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  #81  
Old 04-03-2009, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al_bina View Post
'We are not offended': Palace tries to smooth over Queen's 'Why does he have to shout' jibe at Berlusconi | Mail Online
Given all protocol breaches, I have to say that protocol is not all that important for some members of international community. It is actually refreshing to see most Presidents observing protocol rules and not trying to put Her Majesty into an awkward situation.


The last thing Her Majesty might need is approval ratings ... As aptly noted by Aslet,
NOW THAT'S A FIRST LADY - Telegraph
That was an insightful article. I don't know how happy Obama was to be around the Queen as opposed to Gordon Brown, but it would make sense that meeting the Queen would be more meaningful to him (or anyone). Partly because of how long she's lived and partly because of the way she's lived her life, the Queen does have an ability to embody a kind of faithfulness and stability, in these turbulent times, that other public figures simply can't. It makes me wonder a little whether future monarchs...ie. Charles and someday William, but even their descendants...will be able to embody those values as well as the Queen does.

I guess I shouldn't have said "the Queen's approval ratings will go up with the Obama visit." Of course the continuity of the Queen's position doesn't really depend on "approval ratings," and that's what makes it so unique. I suppose what I meant was that because of Obama's status and popularity, anyone photographed with him tends to grow popular by association. On news sites, I certainly see people making comments such as, "Isn't it wonderful that our royals are getting along with Obama, and talking to the Obamas, and touching them!!"

Anyway. On the subject of the "protocol breach," I think it's rather refreshing to see that someone the Queen's age, who has been brought up on the importance of duty and protocol, can bend the rules every so often. I can't actually believe the "arms round each other" incident is making news headlines as much as it is. As for the Berlusconi incident, "Why does he have to shout?" sounds like it could have been a pretty innocuous question, especially since I have no idea why the man needed to shout when he was standing right behind Obama.

But oh, the gaffes! The protocol breaches! The press has to find something to write about, because the economy gets boring and so, apparently, does one big happy G20 family.
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  #82  
Old 04-03-2009, 04:53 PM
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I think all those people who are saying this was inappropriate etc need to calm down. Yes michelle perhaps should have been a little more reserved but its the obamas, they are used to being friendly and warm to people and when you are that sort of person its hard because its so second nature. Here is this nice 80yr old woman who is much shorter its ok for michelle to have had a lapse.
The queen very clearly didnt take offense at all. The buckingham palace response to this did amaze me "mutual display of affection and admiration", strong words from the palace. It is clear to me that the queen liked the obamas and the fact that she said after "now that we've met le'ts keep in touch, it would be nice", which i saw on an itn video, clearly shows that she liked michelle.
i understand why the press has made a big deal about this, remember its the queen she doesnt go around putting her arm around people.

Also with the berlusconi thing Im actually not sure what the queen said because its been said that she actually said "what is the point of doing a photograph, why?" and when i listen to it thats what its sounds like. What do others think?
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  #83  
Old 04-03-2009, 06:46 PM
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When I first heard about the big "faux pas" of Mrs Obama while getting dressed the other morning I held my breath...oh God!

Then I watched the evening news, saw the actual photos and read the British and American press.

WHY WHY WHY do some people thrive on controversy where none actually exists? You would have thought Michelle put Her Majesty into a headlock or gave her the infamous fist bump-my gosh!

Instead it was a spontaneous and simple gesture that the Queen HERSELF seemed to initiate.(putting her arm around the First Lady) Mrs Obama is one month older than the Queen's youngest child The Earl of Wessex. The Queen is known for being down to earth and basically kind underneath the regal exterior and probably sensed the younger woman's underlying anxiety(yes, even self-assured and intelligent folks like the Obamas might occasionally feel unsure of how to act in certain situations)

It's really much ado about nothing and if Buckingham Palace and the Royals are not offended I think we can all relax!
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  #84  
Old 04-03-2009, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Sister Morphine View Post
I'm an American and I didn't care. I didn't see anything disrespectful in the way Michelle acted. While I can accept that there are different definitions to the word "disrespect" depending on who you ask about any given situation, I would think if Michelle was truly disrespectful in the definition we can all agree on, we'd know about it.

BTW, all the ridiculous right-wing talking heads over here are all twitterpated about Michelle touching the Queen. As though she tackled her or something.

Is that really something to focus on with all the turmoil in the global economy? I don't know what upsets me more; that someone would care enough to angry or that the press would care enough to report on it. Mind you I'm talking about our press here, I don't know what the press in England is saying.
I'm not talking about the right here, I'm talking about when in Rome you do as the Romans do.
Were I ever fortunate to meet HM, I bloody well would read up on the proper etiquette for when I was to be presented to her.
As it is, we're a lazy society and I include myself. For example, poor Warren had to correct me again over in HM's thread when I mislabled the coat of arms as the flag. My faux pas that I can make here on TRF but would be mortified were it in real life, especially if it were in front of HM.
It would be nice for the Head of our Nation to set an example by following protocol for the rest of us.
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  #85  
Old 04-03-2009, 07:46 PM
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talk of the town

Thanks for the new thread moderator. Lots of interesting and funny comments.
Like I said-THE QUEEN , MICHELLE, THE HUG, THE CONTROVERSY.
It's all anybody is talking about.

Glad the economy has recovered
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  #86  
Old 04-03-2009, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Russophile View Post
I'm not talking about the right here, I'm talking about when in Rome you do as the Romans do.
Were I ever fortunate to meet HM, I bloody well would read up on the proper etiquette for when I was to be presented to her.
As it is, we're a lazy society and I include myself. For example, poor Warren had to correct me again over in HM's thread when I mislabled the coat of arms as the flag. My faux pas that I can make here on TRF but would be mortified were it in real life, especially if it were in front of HM.
It would be nice for the Head of our Nation to set an example by following protocol for the rest of us.
Russophile: I am sure that michelle was briefed about this but she might have slipped considering that this sort of behavior is second nature to her. The obamas are friendly and warm people that is why they are so well liked. And again the one person that should/might have minded about this didnt and the palace issued what in my view was a strong statement rather than perhaps what would have been the usual "the queen did not take any offense to mrs obama's gesture" sort of statement. Yes when in rome do as the romans do but umm the world isnt looking at michelle obama any worse today for it in fact it has endeared her to many more people and the queen in the process because it made her look less stiff.
I mean the queen is an 83 yr old granny too and well its not wonder that michelle had slipped into her usual friendly and warm mode.
This reminds me of that time that canadian athlete took that picture with the queen and put his arm around her and the queen had such a friendly natural grin on her face, gosh someone treating her like a normal human being. im sure she's okay with that every once in a while. She seemed to like the obamas.
I also loved that they gave her that songbook.
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  #87  
Old 04-03-2009, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Al_bina View Post

Does the precedent set by Mrs.Obama allow other First Ladies to provide hugs to Her Majesty?
Absolutely! Undoubtedly the new protocol rules are being chiseled into the requisite stone tablets at BP as I type this!

Seriously, though, I'd hardly call a brief touch on the back a "hug." Also, isn't The Queen the person who establishes protocol to begin with? From what I've heard and seen, she may have initiated the touch to begin with. And I'll tell you what: if The Queen touched me on the back, I wouldn't just stand there like a statue shivering over protocol. I'd reciprocate, just like Mrs. Obama did.

Really, this is all quite a little tempest in a teapot, isn't it?
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  #88  
Old 04-03-2009, 11:05 PM
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Yes, old fuddy duddy me is vastly over ruled. Gee, when I meet HM, I think I'll embrace her as well. After all, if Michelle Obama did it, then it MUST be okay! Protocal be damned! I'm warm, I'm funny, and gosh darn it! People like me!
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  #89  
Old 04-04-2009, 01:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Ella Kay View Post
Absolutely! Undoubtedly the new protocol rules are being chiseled into the requisite stone tablets at BP as I type this!

Seriously, though, I'd hardly call a brief touch on the back a "hug." Also, isn't The Queen the person who establishes protocol to begin with? From what I've heard and seen, she may have initiated the touch to begin with. And I'll tell you what: if The Queen touched me on the back, I wouldn't just stand there like a statue shivering over protocol. I'd reciprocate, just like Mrs. Obama did.

Really, this is all quite a little tempest in a teapot, isn't it?
I think that its unlikely the queen initiated but there are conflicting reports, its possible that she did. obviously the queen doesnt want people to go around hugging her etc but goodness I just dont understand what the big deal is, look at the buckingham palace press release. I dont think ppl would use those familiarities with her bc she is not an inviting person in that way anyway. its silly to think that since michelle put her arm around her and it was ok that everyone is going to do that now, clearly even michelle is unlikely to ever touch the queen again if she goes back to england given all the talk about this. If the queen didnt have a problem with this, why do other people? it is very very obvious that she didnt, the queen is very capable of showing displeasure. she wouldnt have been rude to mrs obama but then again we wouldnt have gotten the press release saying "mutual display of affection and admiration".
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  #90  
Old 04-04-2009, 05:45 AM
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Originally Posted by rmay286 View Post
Anyway. On the subject of the "protocol breach," I think it's rather refreshing to see that someone the Queen's age, who has been brought up on the importance of duty and protocol, can bend the rules every so often. I can't actually believe the "arms round each other" incident is making news headlines as much as it is.
As has already been said (by Al_bina I think), if HM had pulled away with a horrified look on her face or had not allowed her minions to release a 'HM didn't mind' statement, you can imagine those headlines!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Russophile View Post
Yes, old fuddy duddy me is vastly over ruled. Gee, when I meet HM, I think I'll embrace her as well. After all, if Michelle Obama did it, then it MUST be okay! Protocol be damned! I'm warm, I'm funny, and gosh darn it! People like me!
Indeed but you would also ensure you know and follow the protocol of the country you are visiting. The last person to handle HM was chastised and ridiculed in the press, why is this any different?
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  #91  
Old 04-04-2009, 06:21 AM
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Where's the Curtsey

I was finally able to access YouTube. I won't comment on the 'hug' . Body mechanics on both parts seemed awkward to me and the room was crowded. Not sure if it started as an embrace or an accident. But the Queen as always was gracious and kind.Actually what is bothering me was a SKYNEWS video showing President Obama and Michelle first entering the room to meet the Queen and DOE. The Queen has her hand extended. Michelle came in first (not the President) strode in like for a business meeting and vigorously shook HM hand and then the DOE. The President then came bowed and the took the Queen's hand. Then while the President and the Queen were talking Michelle makes a dip like "oh no I forgot to curtsey".I think Michelle was Very nervous. She also needs a more experienced White House etiquette and protocol staff.Nice to see the Queen reaching out and being kind to Michelle.
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  #92  
Old 04-04-2009, 07:26 AM
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Interesting to read your take on that video, sthreats. I, too, formed the view that Mrs Obama was very nervous. She seemed very uncertain as to where to stand when HRH called them to photo positions. He was standing back and she decided the thing for her to do was stand next to HM.

I think HM sensed how nervous she was but liked her and was trying to put her at ease with the hand on the back. The whole "incident" was very brief and I'm sure HM sensed Mrs O was trying to do the right thing and that she would not have been at all offended.
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  #93  
Old 04-04-2009, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Roslyn View Post
Interesting to read your take on that video, sthreats. I, too, formed the view that Mrs Obama was very nervous. She seemed very uncertain as to where to stand when HRH called them to photo positions. He was standing back and she decided the thing for her to do was stand next to HM.

I think HM sensed how nervous she was but liked her and was trying to put her at ease with the hand on the back. The whole "incident" was very brief and I'm sure HM sensed Mrs O was trying to do the right thing and that she would not have been at all offended.
Rosly and sthreats that's a good take on it, all the more reason for me to like the queen. Michelle is a girl from the south side of chicago, never did she imagine that she would be the first lady of the united states, much less did she imagine she would be meeting the queen. I am certain that michelle was properly briefed and that she asked all the necessary questions on how to conduct herself but she was so nervous it all probably went out the door. She was herself and the queen liked her.
What is so sweet about this all is how the queen can reduce the president of the united states to smiling like a schoolbo, in fact theres a picture of him when he was little with that same exact smile as in the pics with the queen, and michelle, a high powered harvard educated lawyer and the first lady of the US, to a nervous mess.
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  #94  
Old 04-04-2009, 12:38 PM
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It's disappointing that dry arguments over "protocol" should colour what was simply a spontaneous and very human expression of connection and tenderness. Whether it was HM or Michelle Obama who initiated the action (reports differ), it doesn't matter. It was sweet, showed HM in a whole new light, and has generated largely positive comment.

For royal-watchers like us, and I assume supporters of the British Monarchy as an institution and followers of the Royal Family, we should be pleased that this event put the Queen squarely on the front page at a gathering of the world's most powerful leaders. Who would have thought?

HM still has the capacity to surprise and delight. We've just seen proof positive that the 'royal mystique' is alive and well. Wonderful!
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  #95  
Old 04-04-2009, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Warren View Post
It's disappointing that dry arguments over "protocol" should colour what was simply a spontaneous and very human expression of connection and tenderness.
I am disappointed at the excuses being made for such a breach.

John Howard was lambasted for appearing to guide HM, Paul Keating was ridiculed with name calling, so why is it any different? In reality it is not!
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  #96  
Old 04-04-2009, 02:56 PM
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I am inclined to agree with Skydragon. It is not refreshing to see the protocol rules being broken. The excuse is clumsily inadequate, I dare to say.
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  #97  
Old 04-04-2009, 03:19 PM
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Oh dear, we are not at the Court of the Habsburgs.
I would have thought that any supporter of Her Majesty would be gratified at the positive coverage she has been receiving on both sides of the Atlantic, and elsewhere.
In terms of foreign policy she's done more for US-British public relations in half an hour than any number of diplomats or politicians could achieve.
Her simple gesture has proved to be a triumph for the Queen. Why deny her that?
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Old 04-04-2009, 03:35 PM
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The Obamas are the first BLACK couple to achieve the hight of power in the United States, no small feat for the racial history of the country. People are charmed by them and in this case an exception was made, it was sweet and lovely, that's it. No excuses are needed and no one died...
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  #99  
Old 04-04-2009, 03:54 PM
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but why should an exception be made for the obamas? because they're black? that's racist. Because they're new or nervous? hardly. If john howard and others have been lambasted for touching the queen, then so should michelle. and I saw the video and I dare say the queen didn't look entirely pleased when michelle touched her. in the video I saw, it looked as if the queen quickly pulled away from michelle, but its possible I saw an edited video. I can't remember where I saw the video either.
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  #100  
Old 04-04-2009, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Warren View Post
Oh dear, we are not at the Court of the Habsburgs.
I would have thought that any supporter of Her Majesty would be gratified at the positive coverage she has been receiving on both sides of the Atlantic, and elsewhere.
In terms of foreign policy she's done more for US-British public relations in half an hour than any number of diplomats or politicians could achieve.
Her simple gesture has proved to be a triumph for the Queen. Why deny her that?
Perhaps coverage of HM is not positive in Australia, because she already receives positive coverage here. I don't think the breaking of a rule almost everyone in the world knows has done anything for Anglo/American relations. As with everything there will be those who think it's OK and those that don't, that as ever depends who you talk to.

You shouldn't have one rule for Australian PMs and another for the wife of the current US President.
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