Barack Obama breaks silence on moment Michelle broke royal protocol in front of the Queen


BARACK OBAMA has spoken out about the time his wife, Michelle, breached royal rules during an event at Buckingham Palace.

He wrote: “She was photographed with her hand resting on Her Majesty’s shoulder – an apparent breach of royalty-commoner protocol.

“Although the Queen didn’t seem to mind, slipping her arm around Michelle in return.”

Mr Obama had joked with his wife about wearing “those little hats and carry a little handbag” for the event.

He told her: “You should have taken my suggestion and worn one of those little hats. And a little matching handbag!”

The book, which was released on Tuesday, provides readers with an insight into the former President’s life, from his childhood through his first term as president.

The memoir will be published in 25 languages with a second volume is set to be announced.

Ms Obama also gave her account of the engagement at Buckingham Palace in her 2018 memoir, Becoming.

She had been speaking to the Queen about their sore feet after walking in heels all day when she draped her arm around Her Majesty.


The former First Lady wrote: “The Queen then glanced down at the pair of black Jimmy Choos I was wearing. She shook her head.

“‘These shoes are unpleasant, are they not?’ she said. She gestured with some frustration at her own black pumps.

“I confessed then to the Queen that my feet were hurting. She confessed that hers hurt, too.

“We looked at each other then with identical expressions, like, when is all this standing around with world leaders going to finally wrap up?

Royal Family tree

Royal Family tree (Image: Express)

“And with this, she busted out with a fully charming laugh.”

Ms Obama explained that they were just “two tired ladies oppressed by our shoes”.

She echoed her husband’s claims that the Queen “was OK” with her informal gesture despite facing backlash from royal fans.

Ms Obama wrote: “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.

The Queen greets the Obamas

Ms Obama had been speaking to the Queen about their sore feet after walking in heels all day when she draped her arm around Her Majesty (Image: Getty)

“I couldn’t have known it in the moment, but I was committing what would be deemed an epic faux pas.’

The Queen then reciprocated the gesture by placing her own hand on Ms Obama’s back.

Ms Obama added: “If I hadn’t done the proper thing at Buckingham Palace, I had at least done the human thing.

“I daresay the Queen was OK with it too, because when I touched her, she pulled closer, resting a gloved hand lightly on the small of my back.”


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