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New Book Reveals How Barack Obama Really Felt About Queen Elizabeth

Former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle met with Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace in 2011. The couple were the Queen's guest for a few days, but the royal photo ops is about as much as most people got to see regarding the visit. A former Obama advisor has written a new book dishing on some of the behind-the-scenes details, and remembers some things that went on in the palace.

According to Ben Rhodes, former national security adviser and author of 'The World As It Is: A Memoir of the Obama White House', Mr. Obama shared some candid opinions of the British Queen with him. When the couple met the Queen and spent time at the palace, Obama said that she reminded him of his beloved grandmother.

Obama's grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, who he affectionally referred to as 'Toot', helped raise the future president after his mother passed away. Mrs. Dunham unfortunately did not get to see her grandson become president; she passed away during the election.

“I really love the queen,” Rhodes says that Obama told him. "She’s just like Toot, my grandmother. Courteous. Straightforward. All about what she thinks. She doesn’t suffer fools.”

It's easy to picture the former laid-back president saying something like that.

Rhodes also remembers that on that trip to England, there was a bit of a scandal. Obama was working in one room in Buckingham palace, going over a speech he was set to make. Michelle Obama was in another room getting ready for bed as her husband put in some late hours.

A butler then came into the room with the president and announced, "Mr. President, pardon me... There’s a mouse.”

Mr. Obama took the news of the rogue rodent loose in the palace well, but he told the butler, "Don’t tell the first lady.”

“We’ll try to catch it, sir," the butler reassured Obama.

“Just don’t tell the First Lady,” Obama repeated.

Rhodes said that those present began joking about the rumors of the monarchy being a 'dying empire', with a mouse loose in the palace. Obama had nothing but respect, however.

“No, they’ve still got a lot going on,” Obama said. “Did you see the bling on the queen?”

Looking around at the lavish palace room, Obama reportedly said, "I’m just a few years away from being in the State Senate and living in a condo."

Obama's well-remembered speech on that visit was a big hit. The speech was given to the British Parliament at Westminster Hall, and Obama touched on the long and complicated relationship between the two countries.

“In a world which will only grow smaller and more interconnected, the example of our two nations says it is possible for people to be united by their ideals, instead of divided by their differences,” he said. “It is possible for hearts to change, and old hatreds to pass; that it’s possible for the sons and daughters of former colonies to sit here as members of this great Parliament, and for the grandson of a Kenyan who served as a cook in the British Army to stand before you as President of the United States.”

Source: Travel & Leisure
Photos: Obama White House

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