Joe Biden caused confusion as he ended a speech to gun safety advocates by saying “God save the Queen, man.”
The president used the phrase as he finished his speech at the National Safer Communities Summit in West Hartford, Connecticut.
Mr Biden told the crowd that a storm was heading into the area and that he would be unable to shake hands with all the attendees. But he promised to take photos with each section of the audience.
“I will stand in front of each section – no, I really mean it – if you can see the camera they can see you. It is the least consequential part of this whole meeting for you, I promise,” he said.
It was then that he signed off with his line about the Queen, who died at Balmoral last September at the age of 96 and was replaced by King Charles III.
The 80-year-old president’s critics were quick to jump on the phrase and “God Save the Queen” was soon trending on Twitter.
But other Twitter users pointed out that Mr Biden has used the phrase before to end his speeches.
The White House press office clarified Mr Biden’s remarks in an email, saying: “He couldn’t do the full ropeline due to weather, and was commenting to someone in the crowd.”
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