Queen Elizabeth Was Happy to Hug Michelle Obama, and to "Show Affection and Respect" for Her

Michelle Obama famously broke protocol to give the Queen a hug—which, apparently, the Queen didn't mind one bit.

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In her new book, The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, the Dresser and the WardrobeQueen Elizabeth's longtime dressmaker and friend Angela Kelly spills the details on what it's like to work inside the royals' inner sanctum—and throws in some juicy anecdotes for good measure.

Included in the latter is some insider information about Michelle Obama's infamous hug with the Queen. Normally, protocol forbids people from touching the monarch, but Obama dispensed with those formalities back in 2009.

Some have suspected that the Queen was upset about this encounter, but as Kelly explains in her book, she felt quite the opposite. "The Queen has the ability to make everyone feel so relaxed that sometimes it feels instinctive to be tactile with her, just as Michelle Obama demonstrated during the State Visit with her husband, President Obama, in 2009," Kelly writes, per Hello.

queen elizabeth michelle barack obama

Barack and Michelle Obama pose with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip at Buckingham Palace.

(Image credit: Anwar Hussein)

"Much has been made about the meeting between Michelle and Her Majesty when an instant and mutual warmth was shared between these two remarkable women, and protocol was abandoned as they stood closely with their arms around each other's backs," Kelly continues. "In reality it was a natural instinct for the Queen to show affection and respect for another great woman and really there is no protocol that must be adhered to."

Kelly added, "When fondness is felt or the host of a State Visit goes to guide her Majesty up some steps, it truly is about human kindness and this is something the Queen will always welcome warmly."

Watch her warmly welcome Michelle Obama's hug below.

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Chloe Foussianes

Chloe is a News Writer for Townandcountrymag.com, where she covers royal news, from the latest additions to Meghan Markle’s staff to Queen Elizabeth’s monochrome fashions; she also writes about culture, often dissecting TV shows like The Marvelous Mrs Maisel and Killing Eve.