While in the UK for the G20 Summit, President Obama and the First Lady were given an audience with Queen Elizabeth II, the reigning monarch of England. Perhaps surprising to most Americans, there is still a very strict protocol for meeting with royalty that may seem to come from a period movie. Apparently during the audience, the First Lady placed her hand on the Queen’s back which while completely innocuous to non-subjects, was something of extraordinary significance to those well accustomed to the protocols. The notion of touch comes from a historical divine right to rule granted by the Pope whereupon the touch from either the king or queen had the holy power to heal. Such power had to be guarded and doled out with great care, thus creating a protocol surrounding how the monarch could touch or be touched. Despite all the hubbub, Buckingham Palace confirmed there was no offense taken by the incident.
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