The snap, which was posted to Harper’s Bazaar’s Instagram feed, was quickly rubbished by the online community, who poured scorn on Mr Abbott’s sudden lapse in formality.

Although the magazine described the encounter as a simple ‘hug’, people were quick to dismiss his actions as ‘awkward’, and many complained that Mr Abbott’s behaviour was ‘not appropriate’.

Even though royol protocol dictates that members of the family must not be touched, many people have fallen foul of this rule – most famously, Michelle Obama in 2009, who tenderly placed an arm around The Queen’s waist.

However, despite the furore this caused, the First Lady came out looking as awesome as ever – as Her Majesty hugged her back.

Image credit: Harper’s Bazaar/Instagram