3 APRIL 2009 As her husband was busy thrashing out a plan to save the world's economy with other leaders at the G20 summit, Michelle Obama was busy inspiring youngsters at a London girl's school. The US President's wife gave an emotional pep talk to pupils - telling them they had what it takes to make a difference.
The First Lady was greeted with cheers and screams of delight as she arrived at the school in Islington. And after being showered in hugs and watching a performance of teenagers singing Whitney Houston's Believe, she took to the stage to urge the 100 or so young ladies in attendance to believe they had the "strength" and "dignity" to achieve their dreams.
Michelle, at times close to tears, pointed to her own beginnings - an ordinary child from a working class neighbourhood – as an example of what could be achieved when girls "from the very beginning of their lives are loved and nurtured."
She continued: "I was surrounded by extraordinary women in my life who taught me about quiet strength and dignity. You too can control your own destiny, please remember that… We are counting on every single one of you to be the best that you can be. We know that you can do it, we love you."
Mrs Obama, who had earlier joined Sarah Brown and other politician's wives to take in a performance at London's Royal Opera House, told the excited girls her husband Barack Obama would be jealous of her spending the afternoon at the school.
"He is meeting with important people but it's not as much fun as being here," said the 45-year-old mum-of-two. "All of you are precious and you have touched my heart."