While recently promoting her new book, Becoming, at an event in London, Michelle Obama revealed some shocking news for royal fans everywhere. According to The Mirror, Michelle confessed that Queen Elizabeth doesn’t always perfectly abide by royal protocol and actually once called the rules “rubbish” when she and Barack Obama visited Windsor Castle back in 2016.
“I had all this protocol buzzing in my head and I was like, ‘Don’t trip down the stairs and don’t touch anybody, whatever you do,'” she recalled of being nervous to spend time with Queen Elizabeth. “And so the Queen says, ‘Just get in [the car], sit wherever’ and she’s telling you one thing and you’re remembering protocol and she says, ‘Oh it’s all rubbish, just get in.'”
Michelle, 54, probably wanted to do her best to abide by royal protocol since she was previously scrutinized by the public for touching the monarch’s back during their meeting in 2009. In Becoming, she recalled visiting with the Queen at the G20 summit and adorably said that the two ladies ended up bonding over their uncomfortable shoes and sore feet.
“I confessed then to the Queen that my feet were hurting. She confessed that hers hurt, too. We looked at each other then with identical expressions, like, when is all this standing around with world leaders going to finally wrap up? And with this, she busted out with a fully charming laugh,” she said.
“Our interaction at the reception was caught on camera, and in the coming days, it would be reproduced in media reports all over the world: ‘A breach in royal protocol! Michelle Obama dares to hug the Queen!’” she continued. Though Michelle didn’t know that she was breaking royal protocol at the time, the Queen apparently (and thankfully!) didn’t make a big deal out of the former First Lady’s gesture.
“I daresay the Queen was OK with it too, because when I touched her, she pulled closer, resting a gloved hand lightly on the small of my back,” Michelle said. “If I hadn’t done the proper thing at Buckingham Palace, I had at least done the human thing.”
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