Seven state-visit gaffes in gifs

February 11

State visits to the White House aren’t all graceful greetings and smooth toasts. Just like at any high-stakes affair involving humans, there are bound to be a few oopsie moments when the world’s most powerful people gather.

Here’s a look at some of the bloopers from state visits past.

1. That time President Obama almost forgot a toast.

Credit: White House
Credit: White House

During the 2011 dinner for German  Chancellor Angela Merkel, the president nearly forgot to make the customary toast to his guest of honor.

 

2. That time President Bush insinuated that the Queen was old.

Credit: C-SPAN
Credit: C-SPAN

In 2007, President George W. Bush noted that Queen Elizabeth II had “helped our nation celebrate its bicentennial in seventeen-seven…” He trailed off, realizing he’d just made the monarch a good 200 years old. “In 1976,” he finished, with a sheepish pause.

 

3. That time the protocol chief tripped.

Credit: AP
Credit: AP

Huge points to former Chief of Protocol Capricia Mashall, who recovered gracefully from a stumble during the 2010 dinner in honor of Mexico.

 

4. That time the podium was too low.

Credit: CBS News
Credit: CBS News

The podium was a little too high for the diminutive Queen Elizabeth II during a 1991 state visit that all that was visible was the Royal Hat.

 

5. That time the crashers crashed.

Credit: AP
Credit: AP

Virginia socialites Tareq and Michaele Salahi launched reality-TV careers when they slipped into the 2009 dinner honoring India.

 

6. That time Brazil cancelled on us.

Credit: PBS Newshour
Credit: PBS Newshour

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was so ticked last year when she heard that the NSA had been monitoring on her phone calls that she cancelled a planned state visit to the U.S.

 

7. That time there was a wardrobe malfunction.

Credit: AP
Credit: AP

South Korean first lady Kim Yoon-ok just couldn’t quite get that bow to sit straight for her photo op as she arrived for the 2011 state dinner honoring her husband.

 

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Helena Andrews · February 11