The Queen Herself Told Michelle Obama That Royal Protocol Is "All Rubbish"

The former first lady raised eyebrows when she hugged Her Majesty.

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If the only thing that’s been stopping your true princess identity from coming to light is the pressures of royal protocol, then Michelle Obama may have just solved all of your problems. The rules and regulations that come with being in contact with the royal family often seem completely intimidating (seriously, we have no idea how Meghan Markle learnt it all so quickly), but maybe it’s not quite as confusing as we outsiders think.

Back in 2009, when the Obamas visited Buckingham Palace, the former first lady raised a few eyebrows amongst strict protocol believers, when she greeted Queen Elizabeth II with a hug. Sticklers for the rules would say that it was a complete no-no, but Michelle has revealed that the Queen herself was totally chill about the potential faux-pas.

In fact, Her Majesty went as far as to say that royal protocol is “all rubbish”, so we should probably all calm down about things like walkabout selfies, skirt lengths and *gasp*, shutting car doors.

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During her sell-out appearance at London’s Southbank Centre, where she discussed her new autobiography Becoming, Obama admitted that, even as First Lady, she’d been extremely nervous about meeting Her Majesty each time. Their last hang-out with the Queen saw the Obamas travel to Windsor Castle in 2016, where the monarch and Prince Philip personally picked the couple up in their car.

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According to the Daily Mail, the ex-FLOTUS told author Chinamanda Ngozi Adichie: “Of course your head is spinning because first of all I'm trying not to fall, which is a major thing that I think about in public. If you're thinking about my thoughts when I come out on stage it's ‘Don't fall’.”

“One of my primary goals for the eight years was to never become a meme,” Obama joked. “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…' and so the Queen says ‘Just get in, sit wherever’.

Proving that protocol isn’t the terrifying nightmare that we all imagine it to be, Michelle said: “She’s telling you one thing, and you're remembering protocol, and she says 'Oh it's all rubbish, just get in’.”

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It sounds like hiding their excitement about the meeting was more of a problem for the couple than anything else. “Barack is so incredibly fond of Her Majesty," his wife revealed. "And I won't go into his fangirling, but I think it's because she does remind him of his grandmother Toot, she's smart and funny and honest. He is a huge fan for sure,"

Next time you bump into Queen Elizabeth, and you're wondering whether to curtsey, bow, or complete some kind of secret handshake, just take a breathe. She totally doesn't mind.

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