Her Majesty has hosted numerous world leaders in her long and illustrious career, but it would appear that one leader towers above all others in her estimations. That person is the former US President Barack Obama, who was first hosted by the Queen during a state visit to the UK in 2009.
A former employee told royal author Tom Quinn that her Majesty quickly developed a warm friendship with the Mr Obama and would like him to visit her again.
The former Palace insider told Mr Quinn is his new book Kensington Palace: An intimate Memoir from Queen Mary to Meghan Markle: “The Queen has a soft spot for Americans after meeting Barack Obama who she completely fell in love with – so much so that she has frequently asked her courtiers if they could arrange for him to come to Britain now he is no longer president.”
The Queen went on to host the 44th US President and his wife on another two occasions – once in 2011, when they were introduced to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and for a third and final time in 2016.
The British monarch is said to have also established a close relationship with Michelle Obama through the years.
Michelle Obama was criticised by some for allegedly breaking royal protocol with her gesture. However, according to the Queen’s dressmaker, the monarch was not in slightest bit offended.
Angela Kelly wrote in her book The Other Side of the coin: The Queen, the Dresser, and the Wardrobe: “Much has been made about the meeting between Michelle and Her Majesty, when an instant and mutual warmth was shared between these two remarkable women, and protocol was seemingly ‘abandoned’ as they stood closely with their arms around each other’s backs.
“In reality, it was a natural instinct for the Queen to show affection and respect for another great woman, and really there is no protocol that must be adhered to.
“When fondness is felt or the host of a state visit goes to guide Her Majesty up some steps, it truly is about human kindness, and this is something the Queen will always welcome warmly.”
Barack Obama is not the only US President with whom the British monarch built a warm friendship.
Her Majesty quickly established a rapport with Dwight Eisenhower, when he visited Britain as US President in 1959.
The Queen used her special recipe for making scotch pancakes to help charm Mr Eisenhower and his wife Marnie when they visited Balmoral.
The pancakes became such a favourite treat of the US President that the 34-year-old monarch later sent him her secret recipe in a letter.
In the letter, seen by The Sun, she wrote: “Dear Mr President. Seeing a picture of you in today’s newspaper, standing in front of a barbecue grilling quail, reminded me that I had never sent you the recipe of the drop scones which I promised you at Balmoral.
“I hope you will find them successful.
“Though the quantities are for 16 people, when there are fewer, I generally put in less flour and milk, but use the other ingredients as stated.”
The Queen also took the opportunity to impart some of her cooking tips to the former US army general.
She said: “I have also tried using golden syrup or treacle instead of only sugar and that can be very good, too.
“I think the mixture needs a great deal of beating while making, and shouldn’t stand about too long before cooking.”
The meeting at Balmoral was not the first encounter between the 34th US President and the Queen.
Like Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower had got to know her Majesty when she was still a Princess.