What on earth do you gift the Queen? When Michelle and Barack Obama met Her Majesty in 2016, this was just one of the things for which they had to prepare. The former First Lady of the United States opened up about the experience – and the sweet gesture she received from the thoughtful monarch – when she was in London on Sunday (April 14) for a stop on her book tour.
“I remember, I don't know if it was the first visit or the second visit, we gave her this little pin,” Michelle revealed. “You know, ‘What do you give Her Majesty the Queen?’
“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 and she had on a beautiful – I’m sure it was covered in diamonds – and a crown. And in the gloriousness of that outfit that she had on she put on the little bitty pin we gave her.”
It’s plain to see why the Queen is so well loved – not just by the millions of Royal Family fans, but by the author and former politician herself. “I was like, ‘you wore the pin,’ and she just said, ‘hmm, yes.‘ That was my experience,” the mother-to-two explained. “That has been my experience. That kind of warmth and graciousness, and intelligence and wit. I like her.”
The 55-year-old has had a few encounters with royalty. She met the Queen and Prince Philip on two separate occasions, as well as mom-to-be Duchess Meghan on a book tour stop last year. She and Meghan had a secret power meeting one evening in December 2018. The activist and author told Good Housekeeping magazine she had some words of wisdom for the duchess: “Like me, Meghan probably never dreamt that she’d have a life like this, and the pressure you feel – from yourself and from others – can sometimes feel like a lot.”
She continued: “So, my biggest pieces of advice would be to take some time and don’t be in a hurry to do anything. I spent the first few months in the White House mainly worrying about my daughters, making sure they were off to a good start at school and making new friends before I launched into any more ambitious work.”
As Michelle would know, having such a public platform can be very stressful. The pressure around choosing patronages and making speeches – as Meghan did three times while on her first royal tour with Prince Harry – can be daunting.
“I think it’s okay – it’s good even – to do that,” Michelle told Good Housekeeping. “What I’d say is that there’s so much opportunity to do good with a platform like that, and I think Meghan can maximize her impact for others, as well as her own happiness, if she’s doing something that resonates with her personally.”