Hands Off Queen Elizabeth!

The Queen and her family are used to odd physical encounters with White House residents.

By , Columnist

The Americans are coming! What will they do to Queen Elizabeth this time?

When the Obamas met The Queen at Buckingham Palace in 2009, the historically significant aspects of the encounter were lost.

Instead of focusing on the differences between the new President and the old one (the new one being young, African-American, and conspicuously intelligent), the press went bananas when Michelle Obama put her arm around Queen Elizabeth as they posed for a photo.

The embrace lasted a few seconds, and was returned by The Queen. Although there were sharp intakes of breath by observers, the Palace issued a statement: "This was a mutual and spontaneous display of affection and appreciation between The Queen and Michelle Obama."

Now the Obamas are in London on a state visit, staying at Buckingham Palace with two whole days of opportunities for unwanted touching of Her Majesty.

So far the only photographed contact shows a simple handshake. Those are allowed.

And the picture that will probably galvanize the world is the shot of the Obamas with the newlywed Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

The Queen and her family are used to odd physical encounters with White House residents. President Jimmy Carter famously kissed Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother full on the lips when he met her in 1977. The Queen Mother's official biographer said she tried unsuccessfully to dodge his advances.

Republican presidents get to play too. The Queen was honored at a Bicentennial state dinner at the White House in 1976. As President Ford took The Queen in his arms to start the after-dinner dancing, the band struck up "The Lady is a Tramp." Anglo-American relations survived.

View gallery: Hands Off Queen Elizabeth!

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Charlotte Germane dishes the dirt on gardening in newsletters, radio shows, newspapers, and blogs. Follow her on Twitter to get the latest trowel-full of news. She live-blogged the Royal Wedding for The Morton Report and has series of royalty columns here.

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