Brits tweet pic of cake celebrating White House burning in 1814
British diplomats are apologizing for a tweet that featured a picture of a cake with a model of the White House and a caption alluding to the anniversary of the British army setting it ablaze in 1814.
The apologies were prompted after the British Embassy posted a picture Sunday of Patrick Davis, deputy British ambassador to the United States, with a caption saying he was participating in "the anniversary of burning of the White House with a BBQ.”
The picture was followed by another, about an hour later, that showed a White House replica atop a sheet cake, flanked by sparklers. The caption said: “Commemorating the 200th anniversary of burning the White House. Only sparklers this time!”
Within hours of the tweets, the embassy received several angry Twitter responses and eventually backed off. "Apologies for earlier Tweet. We meant to mark an event in history & celebrate our strong friendship today," the embassy wrote.
British troops on Aug. 24, 1814, charged into Washington, setting the White House on fire and capturing the U.S. Capitol building.
The attack marked the only time in history that a foreign power captured the U.S. capital.
The British Embassy’s social media blunder Sunday was preceded by two Twitter posts earlier in the day that talked about how much U.S.-U.K. relations have improved since the burning of the White House.
“The burning of Washington 200 years ago today. Thankfully UK/US relations are a little better now!” read the first tweet, which was followed by: “Commemorating 200 years of peace between the US & UK.”
A little dig of the spur directed at President Obama? You can't rule it out, but it's not likely. After a rocky start, US-UK relations have improved markedly. The kefluffle over the Churchill bust being returned was apparently a misunderstanding (There were two busts - one on permanent display outside the Treaty Room in the White House and one given as a gift to President Bush in 2001. That bust, along with all other art received by the former president, was returned in accordance with the law regarding gifts from foreign governments.)
The president's relationship with the British prime minister has been good, although not as close as in previous administrations. Great Britain is still our closest ally and is assisting us all over the world. We should probably take the British ambassador's word that this was just a thoughtless attempt at humor and leave it at that.