Michelle Obama was seen during an idyllic dinner cruise in Paris when she and the other guests learned that nearby Notre Dame had gone up in flames.
On Monday evening, the former first lady and her fellow passengers stepped across the Eiffel Tower and set off along the Seine.
Mrs. Obama looked smiling and sipped wine as she mingled with other guests on the roof of the luxury boat as they drove past the iconic monuments of Paris.
But their state of mind changed soon afterwards, when news came about that the nearby 800-year-old cathedral was on fire.
At one point Mrs. Obama was being photographed as she stared intently at a fellow passenger's phone with an increasingly worried look on her face.
Michelle Obama was seen on an idyllic dinner cruise in Paris on Monday evening when she and the other guests learned that the nearby Notre Dame cathedral had gone up in flames
The mood of the passengers changed when the news about the fire in Notre Dame was filtered through it. At one point during the cruise, Mrs. Obama was staring intently at a fellow passenger's phone
Plumes of smoke rushed out of the cathedral and were visible all over Paris after the fire broke out around 6:30 PM
The fire broke out around 6.30 pm when Notre Dame was closed to the public for supper.
Plumes of smoke rushed out of the cathedral and were visible all over Paris.
As the fire unfolded, the captain of the boat chose to adjust the route of the cruise.
The dinner, prepared by the famous French-American chef Alain Ducasse, went ahead as planned.
Mrs. Obama, who had been in Paris for her book tour, later took her heartache against the French people on social media.
She shared an old photo on Instagram of herself, her husband Barack, and their two daughters lighting candles in the cathedral.
The former first lady was cheerful when she greeted the captain while she boarded the boat across the Eiffel Tower on Monday evening
She saw it as a glass of wine on the roof of the luxury boat as they passed the iconic monuments of Paris
Mrs. Obama looked smiling and sipping while mixing with other guests on the luxury cruise of the Ducasse du Seine
Mrs. Obama was in Paris to promote her new memoir Becoming
& # 39; I will never forget the first time I entered Notre Dame Cathedral. I was a teenager on a school trip to Paris. It was my very first international trip and until then I had not seen much outside the South Side neighborhood where I grew up, & she wrote.
& # 39; But the majesty of Notre Dame – history, artistry, spirituality – took my breath away. The feeling was almost indescribable – a place that lifts you to a higher understanding of who we are and who we can be. Every time I visited in the years that followed, also as a First Lady, I felt the same.
& # 39; Because I'm here in Paris tonight, my heart hurts with the people in France. Yet I know that the Notre Dame that I have experienced all those years ago, as many others have done over the centuries, will soon deter us again. & # 39;
Her husband Barack also tweeted: & # 39; Notre Dame is one of & # 39; the world's greatest treasures, and we think of the people of France in your sad times. & # 39;
The mood of the passengers changed visibly when another passenger was seen showing something on his phone
As the fire unfolded, the captain of the boat chose to adjust the route of the cruise
The dinner, prepared by the famous French-American chef Alain Ducasse, went ahead as planned
Mrs. Obama, who was in Paris for her book tour Becoming, later went to the social media to say that she & # 39; hurt in the heart of the people of France & # 39;
Mrs. Obama later shared an old photo on Instagram of herself, her husband Barack and their two daughters lit candles in Notre Dame when she was first lady
More than 400 firefighters were needed to tame the inferno that saved the roof and collapsed the spire of the Gothic masterpiece on Monday evening.
The fire quickly ripped through the oak roof supports of the cathedral, where workmen carried out extensive renovations to the wooden facades of the spire.
Hundreds of bewildered spectators had bordered the banks of the River Seine until late at night, reciting prayers and singing while standing in the vigil while the fire raged.
Firefighters worked through the night and finally suppressed the fire department about 14 hours after it started.
Authorities said they suspected the fire was caused by accident.
On Tuesday, firefighters examined the façade with its spectacular 10-meter filigree stained glass window intact.
From the outside the imposing bell towers and outside walls stood firm, but the inside and the superstructure were stripped of the intestines.
Researchers will not be able to enter the cathedral's blackened nave until experts are convinced that the walls have withstood the heat and the building is structurally sound.