The British embassy in Washington has been forced to apologize over a party held to celebrate the burning of the White House.
Diplomats were left red-faced after a public outcry in America against the barbecue held on Sunday to mark the 200th anniversary of Britain capturing the US capital.
British soldiers set fire to the president’s home and Capitol House when they occupied Washington for 26 hours in August 1814.
The Daily Mail reports that the embassy even sent a message on Twitter from its official account with a photograph of a White House cake, flanked by British and American flags and surrounded by sparkler fireworks.
Commemorating the 200th anniversary of burning the White House. Only sparklers this time! pic.twitter.com/QIDBQTBmmL
— British Embassy (@UKinUSA) August 24, 2014
Public rage forced the embassy to issue an apology on social media.
The apology said: “We meant to mark an event in history & celebrate our strong friendship today.”
The 1814 fire caused substantial damage to the White House on the only occasion Washington was invaded.
The British occupation forced US President James Madison to flee Washington with his wife Dolly.
British troops were eventually forced to return to their ships when a heavy thunderstorm and tornado struck.
The Daily Mail reports that the embassy tweet sparked fury in the US with Americans lashing out at the ‘extremely poor taste’ message.
The War of 1812 between the US and Britain is known in America as the country’s second war for independence.