British diplomats have raised American hackles with a commemorative party they held at their embassy in Washington to celebrate the burning of the White House on Aug. 24, 1814.
Adding fuel to the fire was the British tweet of a photograph of a White House cake with the British and American flags, and circled by fireworks. The tweet included the message: “Commemorating the 200th anniversary burning of the White House. Only sparklers this time!” In another tweet, the embassy announced a “White House BBQ” to mark the 200th anniversary of the “rather unfortunate event in UK/US relations.”
Americans were not amused, expressing their outrage in dozens of tweets to the embassy. One called it “extremely poor taste,” the Daily Mail reported.
Subsequently, the embassy issued an apology.
“We meant to mark an event in history & celebrate our strong friendship today,” embassy staff explained, the Daily Mail reported.
British troops in 1814 took over the White House during a 26-hour occupation of Washington, setting fire to several buildings — including the Capitol and the presidential home. A heavy storm and thunderstorm ultimately forced the troops to withdraw and go back to their ships.