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U.S. admits queen's birthday blunder

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. State Department has conceded committing a diplomatic faux pas by sending birthday greetings to Britain's Queen Elizabeth II a week early.

Spokesman P.J. Crowley allowed that Friday's message from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton wishing the queen well on her 84th birthday and honoring the “special relationship” between the U.S. and Britain was premature.

Better a week early than a week late, he said.

The queen's actual birthday is April 21, but by tradition British monarchs celebrate a second, so-called official birthday, on a Saturday in June decided by the government — this year on June 12.

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