When it comes to the British royals, there are tons of rules they (and we!) have to abide by—no selfies, no autographs and definitely no PDA. Still, there a few people who will ocassionally break these rules, one of them being former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama. While promoting her new memoir Becoming, Michelle shared one encounter she had with Queen Elizabeth, where she broke royal protocal by placing her arm around the Queen. Ladies and gentlemen, scroll for the tea...
Michelle Obama talks about the moment she broke royal protocal with Queen Elizabeth in 2009
The former First Lady was at London’s O2 arena on Sunday speaking with late night host Stephen Colbert when she revealed the details of her break in royal protocal that lead to an audible gasp around the world. “What is true among world leaders is that there are people who handle protocol, and usually the people they’re representing don’t want all that protocol,” she told Stephen. “So you wonder, well, who are you doing this for? Because they don’t want it, we don’t want it. But it’s just the way things are. So I don’t know that I could have done anything differently because it was a natural human reaction.”
And what exactly cause Michelle to place an arm around the Queen? In 2009, she and Barack Obama were visiting Buckingham Palace, where they met and mingled with the British royals. While talking to the Queen, they bonded over a shared aversion to heels. Apparently, they both lack arch support. “Forget that she sometimes wore a diamond crown and that I’d flown to London on the presidential jet," Michele wrote in her book. "We were just two tired ladies oppressed by our shoes. “I then did what’s instinctive to me anytime I feel connected to a new person, which is to express my feelings outwardly. I laid a hand affectionately across her shoulder.”
"I don’t know that I could have done anything differently because it was a natural human reaction,” the former First Lady told Stephen Colbert at London’s O2 arena on Sunday
She continued: “I couldn’t have known it in the moment, but I was committing what would be deemed an epic faux pas, but I tried not to let the criticism rattle me. If I hadn’t done the proper thing at Buckingham Palace, I had at least done the human thing. I daresay that the Queen was okay with it, too, because when I touched her, she only pulled closer, resting a gloved hand lightly on the small of my back.”
So basically, you can't really break royal protocal unless you're the fabulous Michelle. Then and only then will the Queen return the favor and lay a "gloved hand" on your back. Cheerio!