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Apr. 2nd, 2009 @ 09:06 am Don't Touch the Queen!
"No matter how silly the idea of having a queen might be to us,
as Americans we must be gracious and considerate hosts."
-Frank Drebbin (Leslie Nielson), The Naked Gun

So, on BBC World News America last night, the big story was the Michelle Obama/Queen Elizabeth II "hug heard 'round the Palace" - even though the consensus among the reporters from BBC America seemed to be "eh, Her Majesty didn't seem to mind." There's an article from Time.com expounding upon the hug - and denoting that the Queen touched the First Lady's back first. If you haven't seen the video of it, the way they were standing, this touch naturally lead to the sideways, intercontinental embrace.

My personal favorite line in the story, though, was this: "Less explicable was when President George W. Bush winked at the Queen." His legacy lives on!

Now, I don't know all of the politics and whatnot in the UK, but in my almost complete ignorance, I must say that a hug between national leaders can only be a good thing. Furthermore, and this is a complete assumption on my part, I would reckon the Queen lives a pretty isolated existence. Perhaps a hug every now and then would be welcome in such circumstances.

But, that's just me - your opinions may vary.
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From:goose_entity
Date:April 2nd, 2009 03:33 pm (UTC)
(See Entire Entry)
... some plebian republican touched THE QUEEN?!!?

A COMMONER TOUCHED THE QUEEN?!!!? CALL OUT THE PALACE GUARD!!! FIRE UP THE BONFIRES!!! READY THE GALLOWS - THERE'S A HANGIN' TO BE DONE!
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From:solarmonarch
Date:April 2nd, 2009 05:40 pm (UTC)
(See Entire Entry)
Once again, a show of common (as in universal) human warmth is labeled as a faux pas by dint of Divine Right.

Don't get me wrong, I agree with LK who said that the Obama Administration needs better protocol advisers - especially after the unfortunate gifts they presented to Gordon Brown when he visited the US. (D'oh!) If one should never touch the Queen, then one should never touch the Queen. Period.

I mean, I can say I wouldn't go hugging Her Royal Highness - I'm about as common (as in plebian) as one can be. However, if 5 years from now my (hypothetical) spouse was President of the United States and I were meeting THE Queen of England, and she put a hand on my back in a friendly gesture in front of 50 flashing cameras, I can't guarantee I wouldn't automatically return the gesture in kind.

...and since I'm a fella, the gallows might actually be employed...
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From:solarmonarch
Date:April 2nd, 2009 05:50 pm (UTC)

HugGate 2009: Another Take

(See Entire Entry)
Well, here's another take on the story - this one from the Associated Press. Here's an excerpt:
Mrs. Obama clearly made an impression with the 82-year-old monarch — so much that the smiling queen strayed from protocol and put her arm around the first lady in a rare public show of affection.

It was the first time Mrs. Obama — who is nearly a foot taller — had met the queen. The first lady also embraced her.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman who asked not to be identified because of palace policy said he could not remember the last time that the queen had displayed such public affection with a first lady or dignitary.

"It was a mutual and spontaneous display of affection," he said. "We don't issue instructions on not touching the queen."
So now it's the QUEEN who broke protocol. Fascinating.

By the way - in other news, some stuff is happening in some kind of meeting with important whatnots from other countries - some kind of "summit" I think they called it. Is that like the mall "The Summit"?

Here ends your American news report.
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From:goose_entity
Date:April 2nd, 2009 06:03 pm (UTC)

Re: HugGate 2009: Another Take

(See Entire Entry)
it is rare indeed for Her Maj to indulge in anything resembling a PDA...!
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From:solarmonarch
Date:April 3rd, 2009 02:32 am (UTC)

Re: HugGate 2009: Another Take

(See Entire Entry)
Well, I hope the trend continues. The world could use more mutual and spontaneous displays of affection.