The first thing to remember when meeting Queen Elizabeth II? Don’t touch her unless she reaches out first. So when First Lady Michelle Obama half-embraced the Queen when the two chatted at the G-20 reception at Buckingham Palace in 2009, British media gasped. The royal household remained diplomatic, however. A spokesman for Buckingham Palace said he didn’t remember the last time the Queen displayed such warmth in public. According to the Guardian, Obama is not the first one to break the no-touching “rule” — at least four people have done that before, including Paul Keating, then Prime Minister of Australia, who was branded the “Lizard of Oz” after he put his arms around Her Majesty in 1992. The Guardian writes that the Queen didn’t seem to mind Keating’s gesture that much — she allowed him to visit her Balmoral home.
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