Queen Elizabeth arrived in Australia yesterday, and it must have been a little awkward when she greeted the country's prime minister, Julia Gillard. The Aussie leader, who was born in Britain, is a self-confessed Republican, meaning she supports a republic for Australia, rather than a constitutional monarchy with the British monarch as its head of state, as is the case now. Since the meeting at an air-force base, Gillard has been forced to defend herself for breaking protocol, as she declined to curtsey for the queen and chose to forgo a hat.
When asked if curtseying to the country's symbolic leader was demeaning, Gillard said, "Some things are you, some things aren't." While Gillard also maintained that she's a great admirer of Queen Elizabeth, we shouldn't be surprised Australia's first female prime minister did things her own way. The redheaded 50-year-old doesn't fit the politician mold necessarily. She's been dating a hairstylist since 2006 and has frankly said that not having children has helped her succeed.
When it comes to breaching protocol, Gillard isn't alone anyway. Michelle Obama famously touched (gasp!) the queen in 2009, during a reception at Buckingham Palace. See more photos of the queen's Australian arrival now. She and her 90-year-old husband Prince Phillip sure get around!