Hillary sends birthday greetings to Queen Elizabeth - a week early

How's that "smart" foreign policy working out for ya, Barry?

An official statement from the US foreign policy chief paid tribute to the "Queen's life and legacy," despite the fact that the Monarch does not celebrate her official birthday until next weekend.

The diplomatic faux pas, sent on behalf of President Barack Obama and the American people on Friday, also celebrated the "special relationship" between the British and US governments.


A spokesman for Mrs Clinton attemped to make light of the gaffe.

"We were a week early," Philip Crowley joked to reporters in Washington.

"As always, it is better to give a greeting a week early than a week late."

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman added: "It was obviously a genuine mistake and there was no offence taken whatsoever". She declined to say whether the State Department had apologised.

Although April 21 is her actual birthday, the Queen's official birthday is celebrated on a Saturday in June, culminating with the annual Trooping the Colour parade.

This year the ceremony, also attended by other members of the Royal Family, is scheduled for next Saturday.

Can you imagine if the Bush administration...

Oh, never mind.