But Michelle Obama seems to be up to the task of impressing -- and delighting -- even the grandest of them, reports CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmer.
"I think Michelle Obama is going to be just Prince Philip's cup of tea," says Victoria Mather, social columnist for British newspaper The Telegraph. "She's a feisty, intelligent, beautiful woman. What's there not to like?"
It may be that Europeans were bound to like whomever followed President Bush, but French journalist Agnes Poirier agrees that Michelle and her husband have a certain je nais sais quoi.
"Barack Obama and Michelle Obama are a very alluring and very sophisticated couple and that plays well with the French," Poirier says. "They like seeing sophistication at the helm of power."
The Obamas touch down in London on Tuesday, and Angela Buttolph, a writer for the British magazine Grazia, observes that Britons are excited to see what the First Lady will be wearing.
"She is such a stylish lady," Buttolph told Early Show co-anchor Julie Chen in Los Angeles via satellite from London. "And the brilliant thing is that she loves fashion. You can absolutely tell that from all her outfits. She's not just trying to look smart and trying appropriate for a First Lady. You can tell that she loves clothes."
Buttolph says the British would be "completely enchanted" if she wore clothes by British designers, such as Alexander McQueen or Burberry, during her stay in the country. She also thinks the British are noticing Mrs. Obama's style because she's been choosing to wear items that represent current fashion trends.
"One of the things she's known for is wearing really bright colors, and that's going to be a huge trend for spring," she says, adding, "Yesterday, I was wearing a yellow dress with a huge necklace and I thought, 'This is such a Michelle Obama look." '
But it's not just about the clothes.
"She's the full package, isn't she?" Buttolph remarked. "And that makes it more appealing when she's wearing an amazing outfit, because you're thinking it's not just the surface. You can tell she's an incredibly cultured, powerful woman as well, and to also be able to dress yourself in an incredibly stylish way is just wonderful."