Michelle Obama says she will NOT HUG King Charles despite breaking protocol for Queen in 2009
ILLINOIS, CHICAGO: When Michelle Obama met Queen Elizabeth II in 2009, she accidentally broke royal protocol by placing an arm around the late monarch. In an interview with BBC Breakfast, the former first lady recalled the moment from the past which was considered one of the greatest taboos surrounding the British monarchy.
Touching, of any sort, was completely restricted when meeting the Queen and while Michelle's move raised several eyebrows, it was this move of hers that charmed the Queen. However, when the incident of her hugging the late Queen was brought up, Michelle admitted to having learned her lesson and was likely to not repeat it again.
My favorite Queen Elizabeth story is when Michelle Obama accidentally broke protocol by lightly hugging her as they commiserated about standing hours in uncomfortable shoes.— Ellston Logan (@EllstonLogan) September 8, 2022
Doing the human thing, if not the proper thing, she explained afterwards.
"Knowing there was a huge reaction when you 'broke' protocol when you hugged the Queen when you visited the UK, would you hug the King? Given the chance," asked the host Naga Munchetty. "I would take his lead. I would stand down until I was touched or hugged. I have learned that protocol," she said in response, as per Express.
Backtracking to the incident which caused an uproar among the British public, Michelle put her arm around the Queen which was shortly followed by the Her Majesty herself for a quick embrace on April 1, 2009. The act was considered a breach of the protocol as Queens do not hug, according to the Christian Science Monitor.
In a 2019 interview with Elle, Michelle addressed the moment once before, as she said, "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. So you wonder well who are you doing this for because they don’t want it, we don’t want it. [But] in that moment, no. That was absolutely the right thing to do, because it was the human thing to do." The outlet confirmed that the late Queen pulled her closer as she placed her gloved hand on her back. Michelle further stated that the Queen thought that royal protocol was "rubbish" and it was only their staffers who found it obligatory to follow.
As reported by Bazaar, the duo were having a relatable conversation about uncomfortable heels ahead of the 2009 G-20 summit at that time. Apparently, the Queen complimented Michelle's height to which the latter gave all the credit to the extra inches of her Jimmy Choos. Finally, Her Majesty "gestured with some frustration at her own black pumps" and said, "These shoes are unpleasant, are they not?"
"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. When I touched her, she only pulled closer, resting a gloved hand lightly on the small of my back," she explained in her memoir 'Becoming'.