Editor's note: Jacqueline Whitmore is founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach and author of Business Class: Etiquette Essentials for Success at Work.
Jacqueline Whitmore | Bio
Protocol expert and author
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama looked both nervous and excited as they greeted Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip today at Buckingham Palace.
As the couple entered the room, the queen eagerly extended her right hand. Both the President and Mrs. Obama gave the royal couple the “glove” or the two-handed handshake, a handshake generally reserved for people you know very well. However, this most likely was their way of showing respect to Her Royal Highness.
After exchanging a few pleasantries, the royal photographer asked the foursome to strike a pose. It was no surprise that President and Mrs. Obama towered over the diminutive, 5’4” queen. As both couples stood side by side, everyone was careful not to touch each other, even by accident.
This greeting could have been uncomfortable for President Obama as he is known for giving warm and fuzzy pats on the back when he meets a person. Dressed in a conservative black and white dress, Mrs. Obama played it safe and maintained the girlish “fig leaf” position with her hands crossed in front of her body, a position that it not commonly used by confident women. This could also have been a case of nerves.
After all, who wouldn’t be nervous meeting the queen?
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
Questions or comments? Send an email
Want to know more? Go behind the scenes with