WASHINGTON – But will she be amused?

The 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 a congratulatory message from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton sent Friday on what the department thought was the eve of the queen’s official birthday had been premature.

“We were a week early,” the chagrinned spokesman told reporters, adding quickly, “As always, better to give a greeting a week early than a week late.”

In London, Buckingham Palace confirmed it was aware of the mistake but declined to say whether the State Department had offered an apology. Under palace policy, the queen’s office does not comment on details of correspondence with other nations.

“No offense was taken at all,” said a palace official, who spoke anonymously in keeping with official British policy.

The queen’s actual birthday is on April 21, but she celebrates a second, so-called official birthday, on a Saturday in June decided by the government — this year on June 12. The tradition of celebrating two birthdays began under King Edward VII, who was born in November but wanted his birthday parade to take place in summer weather.

Clinton’s message, sent on behalf of President Obama and the American people, wished the queen well on her 84th birthday and hailed the “special relationship” between Britain and the U.S.

Singer adds second adopted son to family

NEW YORK – Sheryl Crow is the mother of another baby boy.

The singer-songwriter announced Friday that she has adopted another son, Levi James, who was born April 30.

The 47-year-old shared the news on her website, and her publicist confirmed the adoption.

She wrote that “Wyatt has a new little brother!” referring to her 3-year-old son, who is also adopted.

The Grammy winner has also appeared on ABC’s “Cougar Town” this year.

Retrial in purse theft bags NYC mechanic

NEW YORK – It was a real-life remake, with a different ending.

A mechanic was convicted Friday of burglary in the theft of Kirsten Dunst’s $2,000 designer purse and actor Simon Pegg’s cell phone and other items from a chic hotel, a 2007 heist that forced the co-stars to twice play the part of witnesses.

James Jimenez, who said he just tagged along on what he thought was a co-defendant’s legitimate errand, was convicted of trespassing after a trial last fall. But that jury deadlocked on the more serious burglary charge, spurring a retrial that brought the actors back to the witness stand this week.

Their roles were simple: They explained that their possessions disappeared from a SoHo Grand Hotel penthouse suite they were using as a lounge during filming for “How to Lose Friends & Alienate People,” and that they didn’t know the men they later saw ambling around the penthouse floor on surveillance video.

The star witnesses added a dash of Hollywood to the Manhattan trials.

Dunst, best known for her roles in the “Spider-Man” series, and Pegg, whose credits include 2009’s “Star Trek” movie, described details ranging from the duties of a third assistant director to their takeout dinner from the high-end sushi restaurant Nobu.

A representative for Dunst didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail inquiry after the verdict. Pegg’s spokeswoman declined to comment.

Jimenez, 36, faces up to 15 years in prison at his sentencing, set for June 23. He still maintains his innocence and plans to appeal, said his lawyer, Robert Parker.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.