Jim Young/Reuters/Landov
Simon Perry
April 02, 2009 02:25 PM

With a high-five for a young singer and a hug for as many schoolgirls as she could reach, First Lady Michelle Obama proved an inspirational presence to a group of teens in a London high school Thursday.

At the all-girl Elizabeth Garret Anderson Language School, the First Lady delivered her first major address of the European tour, then turned to some of the performers who had entertained her and embraced all those onstage.

After hearing students tell of the school – as well as sing, dance and perform dramatic scenes from Shakespeare’s The Tempest – Mrs. Obama got up to speak to the girls, who responded with whoops and whistles. Of the stage acts that preceded her, the First Lady said, “Wow. I can’t follow that.”

Mrs. Obama, wearing a Jason Wu dress and Junya Watanabe cardigan, added, “I am just very touched and moved by all of you. My husband – you know him? – he is going to be very jealous of my afternoon. He’s meeting with important people, but it’s not as much fun as being here.”

Of her surroundings, Mrs. Obama said, “These girls are terrific. The school is phenomenal, and you all should be very proud of what you have created You are precious and you touch my heart.”

Her voice cracking slightly, she repeated, “You touch my heart.”

Brenda Mensah, 16, high-fives Mrs. Obama
Jim Young/Reuters/Landov

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