Michelle Obama ready to take the world stage

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Washington, Mar.30 (ANI): US First Lady Michelle Obama is getting set to take the world stage by accompanying husband and President Barack Obama on their first trip abroad after assumption of office.

Both are headed for London and Paris, where President Obama is to attend this week's G-20 Summit and a meeting of NATO leaders.

According to Politico, the first couple's trip to Europe Tuesday takes Michelle Obama to a land that likes her husband but seems positively fascinated by her.

The British press in particular has followed Michelle Obama's every move breathlessly, from her dresses to the "kitchen garden" behind the White House.

One London paper tracked down her high-school prom date. Another asked plaintively, "Why Doesn't the UK Have a Michelle Obama?"

Michelle Obama's official schedule says she will accompany the president to many of his events - they both will have tea with Queen Elizabeth II, for instance - but she'll have some solo outings as well. She'll visit an all-girls school in London where the population is mostly minority and the second language is English - an echo of her work in Washington, DC.

Sarah Brown, Britain's first lady, will give Michelle Obama a tour of a health facility in London Wednesday and will take her and other spouses on a tour in London Thursday during the G-20 economic summit.

In France, Obama will join NATO spouses in visiting a hospital and a cathedral. And at all of these events, she'll stand next to some of the world's most high-profile political spouses- including Bruni-Sarkozy, the Italian-born ex-supermodel who is an admirer of the self-described girl from the Chicago's South Side.

Aides say Michelle Obama is aware of the moment and she has been reading up on her fellow members of the first ladies' club ahead of the trip.

Michelle Obama's aides also insist that she is there in a support role to her husband. Yet if history is any guide, first ladies can overshadow their spouses, and the comparisons to Jacqueline Kennedy's 1961 trip to Paris seem sure to abound, much like some are fond of comparing Michelle O. to Jackie O. (ANI)

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