In 2019, a decade after embracing “around the world,” Angela Kelly, Queen Elizabeth’s personal assistant and chief executive, discussed the incident in her memoirs, The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, Dressed and the wardrobe.
“There are some things that are considered acceptable protocols when it comes to interacting with His Majesty,” he wrote, according to a quote from Hello! Magazine. “It is supposed that you should never put your hand around the queen, but when human beings instincts come in, sometimes that’s just the right thing to do. “
Kelly added that it was obvious that Michelle Obama and the Queen had an emotional connection and when that happens, the royal protocol is not as important as friendship. “Much has been done about the encounter between Michelle and His Majesty, when a direct and mutual warmth was shared between these two remarkable women and the protocol seemed ‘abandoned’ as they stood with their hands tightly around each other’s backs. He wrote, adding that Queen Elizabeth was happy to return the gesture.
“In fact, it was a natural instinct for the Queen to show affection and respect for another great woman and there is really no protocol to follow,” Angela continues. “When feeling the love or host of a state visit leads a few steps to His Majesty, it is truly for human kindness and this is something the Queen will always warmly welcome.”