LONDON — She was not bemused.
Queen Elizabeth, whose life is defined by royal protocol, didn't appear to flinch when Michelle Obama seemed to depart from it. Thursday's papers in Britain delighted in a grainy photo from a gathering Wednesday at Buckingham Palace showing the American first lady with her arm around the queen.
Touching the royal person is normally a no-no. When former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating did it, in 1992, the obstreperous British press dubbed him the "Lizard of Oz."
But the queen wasn't fazed by the first lady's affectionate gesture. In fact, the British monarch had apparently slipped her arm around her visitor's waist first, leading Obama to lay hers briefly across her royal hostess' shoulders.