Criticism of Trudeau for singing ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ before Elizabeth II’s funeral

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The debate over whether or not a politician can have fun is back on the table, this time in Canada. A video of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau singing Bohemian Rhapsody in the hotel bar where he stayed in London two days before Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral has drawn criticism as “disrespectful.”

In the video posted on social networks, barely fourteen seconds long, the Canadian leader appears dressed in a T-shirt singing a verse of the legendary Queen song accompanied on the piano by the Quebecois musician Gregory Charles, who was part of the delegation Canadian invited by the British royal house.


“He is the Prime Minister, in a public place, on the eve of the Queen’s funeral. And this is how he behaves?” Andrew Coyne, a columnist for the Canadian newspaper Globe, wrote on Twitter. “Shameful falls short,” he added.

Vivian Bercovici, former Canadian ambassador to Israel, criticized the Canadian prime minister, “who represents Canada in a week of mourning,” for behaving in such a way.

The controversy has transcended to the point of deserving a comment from one of the premier’s spokesmen, who explained that “after dinner on Saturday, the prime minister joined a small meeting with members of the Canadian delegation, who met to pay tribute to the life and service of His Majesty”.

“Gregory Charles, a renowned Quebec musician and Order of Canada recipient, played the piano in the hotel lobby, resulting in some members of the delegation, including the Prime Minister, joining in.”

Charles himself explained that the group sang for about two hours in the hotel bar and “had a great time.” Something that reminded him of Caribbean funerals, which mix moments of sober respect with others that celebrate the life of the deceased person.

Others took the anecdote with a bit more sense of humor, like Canadian music journalist Adam Feibel: “I don’t think Justin Trudeau singing Bohemian Rhapsody was disrespectful to the queen, but I know enough about karaoke to assume it was a foul.” of respect to Queen”.

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