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April 2nd, 2009
11:42 AM ET

Buckingham Palace on Michelle Obama and the Queen's 'touching moment'

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/04/02/art.michelle.queen.hug.jpg]

From Buckingham Palace Press Office

"It was a mutual and spontaneous display of affection and appreciation between the Queen and Michelle Obama.

The London Summit reception at Buckingham Palace was an informal occasion".

A Buckingham Palace Press Officer said there was no breach of protocol as they do not issue instructions on how to address the Queen.

Apparently, on a trip to the U.S. members of the public hugged the Queen.


Filed under: Michelle Obama
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Tammy, Berwick, LA

    Don't we have a world economy going to hell in the proverbial hand basket right now? Won't our grandkids and great-grandkids be paying for the ineptitude of these leaders who allowed this financial fiasco to ensue? Don't some of us have to actually worry about whether or not retirement funds will exist instead of being a fantasy we were taught should be reality? Get a grip. Report on the real issues. And leave this nonsense to entertainment rags.

    April 2, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  2. Emma

    I think I would have reacted as Michelle Obama: the queen is an old lady and you just feel like touching (holding?) her. At that age they are very fragile (even a queen) !

    April 2, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  3. Tarja, Finland

    Let`s use common sense here. It`s good to know the proper protocol but after that it`s up to us to make sense of it. Times change . We can loosen up a bit nowadays, okay ?

    April 2, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  4. Tina Autry

    Let's talk about something really important.. I really could care less about bowing, pranam, etc... This is the First Lady of the United States of America. She doesn't have a queen...(well maybe Queen Latifah). No need to act like a British subject...because she's not one. Let's focus on the summit...not the stupid protocol...

    April 2, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  5. Becky

    It's a nice gesture that's all it is. Two individuals like the rest of us showing affection.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  6. Annie Kate

    I would think the Queen would get terribly tired of all the etiquette around her and would appreciate a human touch once in a while. I didn't think anything of Michelle's "hug" for the Queen; but I do think the Obama's need some coaching on the gifts.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  7. Jane

    The Queen is royalty, if not to Americans at least to her own country. And protocol should be observed, protocol for her country, not ours. And give me a break, an iphone? for pete's sake somebody up there give them some pointers on etiquette, etc. and cover your arms once in a while! geeeeze.

    April 2, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  8. Khunya

    Michelle Obama is the first lady of the most powerful country in the world. She could employ thousands of highly knowledgable advisers to help her dealing with different protocols when she visits different countries. Not all countries are alike when it comes to protocal meeting the highest head of the states or government. It's all about etiquett, social or royal etiquett and the respect for the tradition of the country she' visiting in which she seems to lack of the knowledge.
    Never mind in America, everybody is equal. I think she made a big blunder. And Buckingham Palace came out to the rescue just to want to save the Obamas face.
    I was also relieved that she decided to cover her armpits and not to show off her muscular arms when they were granted private audience with the queen. Sorry, I happen to have root from one of the country which still have strong monarchy as head of the state. And I do believe in correct protocol.

    April 2, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  9. Larry

    Surprised the obamas didn't rip the queen's head off in response to her ancestors having shipped the obamas ancestors over here as slaves.

    April 2, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  10. Michelle

    It looks sweet. When I'm walking with my grandmother I always embrace her in some form. It's just a subtle way of saying, "I'm right here supporting you in case you need a little help." Protocol, schmotocol, if she was to loose her footing, would they just let her trip to keep from touching her?!! That's ridiculous.

    April 2, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  11. William of Iowa

    The people of the United States of America bow to no one but God ( and sometimes we don't even do that). The discomfort some might feel about this "faux pax" – a french term – of touching a monarch should bother no one save those who place, support and worship there existence. I thought it was a gesture of love and respect, a very American excercise.

    April 2, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  12. Lori from IL

    A hug between two human beings - a wonderful thing!

    April 2, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  13. ruby in CA

    The Queen is adorable. If I met her, I'm sure I'd be tempted to pick her up and carry her around in my pocket like a pet kangaroo.

    April 2, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  14. Lisa in CA

    Wow, there is nothing else of concern for some but to find fault with the Obamas and their actions. Talk about making a mountain out of a molehill!

    April 2, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  15. Yolanda Garcia-Lemaitre

    Anderson, I did not see any other wife of a president touching the queen? I do not think is proper etiquette, also I think she should take a bow to the Queen out of courtesy

    To bow or pranam is an act of dignity and honor, expressing a recognition of the divinity that is present in the human heart. It is to that divinity that we bow. In a pranam, the head is lowered below the level of the heart.
    All the best,

    April 2, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  16. GF, Los Angeles

    I truly don't understand what the big deal is. Apparently the Queen and the First Lady had a connection and hugged – let's move on to more important things – the economic crisis – never ending war in Iraq and Afghanistan – etc. etc.

    April 2, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  17. Teresa, Oh

    If there was no breach of protocol, why is this even a story?

    I think if most of us got the opportunity to be that close to the Queen we would love to hug her : ) If it were permitted, of course.

    April 2, 2009 at 1:56 pm |
  18. Cathy C

    I'd hug the Queen too – she's a nice lady!

    April 2, 2009 at 1:22 pm |
  19. Jodi Upright

    Thank Anderson for clearing that up. After listening all morning to the news networks chatter about the First Lady's lack of "royal protocol". I was a bit embarrased for America! Ha! Now can we have some substantive reporting on the G20?

    April 2, 2009 at 1:20 pm |
  20. Gilbert Martinez

    Wonderful stories coming out of London about our President and his visit with the Queen. It is really nice to see and hear something positively civil during these very tough times.

    April 2, 2009 at 1:20 pm |
  21. Danyel

    Why are you guys treating this as if she was the creator? She is a regular person just with a fancy title. If someone should me love like that I would be pleased and honored. Why try to point out every mistake or mistep the president and first lady are doing just be happy that they are representing the US welln and not falling or tripping all over the place.

    April 2, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  22. delia

    listening to the news about this, you would think it is an issue...or just want to make news...geesh, there are more things to worry about then someone showing spontaneous display of affection and appreciation...I LOVE the photo, the world should have more of this type of display!

    April 2, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  23. Rita

    Who cares? What is she made of some precious metal that will melt if you touch her. . . .

    April 2, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  24. Maria

    OMG, I'll be sooo nervous dealing with all of the "Protocol"

    Just very overwhelming...

    April 2, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  25. Pantz

    With all the protocol that's associated with meeting, talking and eating with the Queen, I don't think I would want to meet her. Maybe a quick glance or hi and bye. I know I'd mess up terribly.

    I would like to hear what the Queen had to say about the visit though.

    April 2, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  26. Jennifer

    I just find it kind of ridiculous that people choose to focus on this at all when they're are so many more important issues to talk about concerning the president and first lady's trip.

    April 2, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  27. shirlee dwyer

    michelle obama was the only person to do what was said to be a
    "no-no", i.e., rub the queen's back - i believe this was purposeful,
    and i feel comparisons of michelle to jackie kennedy are very much off the mark, but that michelle obama is trying to be a "re-make" of jackie kennedy. it really does not matter, however, as long as barack
    gets "the job" done. i would like to suggest, for future gifts: items in
    crystal or gold or silver, or boehm birds, etc. cd's are available everywhere. have a crystal "white house" commissioned for gifts
    for royalty, etc. what was in the box given to mrs. bush, at the airport –
    assorted cupcakes? yes, i believe there is more to sophistication
    than one's clothing. and making bare arms one's trademark!

    they are bright and beautiful people, but need some coaching!

    April 2, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  28. Melissa

    Simply wonderful.

    April 2, 2009 at 12:15 pm |