The Queen Wasn’t Fazed When Michelle Obama ‘Broke’ Royal Protocol

Remember when Michelle Obama broke royal protocol while greeting Queen Elizabeth back in 2009? As it turns out, the moment wasn’t nearly as controversial as the tabloids made it seem.

Angela Kelly (the queen’s personal assistant and senior dresser) discussed the incident in her all-new memoir, The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe. In an exclusive excerpt obtained by Hello! magazine, Kelly admitted that the protocol breach wasn’t all that serious.

“There are certain things that are understood to be accepted protocol when it comes to interacting with Her Majesty,” she said. “Supposedly, you should never put your arm around the queen, for example. But when human instincts kick in, sometimes this is absolutely the appropriate thing to do.”

michelle obama queen elizabeth
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Kelly went on to say that Obama didn’t technically break royal protocol when she put her arm around the monarch. “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 seemingly ‘abandoned’ as they stood closely with their arms around each other’s backs,” she added.

The exchange took place in 2009 during a state visit at Buckingham Palace. While several outlets reported on Obama’s mistake, Kelly confirmed that it wasn’t an issue for Queen Elizabeth.

“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,” she continued. “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.”

Take note, people.


Senior Editor

Greta Heggeness is a California-based editor at PureWow and has been writing about entertainment since 2015. She covers everything from awards shows to exclusive celebrity...