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1 Michelle Obama Charms Britian on Fri Apr 03, 2009 12:07 am


Buckingham Palace: First lady did not offend queen
April 2: An unnamed source in Buckingham Palace said Thursday that no offense was taken when first lady Michelle Obama broke with protocol and touched the Queen. NBC's Brian Williams reports.
Nightly News

Michelle Obama, London's leading lady
April 2: From the Queen to high school teens, first lady Michelle Obama won hearts and minds across London, making a particularly emotional connection in a British classroom on Thursday. NBC's Dawna Friesen reports.

Recovering from the global economic meltdown
Michelle Obama inspires British schoolgirls

Michelle Obama charms Britain, hugs queen
Most viewed on staff and news service reports
updated 3:16 p.m. PT, Thurs., April. 2, 2009
LONDON - Michelle Obama's meeting with Queen Elizabeth II began with a handshake and ended in a hug that had the British press buzzing.

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.

"Did Michelle Obama break royal protocol by giving the Queen a hug?" asked the Daily Mail, which said the two women "clearly took to each other." It added: "No one including the ladies-in-waiting standing nearby could believe their eyes."

"Protocol is abandoned as Michelle Obama cosies up to Queen," blared The Times of London.

Michelle Obama's effortless style
The first lady looks as sophisticated in designer dresses as she does in outfits from J. Crew.

"Michelle walks in and she is as she seems," Holmes told reporters Thursday. "So warm, engaging, a beautiful, beautiful lady and I quickly got my photo in the middle of her and Sarah Brown," the prime minister's wife.

Mrs. Obama also seemed to win over the often feral British press.

The last time a first lady made such a hit in Britain was last year with French President Nicolas Sarkozy's wife, the former fashion model and songwriter Carla Bruni.

But on Thursday, London's Times newspaper had moved on, writing "Carla who?"

The BBC described Mrs. Obama as her husband's co-star rather than supporting act appropriate for a Harvard-educated lawyer.

Hugs students, too
Mrs. Obama visited an all-girls school in north London on Thursday afternoon. She told the 240 girls about growing up on Chicago's south side, and urged them to think of education as "cool."

Michelle Obama inspires British schoolgirls
April 2: The first lady wowed students in London. ITN's Lucy Manning reports.
Nightly News

"I never cut class. I liked being smart. I liked getting A's," she said. "You have everything you need. Everything you need to succeed you already have right here."

At the end of the visit, Mrs. Obama doled out hugs to the students, and was swarmed by them to the extent that some Secret Service agents stepped nervously forward.

2 Re: Michelle Obama Charms Britian on Fri Apr 03, 2009 3:55 am


Yep, Jerry Lewis, Michael Jackson, David Hasselhoff, and Michelle Obama. I'm glad the euros have shown such "taste" and good judgement.

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