A legacy of tireless, dignified public service
Revisiting President and Mrs. Obama’s moments with Queen Elizabeth II.
On September 8, 2022, the world marked the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. In reflecting on the Queen, President Obama noted how she had made the role her own during a more than 70 year reign “defined by grace, elegance, and a tireless work ethic, defying the odds and expectations placed on women of her generation.”
The Queen’s example is a reminder of how impactful public service can be—an idea that is core to our work at the Obama Foundation and is carried forward by so many of the young leaders on the front lines of making change around the world.
In recognition of her life and legacy, take a look back at moments Queen Elizabeth shared with President and Mrs. Obama.
Shortly after taking office in 2009, President and Mrs. Obama were welcomed to Buckingham Palace by Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.
Later, President Obama would reflect on the visit, “As two Americans unaccustomed to palaces and pomp, we didn’t know what to expect. We shouldn’t have worried. The Queen and Prince Philip immediately put us at ease with their grace and generosity, turning a ceremonial occasion into something far more natural, even comfortable.”
In 2011, the Obamas returned to the United Kingdom, where the Queen hosted them for a state banquet at Buckingham Palace. The next night, the President and Mrs. Obama hosted a dinner for the Queen at Winfield House, the residence of the United States’ ambassador.
In April 2016, the Obamas made their final visit to the United Kingdom while in office, a trip that coincided with the Queen’s 90th birthday.
The Queen’s been a source of inspiration for me like so many people around the world. She is truly one of my favorite people.”
—President Obama, 2016
President Obama also joined other world leaders in celebrating Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee from February to June 2022. Take a look at his message that paid tribute to her leadership, years of service, and the alliance between the United States and the United Kingdom.