Barack Obama Once Called Queen Elizabeth ‘Truly One of My Favorite People’
Barack Obama is apparently a huge fan of Queen Elizabeth. During his first term in the Oval Office, Obama met Queen Elizabeth and he reportedly impressed her so much that she invited him back to the United Kingdom after his presidency was over. While Her Majesty clearly enjoyed Obama’s company, he once revealed that she is “truly one of my favorite people.”
Queen Elizabeth invites Barack Obama back to Buckingham Palace
Queen Elizabeth hosted Obama and his wife, Michelle Obama, at a Buckingham Palace reception in 2009. Following their visit, royal expert Tom Quin claimed that Her Majesty “fell in love with” Obama, who gave her a “soft spot for Americans.”
“The Queen has a soft spot for Americans after meeting Barack Obama who she completely fell in love with – so much so that she has frequently asked her courtiers if they could arrange for him to come to Britain now he is no longer President,” he stated.
According to Express, it is very rare for Queen Elizabeth to meet with an individual once they are out of office. The only exception to this rule was Nelson Mandela, who had a very close friendship with Her Majesty.
Queen Elizabeth usually only meets with heads of states and foreign diplomats, so extending an invitation to Obama was a pretty big deal. We do not know if Obama will ever take up Queen Elizabeth on her offer, but his visit in 2009 wasn’t the only time he made the trip across the pond.
The Obamas returned to London for another visit with Queen Elizabeth in 2011. At that time, they also met Prince William and Kate Middleton. The couple returned for a third time in 2016, right before Obama’s presidency was over.
While Queen Elizabeth evidently adored Obama, the feeling was apparently mutual.
Barack Obama has high praise for Queen Elizabeth
During his final visit in 2016, Obama held a joint meeting with the prime minister of the UK, David Cameron. While discussing his earlier outing with Queen Elizabeth, Obama revealed that he returned to London so that he could also wish her a happy 90th birthday.
“She is truly one of my favorite people,” Obama shared. “I confess I’ve also come back to wish Her Majesty the Queen a happy 90th birthday.”
Obama and his wife had visited Queen Elizabeth right before his meeting with Cameron, which also happened to be on her birthday. The trio spent time together inside Windsor Castle and was joined by her husband, Prince Philip.
When they arrived at Windsor via helicopter, Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was on hand to drive them around the property. Following a discussion on where everyone should sit, Obama opted for the front seat.
Obama later admitted that this was the first time Philip has given him a ride. Although Prince Philip was pushing 95 years of age, Obama commented that it was “very smooth riding.”
Although the Obamas thoroughly enjoyed all of their visits with Queen Elizabeth, their initial trip in 2009 sparked some controversy after Michelle was spotted hugging Queen Elizabeth.
Did Michelle Obama break the rules by hugging Queen Elizabeth?
During their first visit in 2009, Michelle sparked a bit of outrage when she was photographed hugging Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace. At the time, royal watchers claimed that the First Lady had broken royal protocols by touching Queen Elizabeth.
While some people argued that Michelle should have avoided touching Her Majesty altogether, Queen Elizabeth’s dressmaker, Angela Kelly, later clarified what happened. According to Insider, Kelly revealed that both women got caught up in the moment and that it was totally okay for them to go off-script.
“Much has been made about the meeting between Michelle and Her Majesty, when an instant and mutual warmth was shared between these two remarkable women, and protocol was seemingly ‘abandoned’ as they stood closely with their arms around each other’s backs,” Kelly shared.
Kelly added that Queen Elizabeth felt like the exchange with Michelle was completely natural and was simply a display of mutual respect. Buckingham Palace did not release a comment regarding Her Majesty’s hug with Michelle.
The Obamas left the Oval Office at the end of 2016. It is unknown if they have plans on returning to the UK for a quick visit with Queen Elizabeth, but it definitely sounds like they have an open invitation at Buckingham Palace.
Barack Obama has not commented on his various visits with Queen Elizabeth when he was still POTUS.