Royal Etiquette: OK to Hug the Queen?

First Lady Michelle Obama returned an embrace from Queen Elizabeth II during their meeting in London yesterday, causing the public to wonder -- is it okay to touch the queen?


"There's no such protocol saying you can't touch the queen," a Buckingham spokesperson reveals to "Extra," adding, "It was a mutual display of affection -- there's no offense. It's an informal event. There's certainly no breach of protocol."

"It looked like the Queen touched Michelle first -- and because she initiated that gesture of kindness Michelle went ahead and put her arm around the queen," etiquette expert Jacqueline Whitmore tells "Extra." Whitmore also dished on Michelle's much talked-about outfit. "I thought Mrs. Obama's outfit was quite appropriate -- it was conservative -- it wasn't her traditional sleeveless dress that we ordinarily see her wear."

Famed fashion designer Valentino agrees! He told "Extra" that he's a fan of the First Lady, saying, "I like her very, very much."

Anne Hathaway, who attended the premiere of "Valentino: The Last Emperor" with the fashion guru, chimed in, "I think she looks strong and sophisticated and refined. I think she's definitely showing what a smart, elegant woman looks like."

According to reports out of the U.K., Michelle not only didn't break any palace rules, she was a hit across the pond! Various London papers praised the First Lady's grace, power, and most of all -- her fashion choices!