Michelle Obama Touches Queen Elizabeth

America’s First Lady Michelle Obama broke royal protocol during a reception at Buckingham Palace when she placed her arm around the Queen of England. Her Majesty returned the gesture by putting her arm round Mrs. Obama’s waist, way out of the normal. Here’s the question, did Michelle breached protocol, by placing her hand on Her Majesty’s back? Yes, regardless of on air comments, touching the Queen of England is a definite no no, under most circumstances.

This started when Queen Elizabeth told the first lady, said she hoped they could stay in touch. The Queen broke royal etiquette herself by touching Michelle on the back. Michelle in return gave the Queen a back pat. Again, touching the Queen of England is a definite no no, under most circumstances.
The Obamas presented the Queen with an ipod loaded with about forty Broadway show tunes. I know the Queen has an ipod, its the thought that counts. Now this breech of protocol. So what’s the big deal, Touching the Queen of England is a definite no no, under most circumstances. What do you think about this?

[tweetmeme source=”emtsut”]

    • April 3rd, 2009

    Honestly, i refuse to believe that in the 21st century,someone will call it an abomination to touch the Queen. The Queen is no doubt the most respected and revered monarch today, but that does not place her beyond touch by fellow human being. This tradition is anti civilization. It should be dispelled with.

    • April 3rd, 2009


    • Barbara Miller-Stacey
    • April 3rd, 2009

    E M B A R R A S S I N G! Let me count the ways!!!! Apparently the Obama’s feel that they are above Royal Protocol. It was tasteless and showed great disrespect for Her Majesty.


    New Jersey

  1. I mean really? This is what is making headline news? Michelle Obama “touched” the Queen…So what. Doesn’t the world have bigger problems to be concerned with?

    • gcannon4
    • April 3rd, 2009

    I just think it’s a freindly gesture, and the media is over exagerrating.

    • miriam
    • April 3rd, 2009

    Oh wow. Michele Obama acted like a human being.

    I agree that she did broke protocol but i would rather have a warm reception than one where they could not stand each other.

    • Tam
    • April 3rd, 2009

    They both broke protocol…so what. It really looks more like they were comfortable with each other and Michelle forgot it was a no no. I DIDN’T vote for the Obama’s, but we need to be fair, the Queen was gracious enough not to make an issue of the mistake and things went along famously. Who wouldn’t want to touch the Queen…she looks so cuddly 🙂

    • Pat
    • April 3rd, 2009

    If Michelle Obama was pre-told not to touch she should not have done so. Not everyone meeting the President and First Lady/USA are into their habits of hugging or touching, and regardless of the Obama’s intelligence and stature, they still have the midwestern/Illinois ways (I am from Indiana and I probably would have done the same thing as Michelle had I not been told-its our way). What also exists is if the Obamas “were” told not to touch and elected to poo-poo the idea and touch anyway then shame on them for disgracing the USA (ME!).

  2. Nothing wrong with the Queen of England and the King of ameria’s Wife Michalle Obama, AKA Queen of America.

    • alicesama
    • April 3rd, 2009

    Well, the Queen did initiate it. I don’t see what’s wrong with it, but I’m not from England so I don’t see it from their point of view.

    • fragmintz
    • April 3rd, 2009

    Did they give her an iPod Touch as well? If so, then the touch is likely acceptable. If they gave her a Nano then it’s questionable, but a Shuffle would be completely inappropriate.

    • david
    • April 3rd, 2009

    The Queen is the shitt!

    • Victoria
    • April 3rd, 2009

    Get OVER it people. Like somebody already said, this is the 21st century. I respect her of course, but I would hope that by now we we are past the belief that a figure like herself is so far above us that nobody is worthy of touching her.
    Obviously the Queen didn’t care, so why should anybody else?

  3. Where did you get your information that it was a “breech of protocol” (sic)? Buckingham Palace says it was not, and I think they should know.

    • Knight Blue
    • April 3rd, 2009

    Good Aquaintence,

    The Queen of England. Interesting Topic.
    I would like to illuminate this mundane topic.
    Queens and Kings have been replaced in modern society, by presidents and prime ministers…
    The wife of President Obama, should have imperative status as a Queen. She is not what previous societies would expect. However, simple mannerisms and gestures have modernised to be afforded to exaggerated expressions. The main point is that this position of Queen and first lady is temporary. Death doesnt discriminate, you see. As they say, whether King, or beggar “You come into this world naked, and you leave this world naked” . So the Point is that one should not become bewildered by such power. We too, can occupy such positions. But No matter what state of power, you are never satisfied. Think carefully. When you were in primary school, you thought that when you reach high school, you would be happy. Then when high school came, you thought when you in tertiary school you would be happy. Still not satisfied, you desired a partner, thinking they would make you happy eternally. But the problems come, and you think when you have a child you would be happy. But this child comes wih its own…..Hence you can never be happy in this mundane world. You need to be spiritual and content from within to be happy. FAME DOESNT LAST. Dont be fooled. Take this energy and worship Krsna (all atractive/ God). Only the Lord almighty should be worshiped because only he, only he is the Supreme Lord of all Lords. Thank You.

    • Vinh Tran
    • April 3rd, 2009

    This is the first time that I’ve read about such protocol and I think it is ridiculous. Michelle is a new first lady so may be she still getting use to the proper etiquette for a first lady, but I think her mistake makes her human. I like the fact that she is not a typical first lady, she’s more human and personable. So she broke a protocol but protocols are meant to be challenge, touching brought people closer.

  4. I thought it was sweet. The Queen didn’t appear to be uncomfortable or offended by the gesture so I have no problem with it. Honestly, the Queen is a human being, perhaps she wishes more people like Michelle would break Royal Protocol.

    • Vinh Tran
    • April 3rd, 2009

    Barbara, you are I G N O R A N C E! Let me explains why: the Queen is not a frigging Ming vase, she can be touch, just because it’s a protocol does not means that we all have to obey it. Your comment show that you are not open to new ideas and experience.


    • Melissa Roth
    • April 3rd, 2009

    How embarrassing indeed! God forbid our leaders show any warmth to each other. I much prefer when Bush Sr. vomited on the Japanese Prime Minister.

  5. I agree. Can you say CLUELESS? And her white tank top wasn’t exactly an example of modesty.

    • Jean Thompson
    • April 3rd, 2009

    This is just stupid. If you don’t want to be touched you should never invite people to visit you. Why is it such a big deal. Don’t touch the Queen, curtsey when you meet the Queen, Don’t look at her to look. this is 2009, come-on people get real.

    • citizen
    • April 3rd, 2009

    Checking out the video, Mrs. Obama not only put her arm around the Queen, but as she was removing it, she slowly rubbed her open hand across the Queens back. I’m not even royalty and this type of touching from someone I have just met, regardless of who I am and who they are, would feel odd and a bit out of line.

    • Joe D’addario
    • April 3rd, 2009

    It is clear that you believe that some people are so above others, that a kind touch should be an abomination.
    olala!! the Queen can touch others but these”others” can’t touch her, because she is a superior being. Honestly, I do not think the Queen was offended by this touch, BTW she initiated herself. Get a life and learn that all human beings are created equal no matter “their status”. ahahahahahahah! what a joke.A gesture of kindness is welcome no matter who you are.

    • shandells
    • April 3rd, 2009

    I am half British, and I am proud that The First Lady was so welcomed by the Monarch. Enough, there was not one bit of disrespect. We are in the 21st century.

    • candelyn
    • April 3rd, 2009

    We have problems far greater than Michelle touching the Queen. Yes, there’s protocol, we have them ourselves, not to such extreme, but we do have them. I just don’t think we should make such a big deal over Michelle touching the Queen!

  6. How else are you going to prove the queen is really there or not?

  7. It was PERFECT! We have a First Lady who is acting like a FIRST lady. She showed respect while being warm and inviting, and yes….The Queen put her arm around Michelle as well.

    • cultured or in process
    • April 3rd, 2009

    If anything, this indicates a lack on the part of the preparation people that are supposed to prepare and present our U.S. dignitaries in the highest level of cultured and dignified manner.

    • leo
    • April 3rd, 2009

    There are certain protocols to follow even here in Washington and other countries esp.meeting the Queen. No matter how weird it is, 21st century now and what not, visiting leaders have to respect that. It’s their country w/ certain protocols and as visiting leaders, they need to respect it as when other leaders visit Washington vice versa. The First Lady being new to protocols in meeting world leaders and esp. the Queen forgot it, simple as that. The RH initiated it yes, but FL forgot she should have just stand and acknowledge the gesture by not patting/rubbing her back. The way I see it,it wasn’t a hug but should have been a quick tap on the shoulder but the Queen was way shorter than the FL. Notice, she removed herself right away w/out embarassing the FL but too late, the FL lingered her hand too long. Being a mistake, what can the palace do. Certainly there were more incidents of breaking the protocols in the past. It’s part of being a human not used to these kind of life everyday, it’s understandable. I’m sure the Queen and the palace accepted that also and moved on w/ their next agenda for the day.

  8. Okay, so the Obamas don’t know anything about protocol. That’s apparent in many, many areas. You learn that stuff at home and these two didn’t come from homes that know these upper class rules. Furthermore, the bigger glitch for BO is bowing to a king. Honest to God, does he not even know that we had a revolution so Americans wouldn’t have to do that nonsense? How dare he insult his own countrymen with this disgusting, foreign behavior! Act like the President of the greatest country on earth, not because of its power, but because of its liberty, for crying out loud. This is affirmative action for you.

  9. Touching the Queen, so what?

    • roniweiss
    • April 3rd, 2009

    One would think/hope that with the attention this post is getting that it could be reviewed for grammar/spelling problems.

    • llabesab
    • April 3rd, 2009


    • Joseph
    • April 4th, 2009

    I think what people are forgetting is that while it may be the 21st century, protocol is protocol. If protocol states you do not touch the queen than you do not touch the quees, its that simple. You cannot just brush aside the rules because you think they shouldn’t be there anymore becuase that is not for you to decide.

    • Clare
    • April 4th, 2009

    Brit here.

    Who’s saying it was a problem? A very few hard-line conservatives – that’s all. Most of us are not offended, we’re intrigued. It breached custom, and we’re interested that the Queen didn’t mind. If you actually spoke to real Brits, I doubt you’d find many of us spitting feathers about it. 🙂

    Obama is even more popular here than in the States – we have masses of respect for him and applaud your ability to elect a competent leader this time. 😉

    • elcigarro
    • April 4th, 2009

    Does anyone know what the exact protocol is? It may be protocol to not touch the Queen first, but if the Queen initiates then it may be protocol to reciprocate. If Mrs. Obama had not reciprocated the Queen’s gesture, I would think that to be worse than breaking protocol.

    • JACK
    • April 4th, 2009

    1> The queen is not queen of planet Earth, some people of planet Earth are not subject to royal protocol of the UK, the Obama’s are not subjects of the queen, therefore the Obama’s are not subject to royal protocol no more than is she subject to the formal protocol of the office of the USA president.

    2> The queen did in fact make the intial contact of “touching” as shown in camera.

    3> The spokes person of the queen has not noted any problem or concern with the touching between Ms Obama and the Queen

    • jamesacooley
    • April 4th, 2009

    Did she say: “Tag, you’re it!”

    Now that would have been a problem. For one thing, then the Queen would have then had to chase her around.

  10. When I read the title to this post, I thought maybe Michelle had metaphorically touched the Queen.

    • chillbill
    • April 4th, 2009

    Quite frankly I think the Queen probably appreciated First Lady Michele Obama breaking protocol. The Queen is probably sick of people always making a big fuss over her and just – for once, wants to feel like a regular person like everyone else. Forget all these formalities; the Queen wants to let loose and have some fun for a change. I’ll even bet that while no one was looking she slipped a little shot of brandy in with her tea. ‘Long live the Queen’ – now let’s live a little.

  11. The Queen need a touch maybe…

  12. Bueno, la reina es la reina, y si el protocolo lo establece así deben ser las cosas, no fue una visita familiar o de amigos, fue una visita OFICIAL!!! ¿Por qué no fueron en pantalones cortos, o en camiseta? Porque el protocolo así lo exige. No creo que la reina sea intocable, solo creo que el protocolo hay que respetarlo.

  13. If the Queen breaks the protocol first, all is good. If you run up out of nowhere and slap her with a ‘good game’ or a high-five or even a hug, you’re definetly in the wrong.
    Honestly, the Obama’s just ooze charm and warmth; hell I’d probably want to touch them too.

    PS Please check out my blog at ericethridge.wordpress.com and feel free to comment/pingback.

  14. Another Brit here. No-one’s remotely offended apart from a few up-tight, far-right stuffed shirts. Witnesses are quite specific that it was HM who ‘broke protocol’ by commenting on the difference in their heights, then putting an arm around the First Lady’s waist. Michele Obama merely reciprocated. It was lovely to see … the two ladies were obviously very comfortable with each other.

    If the Queen had objected … believe me, everyone would have known. The ‘Windsor freeze’ is unmistakable.

    Incidentally, the reason for the ‘no touch’ protocol is simple. With the number of people HM meets in the course of a week, she’d end up mauled …

    • orangestrings
    • April 4th, 2009

    oh. em. gee.

    i can’t believe this has gotten so much media. I mean, if the queen was offended, i’d understand. but! she’s not!

    please carry on with life. (:

    • lanceress
    • April 4th, 2009

    I think the Queen of England is cool. I would be disappointed if our Queen froze up to First Lady Michelle Obama’s warm gesture. The Queen’s reciprocation shows that she is a warm and human afterall. 🙂

    • David
    • April 4th, 2009

    Personally, I like the fact that you refer to her as the Queen of England – not as the Queen of the United Kingdom or Great Britain – and that none of your commenters pick up on the fact. Nice to see that there are still some people in the world for whom the word ‘England’ still refers to something, even if these people are mostly not from the UK and even if it is being used as a synonym for the United Kingdom.

    As for Michelle Obama’s gesture, she’s new in the job; she’ll learn. I’m sure that’s what the Queen thought, too. Not worth blowing apart the Special Relationship over!

  15. Ah… media…
    I don’t think it’s wrong…
    Everybody could show their unconditional positive regards for everyone.
    Nice post 🙂

    • champdefrene
    • April 4th, 2009

    As a brit, I can tell you that there are no real hardline rules in royal protocol; most are simply tradition which change over time. If one of these traditions is the allowance (or non-allowance) of physical contact, just let it change with the times. Much of the way the UK works is based on tradition. We have no constitution, no official language, etc.

  16. This is ridiculous and hardly worth a blog! I’m British… nobody gives two hoots about royal protocal. I’m starting to think she is actually Queen of the US and, frankly, you can have her!

    • emptysuit
    • April 4th, 2009

    David, I know and I’m sure many of the posters know she’s Queen of The UK.

    • Tom
    • April 4th, 2009

    One very good reason why the Queen should not be touched, groped or otherwise manhandled is that foreign politicians and business people may seek to gain advantage by being photographed cosying up to the Queen. Publicly she is an apolitical person and, as such, deserves not to be used as a prop.

    It’s nothing to do with her feeling superior to others, as the republicans (in the truest sense) would have you believe.

    Would you want Berlusconi all over you?! 😉


    P.S. There’s more here if you’re interested:


    NB. Feel free to delete the link if you think I’m being cheeky, Empty Suit 🙂

    • emptysuit
    • April 4th, 2009

    trends watch, Thanks, don’t be a stranger

    FRED AKINSEYE, great point, you said it tradition. Thanks, don’t be a stranger

    Barbara Miller-Stacey, start counting, there are 3 years and 9 months left. Thanks, don’t be a stranger

    Vinh Tran, just because it’s a protocol does not means that we all have to obey it. hum…? Thanks, don’t be a stranger

    Joe D’addario, the Queen can touch others but these”others” can’t touch her. that’s what I’m reading. Thanks, don’t be a stranger

    R U Serious, yes, bigger problems. Thanks, don’t be a stranger

    gcannon4, you might be right. Thanks, don’t be a stranger

    miriam, I’m confused with the ‘acted like a human being’ what is Michelle? Thanks, don’t be a stranger

    Tam, great points. Thanks, don’t be a stranger

    Pat, that is true. Thanks, don’t be a stranger

    asianjade, Michalle Obama, AKA Queen of America. Ha! Thanks, don’t be a stranger

    alicesama, no touch like that. Thanks, don’t be a stranger

    fragmintz, iPod Touch, funny. Thanks, don’t be a stranger

    david, O.K.! Thanks, don’t be a stranger

    Victoria, those that pay attention to these matters care. Thanks, don’t be a stranger

    thelegacylawyer, Buckingham Palace does know. Thanks, don’t be a stranger

    Knight Blue, great point. Where does worshiping Krsna fit in here? Thanks, don’t be a stranger

    daltomonte, what if she played it off? Thanks, don’t be a stranger

    Melissa Roth, that’s funny. Thanks, don’t be a stranger

    Jacob Webb, somewhere she is suppose to have tone arms, I haven’t seen any. Thanks, don’t be a stranger

    Jean Thompson, If you don’t want to be touched you should never invite people to visit you. I Like That!! Thanks, don’t be a stranger

    citizen, this was a little weird, Thanks, don’t be a stranger

    shandells, question, does it matter what century were in? Thanks, don’t be a stranger

    candelyn, It’s not just here, it’s everywhere. Thanks, don’t be a stranger

    Dekonstruct, touch to see if it’s real? Thanks, don’t be a stranger

    briancraig, hum…good point. Thanks, don’t be a stranger

    cultured, you’re right about preparation. Thanks, don’t be a stranger

    leo, great points. Thanks, don’t be a stranger

    LCPowers, your preaching now!! Thanks, don’t be a stranger

    carokann, Thanks, don’t be a stranger

    31. iPod Dictates Protocol in Queen Elizabeth Touching « Mintz’s Words Says: Ok, who did this?

    roniweiss, reviewed for grammar/spelling problems. I’ll remember this next time. Thanks, don’t be a stranger

    llabesab, I’m lost here, fill me in? Thanks, don’t be a stranger

    Joseph, they have forgotten. When rules and traditions are factored many refer to the ‘thats the old fashion attitude’ Traditions are the foundation of style and honor. Question, during a funeral we follow certin traditions that has been around for ages, what if we just start trashing bodies, take them to a dumpster and throw the body in? Will the 21 century protocol of disposing bodies be broken, will we say ‘this is the 21 century’ no! We follow the rules, traditions and keep honor. Great point. Thanks, don’t be a stranger

    Clare, It breached custom is right. Would you accept him as PM? Thanks, don’t be a stranger

    elcigarro, Thanks, don’t be a stranger

    JACK, so I can go to the white house and french kiss Michelle and rub her butt if she rubs mine? Thanks, don’t be a stranger

    jamesacooley, “Tag, you’re it!”? Thanks, don’t be a stranger

    iheartfilm, sorry about that. Thanks, don’t be a stranger

    chillbill, she probably did need that back message. Thanks, don’t be a stranger

    Fahmi, yes. Thanks, don’t be a stranger

    sumpah laper gila « Agungkrisnamurti’s Blog, Thanks, don’t be a stranger

    chanchamito, OK!!! I have to get back with you on this. Thanks, don’t be a stranger

    Eric Ethridge, the Obama’s are known for the fist bump. Thanks, don’t be a stranger

    Moira, I did mention this. Thanks, don’t be a stranger

    orangestrings, I’m surprised too. Thanks, don’t be a stranger

    lanceress, Thanks, don’t be a stranger

    David, I know and I’m sure many of the posters know she’s Queen of The UK. Thanks, don’t be a stranger

    djengwidz, Thanks, don’t be a stranger

    champdefrene, will this keep the honor of the position. Does this mean the next king should be treated like the common man? Thanks, don’t be a stranger

    psypressuk, I like your view of this. Thanks, don’t be a stranger

    • emptysuit
    • April 4th, 2009

    Tom, thanks for sharing this. Don’t be a stranger.

    • The Maven
    • April 4th, 2009

    I’m with you, LCPowers. The Obamas should have advisors to help them with protocol; but regardless, they should have read up on this sort of thing themselves, as most upper class people would have. They should have been studying protocol from the moment he thought about becoming president. And this won’t be the last incidence of their lack of savoir faire. They had better not leave their daughters out of the social schooling, either. In their posture, their dress, in all sorts of things, the Obamas are way out of their depth, socially. Maybe they should put John T. Molloy on retainer.

    • Red
    • April 4th, 2009

    it’s not like she put the Queen in a headlock.

    • David
    • April 4th, 2009

    “David, I know and I’m sure many of the posters know she’s Queen of The UK”.

    emptysuit, I know we English are famed for our irony, but I actually meant it when I said I was glad the Queen was being referred to as the Queen of England in your post and in the comments, despite the technical inaccuracy of doing so. So she is. And long live both she and England!

    • emptysuit
    • April 4th, 2009

    Red, we have this frail lady and Michelle with those toned arms…(yeah right)? patting and rubbing the Queens back, that could do some damage. The headlock wouldn’t be necessary. Thanks for your comment, don’t be a stranger.

    David, oh…we’re fine David. I didn’t take that as being offensive and I hope none of the posters didn’t as well. Thanks.

    Obama’s In Shocking Breach of Protocol « Laughter In The Dark, ok —>lets stay focus and stay south. Thanks, don’t be a stranger

    • Allestdeexy
    • August 10th, 2009

    Is the museum open on Sunday?
    signature: weblog hosting se5f85efef8ef8ef8e8fiiiiiiuefiekkk

  17. hi guys…….i am happy to see you here. u have Nice Blog Thank for sharing article with me.

    • Jim
    • November 14th, 2009

    Its quite simple. The Queen of England is annoited by god. In other words when you touch the Queen you are touching God!. The Queen has enough class not to make a big deal out of it, but I am willing to bet that she wont be making any across the pond visits anytime soon the the White House. I know Mrs Obama didnt mean anything but the best when she did it, its just that she most likely wasnt raised with a cotilion background so she just wouldnt know. People should give her a break, she is doing the best she can and from what I can see whe has made great progress since her ” This is the first time I can remember that I am proud of my Country statement” Give her time, she will do just fine in the long run. You can tell from her kids actions that she is a good and decent woman.

    • Kathy
    • March 17th, 2010

    I found it much more unacceptable for Obama to bow to the Saudia Arabian king. So what – Michelle touched the Queen. I’m much more pissed that Obama bows to Muslims.

  18. did the Queen trip on it? NO. She put her arm around Michelle. So whats the news here?

    Unless the royal guards pounced on Michelle and clapped her in irons, (they didnt) there was and still isnt anything wrong with it.

    Just more fodder for the freaks.

    • elen
    • November 4th, 2010

    The act of touching the Queen….is a definite blunder. The Queen would not feel comfortable with that gesture, no matter the kind intent meant. I’ve studied the Royal family for 30 plus years and you can bet your boots, Elizabeth made comments about it in private. The Obama’s advisors should be shot…..for not preparing these bumpkin’s for rubbing elbows with this level of society. It’s not better or worse society…..just different! Every country has basic social rules and the Obama’s need to show some American social savvy. Read a book….do something. The Queen’s own adult children do not touch the Queen in public……so why would Michelle Obama do so? The world has many interesting layers, but please stop the unacceptable bumbling behavior and don’t let these two Knit Wits expose America to any more ridicule. What will they do tomorrow? This is not a hoe down they’ve been invited to….this is World politics and the social etiquette that goes with it. At this level…no one cares if Michelle is a wonderful, Mom, Wife or Woman. The job title is “The First Lady Of The United States Of America”. You get one 4 year chance to get it right…….trust me……only one, so stop screwing up while you both are in the White House. How embarrassing! What will the history books say on the Obama’s performance?

  19. The negroid had no business putting her sweaty hands on royalty!

    • Dave
    • April 5th, 2011

    Let us not forget it was Americans who died saving Englands Arse in WWII.

    Any Brit, including the ruthless german decended monarchy should bow their heads to ANY american who blesses Englands soil with their presence as they did during the war

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