Barack Obama reveals Queen let Sasha and Malia on carriage ride around Buckingham Palace in tribute

Former President Obama remembered Queen Elizabeth II as a ‘kind’ but ‘no-nonsense’ figure in a touching tribute to the late monarch, shared on the same day of her state funeral.

Likening the late matriarch to his own grandmother, Obama offered some heartfelt words about his time spent with the Queen during his presidency, during which he and his family visited Buckingham Palace three times.

Those visits, Obama said, saw Elizabeth leave a lasting impression on the family – and helped forge a special bond between the pair not seen prior.

Elizabeth, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, died on September 8 at age 96, putting an end to the royal’s historic 70-year reign.

Her funeral, held at Westminster Abbey in London this morning, saw hundreds bid a final farewell to the ruler as her casket was ceremoniously lowered into the royal tomb. A further, American procession is set for Wednesday – which Obama is set to attend.

In the exclusive interview with the BBC – which aired last week but was not shared by Obama until Monday – the ex-head of state recalled some of ‘extraordinary generosity’ shown by the late Queen to his family, remembering how she allowed his daughters to take her own personal carriage for a ride through Buckingham Palace.

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Former President Obama remembered Queen Elizabeth II as a ‘kind’ but ‘no-nonsense’ figure in a touching tribute to the late monarch, shared on the same day of the monarch’s state funeral

Elizabeth's funeral, held at Westminster Abbey in London this morning, saw hundreds bid a final farewell to the ruler as her casket was ceremoniously lowered into the royal tomb.  A further, American procession is set for Wednesday - which Obama is set to attend

Elizabeth’s funeral, held at Westminster Abbey in London this morning, saw hundreds bid a final farewell to the ruler as her casket was ceremoniously lowered into the royal tomb. A further, American procession is set for Wednesday – which Obama is set to attend

First, however, Obama, 61, recalled meeting Elizabeth in 2009 during his inaugural year in office – an encounter that saw the pair form a mutual friendship based on the monarch’s surprising fondness for the American, and Obama’s subsequent respect.

‘The first time that I met the Queen I was visiting London,’ the ex-president said in the three-minute video tribute. ‘She reminded me very much of my grandmother – which surprised me.’

He went on: ‘Not just in appearance but also in manner. Very gracious, but also no nonsense. ‘

The president added that despite Elizabeth’s stately presence, she possessed a ‘wry sense of humor,’ adding that ‘she could not have been more kind or thoughtful to me and Michelle.’

The meet went so well, that Royal author Tom Quinn wrote in his book ‘Kensington Palace: An Intimate Memoir from Queen Mary to Meghan Markle,’ how the Queen ‘fell in love’ with Obama, and prior to her death ‘frequently asked her courtiers if they could arrange for him to come to Britain now he is no longer president. ‘

Shortly after his and then-first lady Michelle’s highly publicized stay at Buckingham Palace, Obama said his wife later that year returned to England with the couple’s two then pre-teen daughters, Sasha and Malia.

Obama recalled how the Queen apparently had requested his return, visibly emotional in the prerecorded clip.

‘Buckingham Palace reached out to me, and Her Majesty had invited Michelle and the two girls to tea,’ Obama explained.

Obama offered some heartfelt words about his time spent with the Queen during his presidency, during which he and his family visited Buckingham Palace three times.  Pictured is the ex-president with The Queen, First Lady Michelle, and Prince Philip during a visit in 2011

Obama offered some heartfelt words about his time spent with the Queen during his presidency, during which he and his family visited Buckingham Palace three times. Pictured is the ex-president with The Queen, First Lady Michelle, and Prince Philip during a visit in 2011

He went on to reveal that Elizabeth, upon meeting the kids, graciously offered them the unprecedented privilege of taking her personal carriage, commissioned more than 260 years ago for King George III.

The stately wagon – gilded with 18th century gold – is worth millions of dollars, and is one of the UK’s most important relics relating to the royal family.

‘She then offered the girls to drive in her golden carriage around the grounds of Buckingham Palace,’ Obama said.

‘It was the sort of generosity and consideration that left a mark in my daughter’s lives that’s still there.’

Obama went on to add that ‘the Queen was an excellent listener’ and possessed ‘a genuine curiosity’ – while jokingly adding that ‘she was impatient to get to the point.’

Obama also smiled as he reflected on his third presidential visit to see the royal, during a 2011 state dinner at Buckingham Palace.

Upon arriving at the dinner, the ex-commander-in-chief recalled how he had gifted the queen a piece of jewelry – a ‘modest broach of nominal value’ that the First Lady had picked out.

Self-conscious that the gift was not fitting of a queen, Obama revealed that the next night she put his fears to bed, when she donned the broach at a dinner at the American embassy.

Obama, 61, recalled meeting Elizabeth in 2009 during his inaugural year in office - an encounter that saw the pair form a mutual friendship based on the monarch's surprising fondness for the American, and Obama's subsequent respect for the ruler

Obama, 61, recalled meeting Elizabeth in 2009 during his inaugural year in office – an encounter that saw the pair form a mutual friendship based on the monarch’s surprising fondness for the American, and Obama’s subsequent respect for the ruler

Obama praised the thoughtful gesture, which he said was indicative of Elizabeth, in the heartfelt interview.

‘The one thing we immediately notice, is that she’s wearing the brooch that Michelle had given. And it was an example of the subtle thoughtfulness that she consistently displayed – not just to us – but to everybody who she interacted with, ‘Obama said.

“It was an example of the subtle thoughtfulness that she consistently displayed not just to us, but to everybody who she interacted with,” he said.

‘The combination of a sense of duty and a clear understanding of her role as a symbol for a nation and as the carrier of a certain set of values ​​combined with a very human quality of kindness and consideration, I think that’s what made her so beloved not just in Great Britain but around the world. ‘

In addition to praising Elizabeth for her ‘very human quality of kindness and consideration,’ Obama also touted how sharp-eyed the monarch had been, citing how kept a close track of time.

‘She was very mindful of guests at Buckingham Palace not overstaying their welcome. She was looking at her watch di lei at some points and said, “Well OK, it’s time to go,” ‘Obama laughed.

Royal author Tom Quinn wrote in his book 'Kensington Palace: An Intimate Memoir from Queen Mary to Meghan Markle,' how the Queen 'fell in love' with Obama, and prior to her death 'frequently asked her courtiers if they could arrange for him to come to Britain now he is no longer president. '  Pictured are the pair meeting in 2016, after his presidency

Royal author Tom Quinn wrote in his book ‘Kensington Palace: An Intimate Memoir from Queen Mary to Meghan Markle,’ how the Queen ‘fell in love’ with Obama, and prior to her death ‘frequently asked her courtiers if they could arrange for him to come to Britain now he is no longer president. ‘ Pictured are the pair meeting in 2016, after his presidency

As a guest, he went on, ‘the same was true. She wasn’t interested in overstaying her welcome di lei.

‘She looked at her at watch at a certain point and said, “Alright, I think we need to wrap this up.”‘

The ex-commander in chief was not among the attendees at Elizabeth’s funeral Monday, with the White House revealing last week that President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden received an invitation that was for ‘only’ the first couple.

Former presidents, meanwhile, including Obama, were reportedly kept off the guest list due to space limitations.

The president and first lady were among some 2,000 people attending the funeral at Westminster Abbey.

The pair arrived for the funeral, waiting in the back as a procession moved past, before taking their seats among hundreds of mourners.

The ex-commander in chief was not among the attendees at Elizabeth's funeral Monday, with the White House revealing last week that President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden received an invitation that was for 'only' the first couple

The ex-commander in chief was not among the attendees at Elizabeth’s funeral Monday, with the White House revealing last week that President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden received an invitation that was for ‘only’ the first couple

They arrived in London late Saturday and paid respects to the queen on Sunday, viewing her coffin at Westminster Hall, signing condolence books at Lancaster House and attending a Buckingham Palace reception for funeral guests hosted by King Charles III.

Obama and other former US presidents including Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, George Bush, and Jimmy Carter, are expected to attend a planned memorial service in Washington, DC, for Elizabeth, which will be held in collaboration with the British Embassy at the Washington National Cathedral.

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