"Now we've met, will you please keep in touch?" - her Majesty the Queen, to Michelle Obama.
The usual suspects are crowing about an alleged breach of protocol - although as Ed Morrissey points out, the Queen started it by putting her hand around Michelle's back affectionately. The Times of London explains:
A breach of protocol? Hardly. Buckingham Palace was very relaxed today about the incident, and attitudes there have changed significantly since the days of Mr Keating and his lese-majesty. And no, they don’t issue instructions to people about not touching the Queen. “This was a mutual and spontaneous display of affection and appreciation between The Queen and Michelle Obama,” said a Palace spokeswoman.
What they don't quite understand is how Michelle Obama's informality and realness was a huge hit, even among the royals. London was agog. This is an America Britons actually relate to in the 21st century. Her best moment came at a London school for girls. I'll let the Telegraph explain the rest:
Fighting tears at one point, she described her audience as "the future leaders of Great Britain and this world". She said: "Although the circumstances of our lives may seem very disengaged, with me standing here as the First Lady of the United States of America and you just getting through school, I want you to know we have very much in common. "For nothing in my life ever would have predicted that I would standing here as the first African-American First Lady. "I was not raised with wealth or resources or any social standing to speak of." She spoke of the importance of love, strong values, education and a "whole lotta hard work" as she described her childhood, and said: "You too, with these values, can control your own destiny, you too can pave the way. "I am an example of what is possible when girls from the very beginning of their lives are loved and nurtured by people around them. "I was surrounded by extraordinary women in my life who taught me about quiet strength and dignity. "Whether you come from a council estate or a country estate, your success will be determined by your own confidence and fortitude. "We are counting on you, we are counting on every single one of you to be the best that you can be." Mrs Obama provoked hysteria at the school as she arrived, as more than 300 onlookers lined the street nearby.
Yes, the Telegraph is the Tory paper. Not all conservatives look at the Obamas and feel revulsion.
(Photo: Students from the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Language School in London hug US First Lady Michelle Obama during a visit to the school on April 2, 2009. Michelle Obama dared touch Queen Elizabeth II, but the US first lady has made such an impact in Britain that she was spared the media savaging that has gone with previous breaches of royal protocol. The pair met at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday. The British monarch put her arm around the waist of President's Barack Obama's wife. The much taller first lady responded by putting an arm around the queen. By Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty.)