Michelle Obama says she was surprised to see the Queen wearing a 'little bitty pin' she gave her when they sat down to dinner

  • Michelle Obama had nothing but high praise for Queen Elizabeth II while promoting her latest book, “Becoming,” at the O2 in London on Sunday.
  • The former first lady said the Queen wore a pin that she and Barack Obama gifted her the last time they met.
  • Michelle Obama also addressed the moment in 2009 when she broke royal protocol and put an arm around the Queen.
  • Visit INSIDER.com for more stories.

Michelle Obama praised the “graciousness and intelligence and wit” of Queen Elizabeth II while promoting her new memoir, “Becoming,” at London’s O2 on Sunday.

The former first lady spoke about her surprise when the Queen wore a pin that she and Barack Obama had gifted her on a previous visit, according to Hello magazine.

“I remember, I don’t know if it was the first visit or the second visit, we gave her this little pin. You know, what do you give Her Majesty the Queen?” Michelle Obama said.

“It’s like, OK, we gave her a little pin, and I remember the evening of the dinner after we exchanged gifts, we were standing in line. She had on a beautiful – I’m sure it was covered in diamonds and a crown. And you sort of look and go, ‘All of that is real.’ You go, ‘That’s nice.’ But it’s all real. And in the gloriousness of that outfit that she had on, she put on the little bitty pin we gave her.”

She added: “I was like, ‘You wore the pin.’ And she just said, ‘Hmm, yes.’ That was my experience. That has been my experience. That kind of warmth and graciousness and intelligence and wit. I like her.”

Obama also addressed the 2009 photo where she has her arm around the Queen.

Obama said she had no regrets about breaking etiquette.

Read more:
The Queen thinks royal protocol is ‘rubbish,’ according to Michelle Obama

“I don’t know that I could have done anything differently, because it was a natural human reaction,” she said on Sunday, according to Hello.

“I learned over the course of my time on the international stage to either hold my hands together tightly or behind my back to sort of, kind of make sure I was thinking before I reacted naturally,” she added. “But in that moment, no, that was absolutely the right thing to do, because that was the human thing to do.”

Obama previously spoke about her visit to Windsor Castle in 2016, when she went against protocol by sitting next to the Queen in a car.

She said that after she was told that she was supposed to sit in the front with Prince Philip while Barack Obama was to sit in the back seat with the Queen, the Queen said, “Just get in, sit wherever.”

“She’s telling you one thing, and you’re remembering protocol, and she says, ‘Oh, it’s all rubbish, just get in,'” Michelle Obama said.

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