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I think Queen Elizabeth has fallen in love

25 May

Queen Elizabeth is not a renowned smiler. I watched her pretty closely during the wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton and she certainly didn’t test out her cheek muscles on that occasion. But it seems there is someone who really makes her grin with glee – and that’s US President Barack Obama. He and his wife Michelle have had a sleepover at her house (Buckingham Palace) during a state visit to Britain. I just had to post these photos – the Queen looks positively love-sick and the photos of the Obama’s trip make for the most incredible holiday album I’ve ever seen.

The British Royals also seem to have fallen heavily for Michelle Obama. Normally, these staged ‘photo opportunities’ look incredibly awkward. There’s endless hand shaking and mindless and meaningless small talk. But look at the following snaps of Michelle Obama with Camilla, Kate Middleton and Prince Phillip. They all seem to be either engrossed in conversation, or simply beaming with happiness. What’s really interesting is that in many of the shots, the Obamas actually have their backs to camera – they’re not posing, they’re oblivious to the cameras – for them, it’s not just a photo op – it’s a genuine meeting.

Michelle Obama rocks an all-white gown at a State Banquet Dinner

Even the Queen succumbed to Mrs Obama’s charms. In a break with royal protocol, Michelle Obama touched the Queen, putting her hand on her shoulder – and – eek – the Queen reciprocated by putting her arm around Mrs Obama’s waist. Remember how Paul Keating was dubbed the ‘Lizard of Oz’ for doing the same thing? Well – no such offence taken when new BFF Michelle does it.

 All in all, the Obamas look like a helluva lot of fun – the kind of couple who would really spark up a dinner party. Their visit to Great Britain also included a stop in Ireland where the Obamas were treated like absolute rock stars. I’m sure Barack wished it were the same back home.. Here are some final snaps for the holiday album.

Playing ping pong with British PM David Cameron

Enjoying Guinness in Ireland

An eager Irish fan – check out the security detail’s faces

The Obamas get the rock star welcome in Ireland. He brought the house down by saying ‘Yes we can’ in gaelic