First Lady Michelle Obama traveled on her own to the United Kingdom to have lunch on April 22 with Queen Elizabeth and dinner the same day with Prince William and Duchess Kate, forcing taxpayers to foot the bill for her to travel separately from President Obama.
The president visited Saudi Arabia before coming to London the evening of April 21. After dining with Mrs. Obama in two separate palaces April 22, he stayed on in the United Kingdom for a day without her before traveling on to Germany alone. It doesn’t appear that the first lady did much of anything else other than eat with royalty while in the United Kingdom.
Government records obtained last year by Judicial Watch pegged Mrs. Obama’s flight travel to Europe at $11,684 per hour. Assuming similar costs this year, the approximately 15-hour roundtrip cost to taxpayers for the flight alone comes to about $175,000. This, of course, does not include other outlays for staff and security.
It is not clear exactly when the first lady arrived in London, though she was in Washington April 20 and could not have set foot in the United Kingdom before April 21.
On April 22, Mrs. Obama skipped a meet-and-greet the president held with U.S. embassy staff in London but was ready to go when it was time to chopper over to Windsor Castle for lunch with the queen and Prince Philip. She arrived in a $6,000 Oscar De La Renta dress.
Mrs. Obama did not accompany her husband to 10 Downing Street for his mid-afternoon meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron. Instead, she freshened up for the dinner that evening at Kensington Palace with William and Kate.
Sunday, she returned to the United States and headed to Jackson, Mississippi, where she delivered the commencement address at Jackson State University. The president Sunday took in a short morning performance at Shakespeare’s Globe theater in London and then went golfing with Cameron.
“We’re going to go to Windsor Castle and we’re going to have lunch with the Queen,” Mrs. Obama told children visiting the White House April 20. “Pretty cool.”