Why did the Queen's remarks on China's 'rude' officials get picked up by TV cameras? Blame her umbrella

Queen Elizabeth II speaks to Pastor Kofi Banful and Jayne Banful in the garden of Buckingham Palace on May 10, 2016.
Queen Elizabeth II speaks to Pastor Kofi Banful and Jayne Banful in the garden of Buckingham Palace on May 10, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON - The British media reported on Thursday (May 12) that Queen Elizabeth's plastic umbrella was to blame for causing comments she made about "very rude" Chinese officials to be picked up by a TV camera.

The Queen had thought she was out of range of microphones when she had a frank discussion on Tuesday with a senior policewoman about the behaviour of the Chinese during the State visit by Chinese president Xi Jinping.

But the clear plastic canopy of the umbrella amplified her comments and sent them towards a microphone belonging to her own personal cameraman, reported The Daily Mail.

An insider told the Telegraph: "If she had been holding an umbrella made of fabric, it wouldn't have happened.

"But because it's plastic, it reflects the sound like a satellite dish."

Cameraman Peter Wilkinson has been the Queen's cameraman for 18 years.

But he is employed by the BBC, ITV and Sky - and therefore could not choose to edit out the comments even if he had spotted them.

The BBC took the decision to broadcast the "private" conversation.