NEWS ITEM: Michelle Obama, our first lady, may have unwittingly committed a breach of British etiquette when she embraced Queen Elizabeth. Though a spokesperson for the Queen says that “no offense” was taken and that there was “no breach of protocol” (and some argue the Queen hugged first), the incident had people chattering on both sides of the Atlantic.
Who could this faux pas have foreseen?
Michelle, first lady, touched the Queen!
The deed occurred in Buckingham
(According to this dithyramb.)
The sovereign’s body, sacrosanct,
May not be touched by Brit or Yank,
According to the English law!
The incident produced furor!
The rupture of this shibboleth
Surprised good Queen Elizabeth.
A friendly hug was all it took
To leave her Majesty all shook,
And to her cheeks it brought a blush,
(Known otherwise as Royal Flush.)
She managed, though, a British smile,
The kind employed throughout that isle:
A curling of the upper lip.
She even made a regal quip.
Michelle’s right hand she quickly clutched:
“By this affection, I am touched.”
But it is plain: one must refrain
From touching Liz throughout her reign.
Kept isolated much too much?
The British Queen is out of touch!
Der feler kumpt fun Vysn Hoyz,
A toes vos iz take groys:
Di ershter dame hot barirt
A zokh farbotn! Vos pasirt?
In polotz Buckingham, Michelle
Onhaybt zikh dortn kveln shnel.
Zi nemt arum di kinigin,
An akt vos iz a shreklekh sin!
In Englond iz di malke’s goof
A zokh m’halt dokh zeyer aloof.
M’tur nit ir a klepl ton,
Nit ernst un take nit far fun.
Der aynbrokh fun der shtreng gezets
Makht khidesh far Elizabets.
Ir bokn vern zeyer royt:
“Meshuge,” zi derklert, “oyf toyt!”
Nur frayndlekh iz Ir Mayestet,
Un nit genaygt tsu klogn (fret).
Zi gebt a shmeykhel, elegant,
Un nempt Michelle by ir rekht hant.
Bafridikt yeder ayner! — khutsh
Der monark blaybt nokh out of touch!