When he was in America, Prince Harry was made most welcome by Michelle Obama at the White House, and today, on day one of her official tour of the U.K., the royal was able to return the favor and host FLOTUS for a traditional British cuppa at his Kensington Palace home.
She was accompanied by her two children, Sasha and Malia, who were said to be thrilled to meet the prince.
Michelle first met Prince Harry two years ago when he attended a Mother’s Day tea for military mothers with the first lady in the U.S.
Her chief of staff, Tina Tchen, said in advance of today’s meeting: “He was wonderful and it was wonderful to have him here. And we hear from his staff that he is happy to return the favor.”
The first lady took tea with the prince before attending a girl’s education-awareness program at a London school as part of the Let Girls Learn initiative, and this formed part of their discussion, the palace said.
The learning initiative event took place at the Mulberry School for Girls in Tower Hamlets in east London. Mrs Obama was given a rapturous welcome and hugged and embraced some of the students.
Mrs Obama chose an all-girls comprehensive in one of the most deprived boroughs in the country, where more than 70% of the students are on free school meals, to launch her initiative in the UK.
She told a hall packed with students that some people were probably wondering why she had chosen to come to Tower Hamlets. “I’m here because of you,” she said. “I’m here because girls like you inspire me every single day. I’m so proud of your passion.”
Mrs Obama likened the experiences of the girls at Mulberry with her own upbringing in a working-class neighbourhood on the south side of Chicago.
“I’m a bit older than you … yes I am,” she laughed, “but in so many ways your story is my story.”
The school’s head teacher, Vanessa Ogden, said: “We are delighted to be welcoming Michelle Obama. The first lady is one of the greatest, most inspiring women of our time and her visit is an honor for us. Her use of her platform as first lady to drive change for girls and to break down barriers in access to education is critical for a civilized world.”
Although media were not present for today’s informal Harry-Obama get-together, it is believed that some pictures were taken by an official U.S. photographer. They will be released to the media later today.
Michelle and Harry are believed to have talked about their shared interest in the holistic well-being of military families.
David and Samantha Cameron will host Mrs. Obama and her daughters for afternoon tea at Number 10 Downing Street later today.
The Obama party will fly to Italy tomorrow to meet U.S. armed-services families based in Europe.