Canadian PM Justin Trudeau’s office has confirmed the leader was taking part in a singalong around a piano at a hotel in London, two days before the Queen’s funeral.
A video clip doing the rounds on social media was said to have been taken at the Corinthia Hotel, near Westminster Abbey, where the Canadian delegation was staying ahead of Her Majesty’s funeral there on Monday.
Mr Trudeau can be seen in a T-shirt, leaning on a piano as Gregory Charles, a musician from Montreal, Quebec and recipient of the Order of Canada, plays Bohemian Rhapsody.
The PM sings along with him: “Easy come, easy go, little high, little low.
“Anyway the wind blows, doesn’t really matter to me…”
Mr Charles is described on his website as “a multifaceted artist and piano prodigy who never misses an opportunity to share his love of music”.
He told Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail that around official events relating to the Queen‘s lying in state and funeral, their delegation had also “found moments of joy and celebration”.
He described the proceedings as like those of Caribbean funerals, “blending sombre moments of respect with ones celebrating life and sharing stories” and said late on Saturday night he had sat behind the piano in their hotel lobby and “entertained people… including the Prime Minister and hotel guests”.
“Everyone sang with me for two hours,” he said. “That was the feeling, that was a lot of fun.”
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The Toronto Star reported him as saying of the moment: “Have not seen a video, but I did, with a small group of Canadians, get to spend a few splendid minutes with the PM late on Saturday.
“And there was a piano in the lobby and I did play a few UK tunes as a spontaneous homage.”
A spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s office confirmed to Sky News that “after dinner on Saturday”, Mr Trudeau had joined “a small gathering with members of the Canadian delegation… to pay tribute to the life and service of Her Majesty”.
“Gregory Charles, a renowned musician from Quebec and Order of Canada recipient, played piano in the hotel lobby, which resulted in some members of the delegation including the prime minister joining.
“Over the past 10 days, the Prime Minister has taken part in various activities to pay his respects to the Queen.”
Some Twitter users found the moment distasteful, others joyful.
One said: “Way to go @JustinTrudeau. So proud that you are a human with joy and camaraderie.”
Another said: “Disgustingly inappropriate.”