Let’s hug it out, Queen

Let's hug it outMichelle 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:

michelle obama hugs queen michelle obama hugs queen

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.
wink t-shirt
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?

With headlines flying all over the place about Michelle’s “hug” and the “gaffe” and such, we decided to look up the definition of “hug” in the Queen’s English.  Here it is:


verb (hugged, hugging) 1 squeeze or hold tightly in one’s arms. 2 keep close to: a few craft hugged the shore.

break the rules t-shirtNow, 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…

michelle obama oprahEnter 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.

  1. “Michelle Obama caused the stiff upper lips of British artistocracy to form an “O” of surprise when she broke royal protocol by hugging the Queen of England…”
    “…As you can see by the pics, Queen Elizabeth returned the “hug.””

    I just need to point out that it was the Queen who initiated the “hug”, not Michelle Obama.

  2. Just when I thought the Obama’s were done embarassing us in front of the world. As if the Gordon Brown DVD gift wasn’t bad enough, BO had to give Her Majesty an iPod containing Show Tunes and footage of his own speches. Lovely.

  3. Now, if she’d hugged the queen with both arms and lifted her up with legs flailing about wildly, that would’ve been a definite breach of etiquette. 😉 Seriously though, if this is getting any kind of negative news press than it must be a pretty slow news day, imo.

  4. I agree with Chloe1732…Hey Obama’s…YOU DON’T TOUCH THE QUEEN…Hellooooo…Christ, these people are so hopelessly clueless it aches…across the board. Oh yes, the iPod was another goofy touch…

  5. none of you are very informed and your feigned shock at our president is embarrassing yourselves. the show tunes of rodgers and hammerstein are favorites of the queen’s.obama knew it and that’s why he presented her with some original rare songbooks as well. the i-pod was loaded with those tunes as well as video of the queen’s visit to america where YOUR favorite president WINKED at her. now, look for other reasons to show your dislike of our president.

  6. I don’t see a minor break in protocol, that the queen didn’t seem to mind, as any big deal. Michelle was just a little more informal than the press is used to seeing someone around the queen. It’s not like the President bowed down before a foreign dictator that sponsors terrorism. Oh, wait a minute. Nevermind.

  7. To: David Helton
    In addition to their unwarranted over-familiarity with Queen Elizabeth, there are many, many more reasons to dislike this lightweight. For starters there are 3.2 trillion of them. Obama is in a game way over his head…and it shows. His tenure as president is going to be a very bumpy and unpleasant ride for our country. ‘Just my take.

  8. What is funny is that the “hug” in question was an act of ignorance not an act of boldness. If in the culture of the country you visit says you do not touch their queen…then don’t do it. That is not only rude, but mind bogglingly ignorant on Michelle’s part.


    All of the people just looking to nitpick might ask themselves what they’d do if the fricking Queen of England walked up and put her hand on your waist. Michelle Obama is a foot taller than this elderly lady and it’s a natural thing to reciprocate that kind of contact.

    Isn’t the rule in foreign relations to do as the others are doing? She FOLLOWED THE QUEEN’S LEAD!

    Very funny that these people aren’t saying anything about George W. Bush’s cocky wink to the Queen. That did not go over well and she DID NOT wink at him first either.

    Get a life haters. Finally America isn’t the world’s Asshole Country anymore and you can’t even be happy about it.

  10. These Brits are so freaking stupid with their stupid protocol. Who is the Queen that she can’t be touched? She is just another human being with flesh and blood. If she doesn’t wanna be touched let her go find an abode in a cave somewhere away from human beings.

  11. Hey Jamie…America was NEVER the world’s “asshold country”…that’s why so many want to come here. Lay off the Kool Aid brother and get a grip on reality. Have a nice day.

  12. Hey Jim… how much international travel have you done during the Bush administration and beforehand? I travel extensively in Europe and Asia and I hate to break it to you… but we did become the asshole of the world during Bush. That’s what happens when you run around blowing up countries, so that your Vice President and his cronies can bank away millions of dollars. (Since you probably overlooked that fact it’s through stock in a company that gets to rebuild what we blew up without allowing any competing bids for that goverment contract.)

    Before you go on about how Dick Cheney didn’t personally make money off the Iraq war, go do your research because it’s not a matter of debate. That’s a fact. Whether it bothers you or whether it’s wrong is a matter for debate… but the facts are the facts. Google Halliburton.

    People who think that everyone loves America never leave America. And no… going to South Padre Island doesn’t count.

  13. To John:

    I’ve traveled extensively, before, during and recently. We’ve NEVER been the asshole of the world to people who have the slightest clue what really going on. Sorry to break this to you but you’ll just have to choke it down hard.

    Regarding Cheney, he sold his interest in Halliburton very early on in his tenure as vice president so that dog just won’t hunt. Try something else. I guess the facts are the facts, right?

    Have a nice day…

  14. To John:

    First, Cheney didn’t give his pals anything. You accuse him of profiting from Halliburton when it’s a matter of record that he sold his holdings off early on. You need to do some homework and find out what Halliburton actually does. They have some unique capabilities that very, very few companies possess. But that won’t stop your unsupported accusations. You might be taken a little more seriously if you dealt in the world of reality instead of Kool Aid. Oh well…

    Have a nice day anyway…

  15. Hugging Oprah is frightening, what if her hair fell off? What if the first 3 layers of spackle stuck to your cheek? What if the industrial gaffers tape came loose, snapped you as it released the tsunammi that is Oprah’s real waist? Hugging the Queen might get ya 3-5, hugging Oprah might result in permenant injury!

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