June 14, 2024

PM faces controversy over singing before Queen’s funeral

3 min read
PM faces controversy over singing before Queen's funeral

The Prime Minister of Canada was photographed singing in a London hotel two days before the funeral.

Justin Trudeau’s team has defended the Canadian prime minister after he was filmed singing alongside a piano in a London hotel two days before Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral.

In a video circulated on social media, the Prime Minister was seen singing British rock band Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody.

The Queen was Canada’s head of state, and Trudeau designated September 19 a national day of mourning in Canada.

Critics accused the prime minister of disrespect – but others defended him.

The video was posted on social media, but while a spokesperson for the Prime Minister confirmed it was real, it was not clear who filmed it.

It was held at the Corinthia Hotel, where the Canadian delegation was staying, on the evening of Saturday 17 September.

Trudeau is seen in a T-shirt, leaning on the piano, while Gregory Charles, a Quebec musician and laureate of the Order of Canada, plays Bohemian Rhapsody.

Charles told Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail that the group sang with him for two hours and that he was “so much fun,” reminding him of Caribbean funerals by blending dark moments with those that celebrate life.

But the video sparked criticism from some Canadian commentators and netizens.

“Embarrassing is not enough to describe it,” Andrew Quinn, a Globe and Mail columnist, wrote on Twitter. “He’s the prime minister, in a public place, on the eve of the Queen’s funeral. So how does he act?”

“He is the Canadian Prime Minister representing Canada in a week of mourning for the Queen. Our head of state,” said Vivian Berkowici, a former Canadian ambassador to Israel.

However, others said the case was exaggerated.

Emmett MacFarlane, assistant professor of political science at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, wrote on Twitter: “He…sings. Of all the embarrassing things Justin Trudeau said and did, this one isn’t on the list.”

“After dinner on Saturday, the Prime Minister joined a small meeting with members of the Canadian delegation, who have gathered to pay tribute to Her Majesty’s life and service,” a Trudeau spokesperson said.

Gregory Charles, a famous musician from Quebec and a recipient of the Order of Canada, played the piano in the hotel lobby, which led to the joining of some members of the delegation, including the Prime Minister.

“The Prime Minister has participated in various activities to pay her respects to the Queen,” the spokesman noted.

Some took a carefree look at the matter.

Music journalist Adam Weibel joked, “I don’t think Justin Trudeau singing Bohemian Rhapsody was disrespectful to the Queen, but I know enough about karaoke to assume he was disrespectful to the Queen.”

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