FORMER US first lady Michelle Obama has revealed why she and the Queen put their arms around each other during a G20 summit — they were bonding over sore feet.
Eyebrows were raised when Mrs Obama, 54, put her arm around Her Majesty’s shoulders during a Buckingham Palace reception in 2009 — and the monarch responded by putting her arm around the American’s waist. In her memoir, Becoming, Mrs Obama reveals her conversation with the Queen was about a subject on the mind of many women after a long day in heels.
The Queen had said the then first lady’s shoes must be painful because of her height. Mrs Obama wrote: ‘The Queen then glanced down at the pair of black Jimmy Choos I was wearing. She shook her head. “These shoes are unpleasant, are they not?” she said. She gestured with some frustration at her own black pumps.
‘I confessed then to the Queen that my feet were hurting. She confessed that hers hurt, too. We looked at each other then with identical expressions, like, when is all this standing around with world leaders going to finally wrap up?
‘And with this, she busted out with a fully charming laugh.’
Despite their positions, they were just ‘two tired ladies oppressed by our shoes’, and instinctively she put her arm around the Queen in a gesture of bonding. She wrote: ‘I was committing what would be deemed an epic faux pas.’