The Queen and Prince Philip once rowed with the Obamas’ special security to break convention, a royal author has claimed.
Back in April 2016, when Barack Obama was in his final year as US President, the American leader made a trip across the Atlantic to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday.
It was well reported that the Obamas enjoyed a positive relationship with the Queen, with some even speculating that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had not been invited to the politician’s birthday party because of their royal falling-out.
So, speaking to BBC Breakfast, royal author Robert Hardman acknowledged that Barack and his wife had been keen to be the first non-royals to wish the Queen a happy birthday in person.
“When the Obamas came to stay, Obama was completely bowled over by those two,” he explained.
“Here is the most important powerful man in the world, but he absolutely loved it. To the point that he was staying up so late the Queen had to gently nudge George Osborne who was there and say, ‘do you think you could ask the president if it’s time to go to bed?’”
However, the then-US President’s trip almost got off to a bad start, when the Duke of Edinburgh’s wish to drive the leader clashed with security police.
Obama and his First Lady Michelle Obama eventually arrived at Windsor Castle for lunch in Prince Philip’s Range Rover, and Robert explained how this had been the result of an argument.
“They flew in by helicopter to Windsor Great Park and the royals wanted to pick them up in the car from the park where they landed,” he recalled.
“And the Secret Service said, ‘no, we’re the only people who drive the President’. And it got right up to the top, it was the only time in the Obama presidency when the couple were driven by someone other than a White House agent.
“They were driven by Prince Philip, with the Queen in the back with Michelle.”
Naga Munchetty, who presents BBC Breakfast, laughed: “I love that the Secret Service went up against the Queen and never let there be a doubt that the Queen won.”
This comes as the Queen was recently forced to cancel an appearance at the Commonwealth Day celebrations.
Despite recently recovering from coronavirus, the monarch stressed that she remains committed to her declaration that she has dedicated her life to the service of the nation.
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