Michelle Obama flies in for secret sight-seeing trip
Tuesday 09 June 2009
When Michelle Obama, America's First Lady, gets back to the White House she will be able to say that she went to London and all she got was a lousy pamphlet with a colour photograph of Michael Martin on the front cover.
Her visit yesterday was kept strictly private. Neither the Commons authorities, nor the Foreign Office, nor the US Embassy would even admit that she was in town.
She and her daughters might have passed through London unnoticed altogether if it had not been for those sharp eyed people who hang about at Stansted airport to see if anyone famous is passing through, and the even more sharp-eyed photographers who camp outside the House of Commons.
She was seen arriving at Stansted Airport in Essex, in a Boeing 747 American Air Force jet at around 11am yesterday, with her daughters, Malia, aged 10, and Sasha, who was eight on Sunday. The three had been in France over the weekend, where Barack Obama took part in a ceremony to mark the 65th anniversary of the Normandy landings.
Their arrival at Stansted was strictly low key, without the red carpet and other fanfare that accompanied the President's visit for the G20 summit in April.
Later, they were spotted leaving the House of Commons by car. In the back of the car was the souvenir programme with the photograph of the first Speaker to be sacked in over 300 years. Mr Martin will officially stand down in two weeks' time. A little while earlier, there had been a sudden flurry as security men crowded around the door to a staircase that leads up to Big Ben, suggesting that Mrs Obama had taken her girls up to see the worlds' most famous bell, which was 150 years old on 31 May.
Finally, she was spotted going in and out of 10 Downing Street. Officials there confirmed that she had had a private meeting with the Prime Minister's wife, Sarah Brown, but said that she did not meet the Prime Minister.
- 1 Hair loss explained: How and why men go bald
- 2 Game of Thrones season 6: Jon Snow theorists believe the Stark may have a twin sister
- 3 Artist takes LSD, draws herself over different stages of the 9-hour trip to show its effects
- 4 A pint of water every day is the key to losing weight, scientists say
- 5 Russia 'accidentally reveals' number of its soldiers killed in eastern Ukraine
Most expensive city to live in for expatriates: Luanda, Angola takes number one spot with Hong Kong and Zurich in top three
Video of Irish 'professional boxer' fighting Istanbul neighbourhood goes viral in Turkey
Irish tourist filmed fighting with shopkeepers in Turkey says 'they messed with the wrong man'
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are handed peerages
Moody neurotics are more likely to be creative geniuses, study says
Dresden riots: Protesters in Germany attack refugee buses shouting 'foreigners out'
France train shooting: US soldiers speak of the moment they stopped gunman and 'beat him until he was unconscious'
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith calls for urgent ESA overhaul as part of drive to cut down welfare costs
£13000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to be part of a ...
£19000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT and Telecoms company ar...
£23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Visitor Fundraising Team is responsi...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...