| GEO World|
| Michelle Obama makes surprise visit to London school|
| Updated at: 2146 PST, Friday, April 03, 2009|
LONDON: There were squeals, high-fives and tears. Michelle Obama electrified a North London school in a surprise visit during which she told children to remember, "Being smart is cooler than anything in the world".
America's First Lady appeared at times overwhelmed by the reaction to her visit to the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School in Islington, north London.
In remarks to 100 teenage girls who had no idea that she was coming, Mrs Obama said that education, rather than their background, counted the most in life.
"If you want to know the reason why I am standing here, it's because of education," she told them.
Mrs Obama, on her first official visit as First Lady, paid tribute to her British hosts, saying that the country was the home of the "most extraordinary women", including the Queen and Maggie Darling, the wife of the Chancellor, whom she called a "true firebrand". She described Sarah Brown as a "phenomenal woman who has been charming and delightful".