Michelle Obama recalls the time she broke royal protocol with the Queen

By: Meaghan Wray

Michelle Obama has had many encounters with members of the Royal Family, but none as memorable as the first time she met the Queen. The former first lady recalled the headline-making moment during a recent appearance in Toronto. “I touched her!” Michelle said with a laugh, adding that because the monarch touched her first, she felt it “was the nice thing to do!” Little did she know, the “break in protocol” would make waves around the world.

The mother of two opened up about her royal encounter during her first appearance in Canada since her husband, Barack Obama, left office. She was the guest of honour at the Economic Club’s ‘The Economics of Equality: Advancing Women and Girls to Change the World’ panel on Tuesday (Nov. 28). Looking beautiful in a patriotic blue and red dress, Michelle was joined at the event bySophie Grégoire Trudeau.

Michelle and Sophie attended a ceremony at the White House last year.

When she wasn’t delivering inspiring words on gender equality and the power of education, Michelle touched on her friendship with Prince Harry, who she has worked with on a variety of charitable initiatives. When it comes to touching the 32-year-old royal, she joked, “He’s okay. That’s allowed.”

Michelle isn’t the only famous face who has been called out for “breaking royal protocol.” Canada’s former Governor General David Johnston caused quite a stir earlier this year when he grabbed the Queen’s elbow during a meeting outside Canada House in London. The 76-year-old was quick to address the chatter by explaining that he was simply helping Her Majesty navigate some slippery stairs.

RELATED: Governor General David Johnston breaks royal protocol to help the Queen

"I was just anxious to be sure there was no stumbling on the steps. It's a little bit awkward, that descent from Canada House to Trafalgar Square, and there was carpet that was a little slippy, and so I thought perhaps it was appropriate to breach protocol just to be sure that there was no stumble,” he told the CBC, adding that he’s “certainly conscious of the protocol.”

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