9. No Touching!
British royalty, no matter how stuffy and annoying they seem to us, have rules. Meeting the Queen of England is an old ritual that comes with all the trappings of protocol that should be respected, particularly because they are friends. Strangely, with Obama’s strong desire to bow to foreign leaders, he managed to stop himself in England. But Michelle got touchy. There is a long standing rule that no one is to touch the Queen. In fact, when a former Prime Minister of Australia accidentally touched her on film he earned himself the nickname “Lizard of Oz.” So when Michelle draped her arm around the Queen with familiarity (after only knowing her for a few minutes) the British press went nuts. Americans tend to think these things are silly, and I somewhat agree. But what happened to the international genius that was going to “repair our image” around the world? They couldn’t read a quick guide to meeting the Queen before…meeting the Queen? Aren’t there people whose sole job responsibilities are informing the first family of the multitudinous protocols for international travel?
Not only did Michelle embarrass herself, but the Obamas gave the Queen a ridiculous gift. An ipod filled with Obama’s speeches. I can’t figure out which is worse. Is it the arrogance of presuming the Queen wants to hear you blather on all day long, or the lack of research and thought that went into giving a gift she already had? That’s right, the Queen already had an ipod. Either way, it was gauche.