluded
  • Obama keeps speaking over "God Save the Queen"

London (CNN) -- President Barack Obama's toast to Queen Elizabeth II on Tuesday was interrupted when the orchestra at the state dinner began playing "God Save the Queen" before Obama finished.

Following the queen's toast to him and the playing of the U.S. national anthem, Obama began his toast by thanking her and commenting on her reign and the close ties between their countries. The president then asked the guests to stand and join him in toasting the queen.

"To Her Majesty the Queen," Obama began, but the orchestra -- apparently thinking the president had concluded -- started playing the British anthem.

Obama continued with his toast, speaking over the music in citing the special relationship between the British and American people and quoting William Shakespeare's tribute to "to this blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England" from "Richard II."

"To the queen," Obama concluded as the music played on.

When the music ended, Obama repeated, "to the queen," and the audience, clearly confused by the turn of events, delayed a few seconds before applauding.