President Obama snaps a selfie at Mandela’s memorial service

December 10, 2013

(ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)

Fresh off the latest round of controversy regarding when and where it’s appropriate to take a photo of yourself, President Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron and Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt apparently snapped a selfie at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service, where they’re all guests.

The photo shows the three smiling for a smartphone while Michelle Obama stares into the distance. A series of hilarious follow-up photos, practically screaming for a caption contest, show Obama laughing with Thorning-Schmidt and touching her arm before turning inexplicably somber. The first lady looks stern -- dare we say disapproving? -- throughout.


(ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)

(ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)

Thorning-Schmidt and Obama have met officially at least twice before, most recently in September in Stockholm. Thorning-Schmidt also visited the White House in February, when she and Obama discussed economic policy and the situation in Syria. The Danish PM also has daughters slightly older than Malia and Sasha Obama, which came up during the meeting.

For the record, CNN last October asked Emily Post, that last bastion of old-school etiquette in this topsy-turvy Internet world, whether it was ever okay to take selfies at funerals.

“No!” replied Post -- exclamation point hers.

More on Nelson Mandela:

'The Last Great Liberator': Why Mandela made and stayed friends with some of the world's nastiest dictators

9 questions about Nelson Mandela you were too embarrassed to ask

Read the most important speech Mandela ever gave

Watch Obama's speech, and read the transcript with analysis from The Post's Scott Wilson.

Caitlin Dewey runs The Intersect blog, writing about digital and Internet culture. Before joining the Post, she was an associate online editor at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.
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Max Fisher | December 10, 2013