Former President of the United States Barack Obama has opened up for the first time about what exactly happened when he and his wife, Michelle Obama, attended a G20 summit at the Buckingham Palace back in 2009 and met Queen Elizabeth II.
At the time, the politician and his spouse made headlines as Michelle was captured on camera with her hand hugging Queen Elizabeth, which is a huge violation of the British royal protocol.
However, the former leader of the free world referenced the event and talked about it in his new autobiography, A Promised Land, which recently hit the stores.
According to Mr. Obama, the monarch was not at all offended by his spouse’s gesture, as he stated that the Queen did not seem to mind.
She was photographed with her hand resting on Her Majesty’s shoulder — an apparent breach of royalty-commoner protocol.
In the book, Obama revealed the exchange that took place between the then-First Lady and the Queen: “Although the Queen didn’t seem to mind, slipping her arm around Michelle in return.”
The ex-President even found something funny in the situation as it was reported that he humorously advised his wife, “You should have taken my suggestion and worn one of those little hats. And a little matching handbag!”.
Michelle Obama herself has talked about the controversial moment, as she referenced it in her own book, Becoming, which was published two years ago.
According to the former First Lady of the United States, she and the Queen had just found a common topic and were discussing how uncomfortable their shoes were and how their feet were hurting after spending hours wearing high heels.
In her autobiography Becoming, Michelle described the scene by stating, “I then did what’s instinctive to me any time I feel connected to a new person, which is to express my feelings outwardly. I laid a hand affectionately across her shoulder”.
The famous narrator added: “The Queen then glanced down at the pair of black Jimmy Choos I was wearing. She shook her head. ‘These shoes are unpleasant, are they not?’ she said. She gestured with some frustration at her own black pumps.”
Michelle concluded by saying that she did the human thing and added: “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?”
She also shared: “If I hadn’t done the proper thing at Buckingham Palace, I had at least done the human thing. 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.”
At the time, Michelle claimed that she had no idea she was breaking the rules.