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5 Black Women Who Met The Queen

Royal moments

BY Agnes Amondi

Sep 17, 2022, 12:09 PM

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It’s a week and two days since Queen Elizabeth II died at Balmoral Castle in Scotland aged 96. She became Queen in 1952 and reigned for a record 70 years.

During that time, Queen Elizabeth met countless people from different parts of the world in different fields. Here are five black women that met Queen Elizabeth.

1. Michelle Obama

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She has an amazing time around The Queen. And not only that, but one of the highlight moments in the presence of the former monarch was when she broke ‘royal protocol’ and embarrassed Queen Elizabeth II. Let’s take you back a bit.

The first time Michelle Obama met Queen Elizabeth was in 2009, a little over a year after Barack Obama became the president of the United States. The former POTUS and FLOTUS were in London for the G20 summit.
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They were given a tour of Buckingham Palace, had a special luncheon and met other members of the Royal family as well. Now, back to Michelle and the Queen’s embrace.

Through her memoir Becoming, Michelle Obama explained that she wasn’t aware that she was breaking ‘Royal Protocol’ when she put her arm around The Queen’s back.
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She revealed that it followed a small talk about their high heels hurting after long hours standing in them during their official meetings with other world leaders.

For Michelle, it was a gesture of affection and captures it well “If I hadn’t done the proper thing, I had at least done the human thing.” 

Michelle and Barack Obama met The Queen again at least three times - 2011, 2012, and 2016 - before Obama’s presidency ended.

2. Serena Williams

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When you talk about the traditions around Wimbledon Championships, the presence of the British Royal Family ranks high on the list. The centre court has a dedicated area called the Royal Box where the MRF sit when they visit. 

In 2010, Queen Elizabeth II was in attendance and met some players during the tournament and the now retired or evolving 23-grand slam women singles champion Serena Williams was one of them.
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What was she worried about? Her curtsy. She revealed to the press that she’d practised it in the morning in anticipation of meeting the monarch.

3. Graca Machel

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Graca’s name is not new to anyone and that includes the British Royal Family. Much has been written about her husband’s relationship with Queen Elizabeth but she also got her chance to meet and greet the sovereign. 

They shook hands in 2008 at Buckingham Palace during a week-long visit to London with Nelson Mandela in celebration of his 90th birthday.

That’s not her only interaction with The Queen. In 1997, Queen Elizabeth II named her the Honorary Dame of the Order of the British Empire for her humanitarian work.

4. Mama Ngina Kenyatta 

Getty images
Getty images
OK. There isn’t much we can write about this but we’ve got this picture to show that indeed, the former First Lady of Kenya Mama Ngina Kenyatta met The Queen in 1972.

5. Grace Mugabe

When the late Queen Elizabeth II travelled to Zimbabwe in 1991, she was hosted by the immediate former president, the late Robert Mugabe. At the time, Britain and Zimbabwe has a cordial relationship, which saw the former statesman travel to London eight years later. During this time, his wife Grace Mugabe met the Queen as part of their official visit.