Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau raised eyebrows across the pond after being videotaped singing a raucous after-dinner rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody” in a hotel bar while in England for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth.
Trudeau sang the karaoke favorite in London’s Corinthia Hotel Saturday night as a member of the Canadian delegation tickled the ivories. The video went viral, with some saying singing the 1975 hit by Queen was disrespectful to the band’s namesake while the nation is in mourning. But others said the boyish head of state was just being himself.
“After dinner on Saturday, Prime Minister joined a small gathering with members of the Canadian delegation, who have come together to pay tribute to the life and service of Her Majesty,” a Trudeau spokesperson said. “Gregory Charles, a renowned musician from Quebec and Order of Canada recipient, played piano in the hotel lobby which resulted in some members of the delegation including the prime minister joining.”
Last night at the Savoy. Our PM in the UK representing Canada for the Queen’s funeral. 🤦🏻♀️
How do you say you were a drama teacher without saying you were a drama teacher. pic.twitter.com/kfRlve7pmV
— Lisa Power (@LisaPow33260238) September 19, 2022
Dressed in a burgundy T-shirt, Trudeau, 50, stood by the piano along with other members of the Canadian delegation and belted out the rock-opera classic.
On Monday, some 2,000 mourners attended the funeral at Westminster Abbey for Queen Elizabeth, who died Sept. 8 at 96, after a record 70-year reign. She was then taken to Windsor Castle, where she was interred.
Trudeau was one of dozens of heads of state and royal figures from around the world, including President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden, who attended the funeral. On Monday, Trudeau was booed when he left Trafalgar Square’s Canada House, where his government has offices.
Trudeau’s defenders on Twitter claimed the clip was old, but his spokesperson appeared to confirm that it happened Saturday. It unleashed a torrent of derision and mockery on the social media platform.
“Everything about this individual is nauseating,” tweeted Pugmama.
“Cringe Justin Trudeau,” tweeted OoooCanada. “Imagine travelling across the world for a funeral and then doing this.”
“Curious as to how you can qualify this as paying tribute to the life and service of Her Majesty? Because they were singing music from Queen?” tweeted one Brit. “That’s rather crass!”
“Somehow he manages to also make his singing feel disingenuous,” tweeted grufflyns.
But others backed the prime minister, saying he had a right to enjoy himself in London, even if he was there for the most solemn of occasions.
“I’ve never understood being bothered by politicians being human and having fun,” tweeted Brian McKenna.
Trudeau and his wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau led a large delegation of decorated Canadians at Monday’s funeral, including Order of Canada holders actress Sandra Oh, Olympian Mark Tewksbury and performing artist Gregory Charles walked near the front of the procession.
The delegation also included former prime ministers Kim Campbell, Jean Chrétien, Paul Martin and Stephen Harper.
“Over the past 10 days, the Prime Minister has taken part in various activities to pay his respects for the Queen and today, the entire delegation is taking part in the State Funeral,” Trudeau’s spokesperson said.