Britons' Interest in Michelle Obama Grows After Royal Meeting
By Mary Jordan
LONDON -- Michelle Obama, dubbed "Mighty Michelle" and the "new Jacqueline Kennedy" by British media, has dared to do what few have even considered: She put her arm around the queen.
In photos blasted on front pages and television screen, Queen Elizabeth II and Obama are shown in an embrace at a reception Wednesday.
"Protocol seems to be dispensed with when the Obamas come to town," said the Times of London, which noted that the queen seemed particularly comfortable with the first lady and "put her hand on the back of Mrs. Obama, who did the same for a few moments."
When Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating put his arm around the queen in 1992, he was chastised as "Lizard of Oz."
"In this democratic age, the queen will go along with anything," said Kenneth Rose, a well-known royal biographer. "But like most members of the royal family, she doesn't like to be touched. It doesn't come naturally to press the flesh."
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