Princess Charlene and Michelle Obama are ladies who lunch for a good cause

Princess Charlene of Monaco always has a good time in the States, given that the country is a home away from home for her husband Prince Albert because of his late mother, US-born Princess Grace.

But this week it got even better when she was given a warm welcome by Michelle Obama.

The two ladies hugged at a lunch in Harlem for the wives of dignitaries at the UN General Assembly to discuss ways of improving girls' access to education.

Michelle Obama and Princess Charlene at a lunch to discuss empowering women

Both looked fashion forward – Michelle in an elegant blue and white dress by Carolina Herrera and the Monegasque royal in a sleeveless white top and skirt.

They will have had plenty to talk about as Charlene is a former Olympic swimmer and Michelle has spent her time in the White House encouraging young people to get fit through her Lets Move campaign.

A few years ago, Barack Obama's wife also visited South Africa, Charlene's native land, and had a wonderful time with her daughters.


With their husbands earlier in the day

Wednesday's menu included a 'soul food' lunch of shrimp and rice and a salad with cornbread croutons. The visiting first ladies also went home with a gift basket of produce from the White House garden, including honey from the Executive Mansion's bess and lemon verbena.

The gathering was held at Harlem's Studio Museum, a gallery for modern and contemporary black art and gave guests plenty of food for thought as the First Lady discussed Harlem's history.

"There's a reason why I wanted to bring you all to Harlem today," she said. "And that is because this community ... is infused with a kind of energy and passion that is quintessentially American, but that has also touched so many people around the world."

In particular Michelle talked about writers and musicians such as Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston and Louis Armstrong.

"Many of these men and women left the South just a couple of generations after the end of slavery, and they were desperate to find a place where they could explore their talents and express their ideas freely,' she said. "This moment in history came to be known as the Harlem Renaissance."