April 2nd, 2009
03:33 PM ET
13 years ago

Buckingham Palace weighs in on first lady's touching moment

(CNN) – First lady Michelle Obama did not breach protocol by touching Queen Elizabeth II at a reception for world leaders attending the G-20 summit, Buckingham Palace told CNN Thursday.

"It was a mutual and spontaneous display of affection and appreciation between the Queen and Michelle Obama," the Royal Press Office said in a statement Thursday. "The London Summit reception at Buckingham Palace was an informal occasion," the statement also said.

No breach of protocol occurred, according to the Royal Press Office, because Buckingham Palace does not issue instructions about how to address the Queen.

Filed under: G-20 • Michelle Obama • Popular Posts
soundoff (79 Responses)
  1. Azar

    It is much ado about nothing.Those objecting do not realize that we are in the 21st century now.

    April 2, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  2. Patrick - Indianapolis

    Geez Michelle, why would you dare do something so human?? It's like you're just being a nice person or something. Disgusting. Just disgusting! haha

    April 2, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  3. Much ado about nothing

    I saw the Queen place her arms around Michelle, it would be wierd if Michelle did not do the same. Much ado about nothing for reporters!

    April 2, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  4. Jackie in Dallas

    1) The Queen touched Mrs. Obama first, which is an indication that she was in appreciation of our First Lady and lowering the formality of the occasion. As we are not subjects of the British, the protocol is somewhat different that it would be for a subject of the queen.
    2) It won't matter a fig to the critics of the President and First Lady, even the ones who scream and yell about the privileges of the queen and her tax free income that makes her one of the wealthiest people in the world. If there is even a ghost of a chance to criticize, they'll take it.

    April 2, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  5. yasmine

    so proud of the Obamas... Michelle was beautiful and Mr Cool was at it again... being sooooooooooooooooooooo cool...

    there are some jealous people out there.... stop making up drama where there is none

    April 2, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  6. thoughtful

    Good Lord have the press nothing better to do that pick on something like this. The Queen is not a god, why cant she be touched? This is the height of pretentiousness. While I realise that the above article is a clarification on another story, in this day and age that is the height of ridiculousness. Mrs O did nothing wrong and this should never been a story in this age we live in.

    April 2, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  7. Dutch, Bad Newz, VA

    Did you expect Michelle to kiss the Queen's ring or something? She's a queen, not a mafia don.

    April 2, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  8. Mari

    That's lovely. Regardless of "pomp and circumstance" the queen is a mere ........ mortal....... who responds to a kind gesture. Michelle is a 'real' person, and I am sure the queen was impressed with Michelle's authenticity.

    April 2, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  9. Robin

    I don't always like Michelle Obama, but she did nothing wrong.

    The Queen was very warm to her and she followed suit, no protocal broken.

    April 2, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |

    Michelle Obama is a polished, highly educated, well-travelled lady. I am certain she was well-advised as to observing and maintaining the apprpriate protocol when engaging with the Queen. Her "cuddle" (as the British press is referring to it) with the Queen was in response to an overt show of affection from Her Majesty. The Queen touched Michelle FIRST!! The Queen, by the way, is not known for public displays of affection, so I say kudos to Michelle for garnering such a rare royal treat! She must've made a very favorable impression indeed!

    April 2, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  11. Mel

    As a Canadian living in the US, that was wonderful to see. I've never seen the queen be so affectionate toward anyone. The Obama's have such an interesting, and totally effortless, effect on everyone they meet.

    April 2, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  12. genell

    I think that's a wonderful thing 2 see the queen and the first lady having small talk!

    April 2, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  13. Lillie

    First Lady Michelle Obama is not only beautiful but she's intelligent....educated at America's top schools!! And the Queen and Prince Philippe were so happy to meet them and the Queen not only laughed but she smiled throughout the conversation with our President and the First Lady!!! Buckingham Palace's welcome mat for Pres. and First Lady Obama were genuine NO matter how the pundits try to put a negative spin on the visit!

    April 2, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  14. independent liberal

    maybe the Queen likes the First Lady? and the Queen can do what she wants, 'cuz she's , ummmm , the Queen....,

    April 2, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  15. Ken in NC

    Well that's good because The First Lady didn't seem to have a problem with it either. I think it is perfectly fine if the Queen wants to touch the First Lady. I never gave a thought to the Queen touching The First Lady as a breach of protocol (smile).

    April 2, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  16. Bill

    Protocol is a creation of human beings. Therefore certain human conduct should not break protocol, as long as the conduct was not inhuman or indecent.

    April 2, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  17. Gloria - Minnesota

    I'm so relieved that our First Lady did not breach protocol! Whew! I was concerned this may affect the entire outcome of the G20 and forever besmirk the new, budding relationship between Great Britain and our new administration!! (I am obviously being facetious.)

    Michelle Obama is genuinely a warm, caring person, and I believe Queen Elizabeth would also enjoy being more spontaneous if the ancient traditions allowed.

    I'm proud of our President and First Lady, and it appears the world is impressed as well!!

    April 2, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  18. Mike O'Brien

    Our First Lady did just fine.. Mike in Montana

    April 2, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  19. Dan in NY

    If you watch the video, you see the Queen actually embraced Mrs. Obama first. It was appropriate for the First Lady to reciprocate. The First Lady made no breach of protocal.

    April 2, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  20. Todd

    Imagine that.....The first wife knows nothing about proper protocol or how to properly present herself (and therefore the country) when dealing with political issues overseas!

    Sounds an awful lot like her husband!!!!

    April 2, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  21. Canadian soccer mom

    Non verbal communication goes a long way to express someone's sense of another. I thought it was wonderful.

    April 2, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  22. Jim El Paso Tx.

    Man...COMMON SENSE rules instead of what's politically correct! Refreshing:)

    April 2, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  23. shoegazer

    Well,it certainly wasn't like she put the Queen in a headlock and"noogied"her coif'.Get over such trivial matters.

    April 2, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  24. Elariia

    Given the various global crises, it's hard to believe this "touching" incident has been so touted in the MSM, especially since, we're told, the Queen touched first.

    There are so many promising advances that were made as part of the G-20 summit–the deal with Russia, for example, as well as the seeming upturn in the markets.

    Message to the MSM: Give negativity a rest!

    April 2, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  25. williefloyd

    Has everyone not realized that "tongues will always wag" when the Obamas are mentioned in any way?? The old green eyed monster has to rear its' ugly head at every opportunity. I love it when her arms, which are to die for, are criticised by those with probably "flabby arms".

    April 2, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
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