Thursday, April 02, 2009
Everyone is shrieking about a breach of royal protocol right now because Michelle Obama put her arm around Queen Elizabeth. CNN has a quick poll of up about it and over 70% of people are saying it wasn’t. Of course, I’d say the majority of those people are American and it’s so much less likely that an American is ever going to not act like a rebellious teenager when it comes to the protocols surrounding English royalty. Unless you’re an elderly woman.
The interesting thing about his is that the Queen quickly released a statement saying she was fine with the whole thing.
Back in the early 90s, Australia’s Prime Minister Paul Keating put his hand on the Queen’s back and was labeled the “Lizard of Oz” and a similar level of controversy occurred with John Howard who had to release a statement saying that there was no contact between himself and the Queen.
In these post-Diana times, it seems like letting Michelle Obama touch her back is really just in line with the royal family having its own website and the Queen flying the flag at Buckingham Palace at half mast when Diana died – despite protocol.
The Queen just wants to be liked without having to give up her mystique and it’s not an easy job. She has to never speak and be weirdly stoic in the same way burlesque artists always leave you wanting more but at the same time she has to be able to show that she can e mail people if she wants to.
As far as figuring out who to let touch her on the back, Michelle Obama is the perfect choice. She’s a woman who is married so there’ll be no charged up lesbian rumours there. Also, she’s married to the Western Messiah so she’s sort of just aligning herself with the great light brown hope. The Queen is a master at PR. If you only give her one thing – and that’s not the case because she’s given basically anything she wants – but if you only DO give her one thing you would say she’s a genius at PR.
Interestingly enough, CNN’s Situation Room is teasing the audience with an interview with Tina Brown about Michelle Obama’s back grope of the Queen and they’ve still not thrown to it and I’ve been watching for like 5 ad breaks now. Is this the part that people are hanging on for? American audiences are hanging on for a Tina Brown segment regarding Royal protocol? I always knew Americans were all closet royal fans – they just have a hard time admitting it because it makes them feel culturally subservient.