Michelle Obama and Queen Elizabeth bonded over high heels and sore feet


Michelle Obama's memoir "Becoming" has officially hit bookshelves as of Tuesday, offering readers a glimpse into her life before, during and after the White House.

Throughout her historic tenure as first lady, Obama has been a powerful advocate for American girls and women. She's jumpstarted various programs around the US such as Let's Move!, Reach Higher Initiative, and Let Girls Learn, and stood by husband Barack through two harrowing presidential elections, all while raising two daughters and defying critics along the way.

Superhero or #bosslady, it's all the same for Obama. But there's certainly one struggle that humbles the former first lady. And it's definitely a struggle that resonates with most of us.

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In her memoir, Obama writes of her first meeting with the royals during a visit to Buckingham Palace in President Obama's first year. Photographers captured her putting her arm around the queen -- a "protocol-breaching" moment that quickly escalated, sending the media into a frenzy.

As explained by Obama, it was a gesture she shared after the two complained to each other about how badly their feet were hurting.

Writes Obama:

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.'

The former first lady went on to explain that they were just "two tired ladies oppressed by our shoes." In pictures, you can see the queen reacting to Obama's "faux pas" by placing her hand around her waist.

"If I hadn't done the proper thing at Buckingham Palace, I had at least done the human thing," Obama wrote of the breach. "I daresay the Queen was OK with it too, because when I touched her, she pulled closer, resting a gloved hand lightly on the small of my back."

Photo: Getty

The Obamas and the queen's friendship has extended far beyond that first meeting in 2009. Michelle and Barack made many more visits to London and have met with other members of the royal family, including Prince George. It's also been reported that Barack is particularly close with Prince Harry, although he was not present at his May 2019 nuptials.

For more on the Obamas' meeting with the monarch, watch the video above!