As my Mom notes earlier this week, the royal touch is regarded as capable of curing, so you aren’t supposed to, as Michele Obama did, touch the Queen, because this could lead to a reduction in her healing juice, or something. Or at least that is the interpretation that Time offers for ruffled British feathers. The simpler explanation, that protocol is simply a set of signifiers that have evolved as a way of showing respect, is ignored for some attempt at rationality. This reminds me of the manufactured kerfuffle over Obama going jacketless in the Oval Office.
The Time angle is perhaps better suited to some large group of Americans who see their own presidents as somehow guided by God’s voice. While I have no doubt that there are royalists who believe the same, I suspect that most are just offended by the First Lady’s potential failure to show deference by maintaining protocol. I also wonder how this is news in either country, but I know the answer to that. Audiences must be entertained!