Michelle Obama reveals why she hugged Queen Elizabeth & recalls the backlash she received

Mary Scott
Nov 16, 2018
01:37 P.M.

When Michelle Obama met the Queen of England for the first time, she did what most people criticized as taboo. Now, Michelle is clearing the air and explaining what led to the famous hug.


In her new book, “Becoming,” the former first lady of the United States recalled her first meeting with Queen Elizabeth in 2009, PEOPLE reports.


Michelle was pictured putting an arm around the monarch during a Buckingham Palace reception and at the time, had no idea of the magnitude of her actions. She confessed her ignorance in the book:

“I couldn’t have known it in the moment, but I was committing what would be deemed an epic faux pas. I’d touched the Queen of England, which I’d soon learn was apparently not done.”

Michelle, 54, was afraid the backlash trailing her actions would overshadow the purpose of her and her husband’s visit, but she believes the Queen “was okay with it.”



Narrating the events that led up to the hug, Michelle revealed that it all started with something most people wouldn’t expect: their shoes.

“At some point toward the end of the party, I turned my head to find that Queen Elizabeth had surfaced at my elbow, the two of us suddenly alone together in the otherwise crowded room,” Michelle writes. “She was wearing a pair of pristine white gloves and appeared just as fresh as she’d been hours earlier when we first met. She smiled up at me.”

After the royal commented on Michelle’s height, the latter gave some credit to her Jimmy Choo shoes.



“These shoes are unpleasant, are they not?” Michelle recalled the Queen asking her. This was followed by a mutual confession of how much their shoes hurt:

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


“Forget that she sometimes wore a diamond crown and that I’d flown to London on the presidential jet; we were just two tired ladies oppressed by our shoes,” Michelle continued. “I then did what’s instinctive to me anytime I feel connected to a new person, which is to express my feelings outwardly.”


Michelle’s memoir “Becoming,” was released yesterday November 13th, and contains her perspectives on a lot of issues. Besides opening up about her infertility issues and marriage counseling with Barack Obama, the former U.S. president, Michelle let it all out by declaring she will never forgive President Donald Trump for putting her family’s safety at risk by supporting the conspiracy that her husband was born in Kenya, and so wasn’t qualified to be president.


Trump responded to Michelle’s comments, accusing her husband of putting the entire nation at risk.


Meanwhile, Michelle also confessed that when the current president won the election, she just wanted “to block it all out and go to sleep;” she didn’t understand why many women would reject Hilary Clinton and vote for a “misogynist” instead.



Michelle’s weighty revelations should come as no surprise. While revealing details of her book tour in September, the mom-of-two gave her Instagram followers a heads-up:

“I’m proud because it is candid, it is honest, it is totally and utterly me. I’m also a little frightened because it is so candid and honest and open but I can’t wait to share it with the world.”


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