Michelle Obama caused the stiff upper lips of British artistocracy to form an “O” of surprise when she hugged the Queen of England. Sort of.
To be more precise, Michelle made physical contact with one arm. This apparently passes for a hug when one is discussing the Queen, who isn’t to be touched by order of royal protocol.
Photos of the scandalous encounter:
As you’ll note, the photos circulating would indicate that the body contact in question would be hard-pressed to be described as a “hug.” What Michelle did is the kind of casual one-armed embrace that folks do when they’re having an intimate, one-on-one conversation – particularly when there’s a massive height difference between the two of them. You know, the kind of physical contact that Coach Johnson has with little Billy when Coach is giving Billy those warm words of encouragement just before the kid goes up to bat in a close game at the bottom of the 9th.
As you can see by the pics, Queen Elizabeth returned participated in the “hug” (and we shall now duly note that she initiated it). The same cannot be said for the wink she was given by George W. Bush, which is truly a shame. Because a wink from the Queen of England would most certainly be something to remember, and let’s face it: England is our Mother country, and are either of these displays of affection anything that you wouldn’t do with your own well-loved, aging family Matriarch?
• verb (hugged, hugging) 1 squeeze or hold tightly in one’s arms. 2 keep close to: a few craft hugged the shore.
Now, truly: was Michelle’s gesture actually a “hug?” By definition, a hug requires two arms and a squeeze. Perhaps by definition 2 we can stretch it, but it’s a pretty long stretch. In any case, it’s been reported that the Queen was unfazed by this “extraordinary” occurrence and went with the flow of things.
Whatever you call it, the Royal rule is “Look with your eyes, not your hands,” so either way Michelle broke protocol. But both Michelle and Barack Obama are known for their hugging prowess, and Queen Elizabeth is hardly the most intimidating person that she’s touched before…
Enter the shocking photo of Michelle Obama hugging Oprah. I mean, really: who has the temerity to hug Oprah? Nobody hugs Oprah. Oprah is in fact so entirely anti-hug that the “Oprah hug” has made Urban Dictionary as a hugging alternative. Barbara Walters didn’t even get hug from Oprah, and Barbara Walters can get just about anyone to cry on her show. And Michelle’s hug for Oprah is a true hug by definition, involving both arms and an apparent squeeze. There’s even a second photo of a scandalous hugging encounter in the new issue of O magazine, proving that Michelle Obama is not afraid to brave a repeat hugging performance.
And so, with this controversial non-hug making worldwide headlines, we award two Fantasy T-wearer awards today. May the Queen enjoy her “Let’s hug it out” T-shirt at the top, and may Michelle Obama sport her “Break the Rules” T-shirt at all future official engagements – especially the ones that prohibit physical contact.
Because anyone who hugs Oprah isn’t afraid to break some rules, folks. Seriously.