Inside Queen Elizabeth's Relationship With The Obamas

Queen Elizabeth II, the world's longest-reigning living monarch, has met more than her share of world leaders in her time. While as a constitutional monarch she may not wield much political power, as the royal family website explains, the queen "plays a vital role in UK diplomacy, supporting the work of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office at home and abroad." While the queen, ever the gracious hostess, generally refrains from expressing public disapproval of any of those heads of state whose policies she does not exactly agree with, she has had a few favorites over the past 69 years.

When her majesty took the throne in 1952, it was a time when WWII was still painfully fresh in people's memories, and the U.S. and Britain enjoyed, as they still do, what British Heritage refers to as a "special relationship." During her tenure, Queen Elizabeth has met every one of the U.S. presidents except Johnson (via CNN) and Biden. She was reportedly fond of the man who was himself inaugurated in 1953 (via Library of Congress), the same year she had her coronation: Dwight D. Eisenhower, our squirrel-hating 34th president. While the queen may have liked Ike quite a bit, half a century later he got bumped from the spot of favorite POTUS when she met the 44th president and his lovely wife.

The queen and the Obamas hit it off from their first visit

The Obamas paid their first visit to Buckingham Palace in 2009, during Barack's first year in office. While the British press made much of a faux pas Michelle inadvertently committed when she put an arm around the sovereign person, Insider reports that the queen didn't mind a bit and instead returned the embrace. What's more, according to author Tom Quinn, the British monarch "completely fell in love with" the American president, as well as his wife, and reportedly now "has a soft spot for Americans after meeting Barack Obama."

The president and first lady visited Buckingham Palace three times in all during the eight-year Obama presidency, but the queen enjoyed those visits so much, she didn't want to see them come to an end once his term in office was up. As Quinn wrote in his book, "Kensington Palace: An Intimate Memoir from Queen Mary to Meghan Markle" (via Insider), "She has frequently asked her courtiers if they could arrange for him to come to Britain now he is no longer president." While travel plans over the past year or so have been disrupted by the pandemic, we're sure the Obamas are looking forward to paying a visit to their favorite nonagenarian as soon as it's safe to do so.