The monarch made the comments to a police official at an event at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday to mark her recent 90th birthday.
In the footage, recorded by the palace’s cameraman, Scotland Yard Commander Lucy D’Orsi told the queen that being a commander for a state visit by Chinese President Xi in October was a “quite a testing time.”
Introducing D’Orsi to the monarch, an official said D’Orsi was seriously undermined by the Chinese, but managed to hold her own and remain in command.
“They were very rude to the ambassador,” the queen said, to which D’Orsi agreed. The remark is highly unusual as queen usually steers clear of politics in public. China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said that Xi made a “very successful visit” to Britain.
It was the second embarrassing incident from the palace event to come to public attention, after Prime Minister David Cameron was filmed telling the queen that Nigeria and Afghanistan were “fantastically corrupt.” He was speaking ahead of an anti-corruption summit he will host in London Thursday that will be attended by leaders and dignitaries including Secretary of State John Kerry.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari — who pledged to fight corruption ahead of his election last year — delivered the keynote speech Wednesday at a separate anti-corruption conference in London hosted by the Commonwealth, an association of 53 countries.
“We’ve got some leaders of some fantastically corrupt countries coming to Britain… Nigeria and Afghanistan, possibly the two most corrupt countries in the world,” Cameron said in the comments to the queen caught on camera.
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby — the leader of the Anglican Church — interjected: “But this particular president is actually not corrupt… he’s trying very hard.”
On Wednesday, Cameron told British lawmakers that Nigeria and Afghanistan had taken “remarkable steps forward” on corruption.
Buhari told the anti-corruption conference Wednesday that he was taking a a “zero tolerance” approach to corruption in his country, which he said was a “hydra-headed monster” that was “endemic and systematic.”
Buhari said he did not want an apology from Cameron, but the return of assets apparently stolen by Nigerian criminals and held in Britain.
“What I am demanding is the return of the assets. This is what I’m asking for. What would I do with an apology?” he said.
The Queen and Prince Philip at the Royal Garden Party 2010