April 1st, 2009

Royalty Etiquette: The President Meets the Queen

by Jacqueline Whitmore

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama looked both nervous and excited as they greeted Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip today at Buckingham Palace.As the couple entered the room, the queen eagerly extended her right hand.Both the President and Mrs. Obama gave the royal couple the “glove” or the two-handed handshake, (a handshake generally reserved for people you know very well).However, this most likely was their way of showing respect to Her Royal Highness.After exchanging a few pleasantries, the royal photographer asked the foursome to strike a pose.It was no surprise that President and Mrs. Obama towered over the diminutive, 5’4” queen.As both couples stood side by side, everyone was careful not to touch each other, even by accident.This greeting have been terribly uncomfortable for President Obama as he is known for giving warm and fuzzy pats on the back when he meets a person.Dressed in a conservative black and white dress, Mrs. Obama played it safe and maintained the girlish “fig leaf” position with her hands crossed in front of her body, a position that it not commonly used by confident women.This could also have been a case of nerves.After all, who wouldn’t be nervous meeting the queen?


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