On the morning of April 9, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh died at age 99, The Royal Family confirmed. Former president Barack Obama posted a tribute to the late royal on Instagram just hours after his death was announced, reflecting on his legacy as Queen Elizabeth II’s husband and his impact as a British noble for more than half a century. “When we first met His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, he and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II had already been on the world stage for more than half a century – welcoming leaders like Churchill and Kennedy; Mandela and Gorbachev,” Obama wrote. “As two Americans unaccustomed to palaces and pomp, we didn’t know what to expect.”
The former president explained that Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were gracious hosts who put them at ease immediately and gave them a sense of comfort. “Prince Philip in particular was kind and warm, with a sharp wit and unfailing good humor,” he continued. “It was our first introduction to the man behind the title, and in the years since, our admiration for him has only grown. We will miss him dearly . . . At the Queen’s side or trailing the customary two steps behind, Prince Philip showed the world what it meant to be a supportive husband to a powerful woman.” Obama went on to list Prince Philip’s achievements as a member of the Royal Navy and a combatant in World War II.
“As the world mourns his loss, we send our warmest wishes and deepest sympathies to the Queen, their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren; and everyone who knew and loved this remarkable man.”
Barack Obama often shares his favorite music and top tracks with interested listeners by sending out themed playlists covering various genres. His lists often include major rap artists like Drake, Kendrick Lamar, or JAY-Z, and during a Q&A for his podcast Renegades: Born in the USA the former president explained why one particular rap song holds a special place. When asked by Complex to recite a verse he knows by heart, Obama chose JAY-Z’s “My 1st Song” from 2003. The track parallels Obama’s first presidential campaign.
“You do not want to hear me rap,” he joked. “When I have tried to rap, my daughters have rolled their eyes, covered their ears. They think it’s painful. They even think my dancing is better than my rapping.” Despite his reticence to rap, Obama doesn’t have to think hard when it comes to a meaningful song from the genre. JAY-Z’s track came up on Obama’s iPod “a lot” when he was running for office in 2008. “[“My 1st Song”] is a song that I love because it talks about the struggle of just trying to make it. And sometimes you have to resort to false bravado and hustle and tamping down your insecurities and when I was running for president, obviously, at that point I didn’t know whether I was gonna make it.”
He recited, “Treat my first like my last, and my last like my first, And my thirst is the same as, when I came.” For Obama, the lines are a reminder “that even when you do make it, having a little bit of that sense of still being hungry, still having to work hard, still having to prove something – that’s what keeps propelling you forward.”
Image Source: Getty / Chip Somodevilla
The Obamas may no longer be living in the White House, but they still get to enjoy some of the perks, thanks to the Bidens. On Tuesday, Michelle Obama took to her Instagram to share a huge basket of some of the prettiest greens I’ve ever seen, sent by none other than her friend and First Lady Jill Biden. But it wasn’t just any gift – filled with Tuscan kale, broccoli, turnips, and other leafy vegetables, the fresh bundle came straight from the White House Kitchen Garden, which Michelle herself built in 2009 and holds close to her heart.
“So thankful for this beautiful care package from our amazing @FLOTUS!” Michelle captioned the photo. “These fresh veggies from the White House Kitchen Garden were such a wonderful – and delicious – surprise. Love you, Jill!” To which Jill sweetly responded, “Food is love.”
The former first lady planted the garden when Barack Obama first took office in 2009 to start a national conversation about health and nutrition. Throughout the years, produce from the garden has been used for meals in the White House for the first family and guests alike. Get a closer look at the meaningful gift ahead.
After her decades of iconic work, Dolly Parton is an obvious choice for the Presidential Medal of Freedom, so why hasn’t she gotten it yet? Barack Obama admitted overlooking the country singer’s award is one of his greatest regrets but Dolly recently revealed she actually turned down the medal not once, but twice already.
“I got offered the Freedom award from the Trump Administration. I couldn’t accept it because my husband was ill and then they asked me again about it and I wouldn’t travel because of COVID,” Dolly shared on NBC’s Today. Combating the virus is clearly a priority for Dolly, who donated $1 million to help fund Moderna’s vaccine back in April 2020.
The Biden Administration didn’t hesitate to reach out to Dolly about the award either, but she’s unsure if she’ll ever accept. “Now I feel like if I take it I’ll be doing politics, so I’m not sure,” she said. “I don’t work for those awards, but I’m not sure that I even deserve it. But that’s a nice compliment for people to think that I might deserve it.”
Break out the cake and balloons, because a celebration is in order for Michelle Obama‘s birthday. On Jan. 17, the former first lady turned 57. Naturally, our former President Barack Obama wrote a beautiful message to commemorate the occasion. We wouldn’t expect anything less from these two. “Happy birthday to my love, my partner, and my best friend,” Barack captioned his Instagram post. “Every moment with you is a blessing. Love you, Miche.” How sweet! After 28 years of marriage, Barack and Michelle have certainly spent many special birthdays together, but we hope this is the best one yet.