While some have criticized the smiling group photo for being taken at a memorial service, Thorning-Schmidt expressed no regrets, saying that many pictures of Obama were taken that day and that the overall atmosphere of the event was “festive,” with a great deal of singing and even dancing.
She also said that the picture demonstrated that when world leaders meet, they're also ordinary people “having fun together.”
Thorning-Schmidt did not comment on the reaction of first lady Michelle Obama, who in some pictures appeared unhappy with the display.
Obama himself has yet to comment on the picture, while Cameron has said he was responding to a polite request for a photo from the family of a political foe.
Thorning-Schmidt's father-in-law, Neil Kinnock, once led the UK's Labour Party. Cameron also said the photo was an homage to Mandela, who "played an extraordinary role in his life ... bringing people together."