Royalty and statesmen

Michelle Obama gave a boost to down-and-out diners at a Washington shelter when she personally stepped in to dish out food as part of a drive to encourage community participation
Photo: Getty Images
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The food for the risotto and fruit salad meal had been donated by the White House
Photo: Getty Images

Service with a smile from Michelle as she volunteers at a soup kitchen

6 MARCH 2009
America's self-styled mom-in-chief Michelle Obama brought her warm personal touch to lunchtime at a Washington homeless shelter on Thursday. The First Lady didn't stand on ceremony during her visit to Miriam's Kitchen just a few blocks from the White House.

Wearing a purple apron and plastic gloves, she cheerfully dished out portions of mushroom risotto and broccoli to astonished customers.

"I'm here to listen, learn and to scoop some risotto," explained Michelle on the trip to encourage more people to volunteer in the community. "And hopefully everybody was satisfied with my scoops. Can I hear something for my scoops?"

While the 45-year-old was on dinner duty, it was announced her husband is to meet the Queen during the couple's three-day visit to Britain next month. Not a formal state visit, it is being described by officials on both sides of the Atlantic as "a getting to know you session".

Through the sovereign has met 12 of Mr Obama's predecessors since her accession in 1952, it's unusual for a President to meet the monarch outside a state visit. Buckingham Palace is taking advantage of the US leader's presence in the capital for an economic summit.

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