Home>US & World>Michelle Obama gave Queen Elizabeth II a brooch in 2011. Former President Barack Obama shared what she did with it after
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Michelle Obama gave Queen Elizabeth II a brooch in 2011. Former President Barack Obama shared what she did with it after

Former President Barack Obama remembered Queen Elizabeth II, in a video tribute released on Monday, the day the queen was laid to rest. In the video, he said the queen reminded him of his grandmother, and he spoke about a moment of kindness from her toward him and Former First lady Michelle Obama.

Mr. Obama said the first time he met the queen while visiting London, it surprised him that she reminded him very much of his grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, who helped raise him. She reminded him “not just in appearance, but also in manner,” he said, adding that she was very gracious, but also no-nonsense.

“[She had a] dry sense of humor and she could not have been more kind or thoughtful to me and Michelle,” he said. 

He remembered a time when he and Michelle went back to England with their daughters, Malia and Sasha, and Queen Elizabeth II invited his wife and daughters to tea.

“She then offered the girls to drive in her golden carriage around the grounds of Buckingham Palace,” the former president remembered. “It was the sort of generosity and consideration that left a mark in my daughters’ lives that is still there.”

He said the queen was an excellent listener, with a genuine curiosity, “although she was impatient to get to the point.”

Mr. Obama also shared a moment of kindness from the queen, after a state dinner at Buckingham Palace in 2011. “The queen was dressed up quite a bit for the state dinner. It was a little bit concerning for Michelle, because as a gift to her majesty, Michelle had selected a small, modest brooch of nominal value,” he said. 

The next night, the former president and first lady hosted their own dinner at the American Embassy. “The one thing we immediately noticed is that [the queen] was wearing the brooch the Michelle had given her,” he said. “It was an example of the subtle thoughtfulness that she consistently displayed. Not just to us, but everybody who she interacted with.”

He also said the queen was mindful of guests overstaying their welcome – and as a guest, she did the same. “She looked at her watch at a certain point and said, ‘I think we need to wrap this up,'” Mr. Obama said. 

“The combination of a sense of duty and a clear understanding of her role as a symbol for the nations – the carrier of a certain set of values – combined with a very human quality of kindness and consideration. I think that is what made her so beloved, not just in great Britain, but around the world,” he said. 

Queen Elizabeth II died earlier this month at the age of 96 and her historic state funeral took place on Monday. President Biden, along with around 500 foreign dignitaries, was in attendance. 

The queen had been lying in state at Westminster Hall since Wednesday. On Monday, a procession carried her coffin to Westminster Abbey. Following a service there, a walking procession took the coffin to Hyde Park, where it was transferred to a state hearse. It was then carried to St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, the queen’s final resting place. 

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