Everyone knows that gas is a fact of life, although there is little comfort in it when a fart escapes in public and causes embarrassment. Indeed, sometimes the reaction to a fart is more embarrassing than the act itself, as illustrated by the story we will share with you below.
It is customary for US Presidents to pay state visits to the UK, where they meet Queen Elizabeth II and other members of the Royal Family in the usual pomp. During one of these visits, according to a story circulating on social networks, then US President Donald Trump was treated to a carriage ride with the Queen.
This, supposedly, happened during this journey (from a Facebook post as of October 31, 2021):
A little humor from Donald Trump which returns today in memory of 2018:
As Air Force One arrives at Heathrow Airport, President Trump heads for a warm and dignified welcome from the Queen.
They are driven in a 1934 Bentley to the outskirts of central London, where they transform into a magnificent 17th-century carriage harnessed to six white horses. They continue to Buckingham Palace, greeting the thousands of jubilant Britons; everything is fine.
Suddenly the right rear horse lets out the most horrific fart ever heard in the British Empire. The smell is so excruciating that the two passengers in the car have to put handkerchiefs on their noses. The fart shakes the coach, but the two heads of state do their best to ignore the incident.
The Queen politely turns to President Trump and says:
“Sir. Mr. President, please accept my sincere regrets. I am sure you understand that there are things that even a queen cannot control.
Trump, always trying to be “presidential,” replied:
“Your Majesty, don’t think about it anymore. . . until you mentioned it, I thought it was one of the horses.
It’s a funny anecdote to be sure, but before taking it for a gospel, let’s consider this variation of the same story. posted on facebook in 2011:
President Obama and the Queen are in a 6-horse drawn carriage when a horse lets it fly with a smashing fart. The smell is excruciating. The Queen turns to Obama: “Please accept my regrets. I’m sure you understand that there are things that even a queen can’t control. Obama replies, “Your Majesty, don’t think about it anymore. Until you mentioned it, I thought it was one of the horses.
And this version, which circulated by email uploaded in December 2003:
At Heathrow Airport in England, a 300-foot red carpet was stretched over Air Force One and President Bush strode towards a warm but dignified handshake with Queen Elizabeth II. They rode in a 1934 silver Bentley to the outskirts of central London where they boarded a 17th century open coach drawn by six magnificent white horses. As they made their way to Buckingham Palace, each looking their own way and waving to the thousands of jubilant Britons lining the streets, everything was going well. It was indeed a glorious demonstration of pageantry and dignity. Suddenly the scene was shattered when the right rear horse let out the most horrific, overwhelming and mind-blowing breath of gas, and the carriage immediately filled with noxious fumes.
Uncomfortable, but still in control, the two dignitaries tried their best to ignore the whole incident, but the Queen then decided it was a ridiculous way to deal with a most embarrassing situation. She turned to Mr. Bush and explained, “Mr. Mr. President, please accept my regret. I’m sure you understand that there are things that even a queen can’t control.
George W., still the gentleman from Texas, replied, “Your Majesty, please don’t think about it. You know, if you hadn’t said something, I would have assumed it was one of the horses.
And this version, featuring President Bill Clinton, who also toured in the early 2000s via forwarded email:
One day, President Clinton was visiting Queen Elizabeth and she decided to take him for a tour of London in the Royal Carriage. Now the car was being pulled by six royal stallions and one of them suddenly passed the gas. It looked like a twenty-one gun salute, it was so loud. The smell permeated the interior of the car and the Queen was utterly devastated.
“I apologize profusely for the terrible smell inside the car,” she said.
“Oh, it’s okay,” the president said, for a minute I thought it was the horse. ”
Here we have Ronald Reagan shares a horse-drawn carriage ride with the queen:
One of Queen Elizabeth II’s favorite stories is said to have been about a ride she took with President Ronald Reagan, during his visit to London, in the Queen’s State Carriage. While parading through London, one of the horses in the Queen’s carriage suffered an embarrassing gas attack. As the horse goes wild, the driver of the car and the guards do their best to maintain decorum.
Queen Elizabeth is said to have turned to Reagan and said with a smirk, “I’m sorry, Mr. President, but there are things that even a Queen cannot order.”
Reagan smiled back at her and leaned close to the Queen and said, “Don’t worry, Your Majesty. In fact, if you hadn’t said anything, I would have assumed it was the horse.
The two laughed all the way to Buckingham.
Obviously, this story of majestic decorum shattered by the breaking wind, at least as presented in the examples above, is a contemporary bawdy legend, not a historical fact. That being said, we close with this excerpt from the obituary of Brigadier Sir Gregor MacGregor, 23rd Chief of Clan Gregor, as published in The Telegraph, April 15, 2003:
A good rider, MacGregor once passed the troops when his mount cut the wind loudly. “Sorry, Brigade of Drums,” he shouted.
“’It’s okay, sir,’ retorted a piper. “We thought it was the horse.”
Brigadier Sir Gregor MacGregor of MacGregor. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/1427537/Brigadier-Sir-Gregor-MacGregor-of-MacGregor.html. Accessed November 8, 2021.