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Archive for Friday, April 3, 2009

Queen charmed by U.S. first lady

April 3, 2009

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Michelle Obama, wife of U.S. President Barack Obama, left, walks Wednesday with Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II at the reception at Buckingham Palace in London.

Michelle Obama, wife of U.S. President Barack Obama, left, walks Wednesday with Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II at the reception at Buckingham Palace in London.

— Michelle Obama’s meeting with Queen Elizabeth II began with a handshake and ended in a hug.

The first lady arrived Wednesday with President Barack Obama. After separate meetings on the eve of the G-20 summit, the couple attended an evening reception for world leaders hosted by the queen.

Mrs. Obama clearly made an impression with the 82-year-old monarch — so much that the smiling queen strayed slightly from protocol and briefly wrapped her arm around the first lady in a rare public show of affection.

It was the first time Mrs. Obama — who is nearly a foot taller — had met the queen. The first lady also wrapped her arm around the monarch’s shoulder and back.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman who asked not to be identified because of palace policy said he could not remember the last time the queen had displayed such public affection with a first lady or dignitary.

“It was a mutual and spontaneous display of affection,” he said. “We don’t issue instructions on not touching the queen.”

When the former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating put his arm around the queen in 1992, the tabloids dubbed him the “Lizard of Oz.”

When his successor, John Howard, was accused of doing the same, a spokesman insisted: “We firmly deny that there was any contact whatsoever.”

In 2007, President George W. Bush gave the queen a sly wink during a visit she paid to the United States.

The Daily Mail said the “two women clearly took to each other.”

Comments

Confrontation 5 years ago

I can't believe that the British still fund this stupid and useless "Monarchy" crap.

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ArumerZwarteHoop 5 years ago

I heard Obama and the Prince of Wales shared some malt liquor on the front porch. Another good sign the special relationship is alive and well. In a minor breach of etiquette the prince had a paper bag on his St. Ides.

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HermioneElliott 5 years ago

The report I heard said that the Queen made the first move. It would have been rude of Michele not to do the same. I see this as a good sign. I never had any doubts that he would be a good president and she would be an excellent first lady. Naysayers have been nit picking since day one. I would say that with the men, it was more inappropriate.

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Alia Ahmed 5 years ago

By the way, I also didn't think it was a big deal when GWB touched the queen, either. We are much more physically demonstrative in this culture and hugging or putting your arm or hand on someone you're talking to is second nature for most of us. I understand protocol should be observed, but everyone slips up once in a while and being gracious about slight mishaps should be part of protocol also. Just my humble opinion.

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Alia Ahmed 5 years ago

Multi,

The articles I've read written in the UK didn't think "the touch" was that big of a deal. Since you and I are obviously on different sides of the fence when it comes to the Obamas, I'm sure our own views cloud our perspective on this. Here's a link to a story in The Guardian, a major UK newspaper.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/blog/2009/apr/03/g20-berlusconi-queen-michelle-obama

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Dec84 5 years ago

Multi, it is to early for your BS opinion. The article states “We don’t issue instructions on not touching the queen.” So how is that a breach of protocol? STFU.

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Multidisciplinary 5 years ago

This report is not quite the same spin this is getting over there. Obama first put her arm around the Queen, who graciously countered with the same. For the most part, the 'touching' is coming across as an appalling beach in protocol, showing how our new leaders are not ready for the office they hold.

This is just one step up from Forrest Gump showing LBJ his 'wound', or telling Kennedy he needed 'to go pee'. :)

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