Report By: Nina Rai
London, 19 May, 2012
Queen Elizabeth threw a special lunch party for sovereign monarchs’ from world over on Friday (May 18, 2012), as part of her Diamond Jubilee celebrations. The British monarch was joined at the Windsor Castle by twelve members of the royal family, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in welcoming royals and sovereign heads from all over the globe.
Looking extremely elegant in a pink pleated dress by Emilia Wickstead costing £1,200, Duchess Kate appeared in complete command at the function, as she easily circulated among the foreign royals. She was seen chatting animatedly with fellow recent royal bride, Princess Charlene of Monaco, who married Prince Albert last summer. The Duchess also seemed to have charmed King Simeon of Bulgaria and his wife Margarita.
In all there were twenty kings and queens, one emperor, a grand duke and one sultan. In addition there were eight princesses, an emir and a lone empress adding to the eclectic bunch. By all accounts, this world sovereign’s lunch at Windsor Castle as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations can most certainly be regarded as the largest gathering of crowned heads of state, since Queen Elizabeth’s coronation in 1953.
However, the bonhomie at the event was somewhat marred by a growing row over the inclusion of some controversial names on the Queen’s guest list, setting off demonstrations outside Buckingham Palace. It looked like a diplomatic blunder on the Queen’s part who for the past 60 years has managed to keep herself out of political controversy. However, for the first time, she seems to have made an error of judgment by dinning with the King of Bahrain, whose regime is accused of being responsible for human rights abuses.
Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein was the first of the royals to arrive for pre-lunch drinks in the Waterloo Chamber. He was followed by Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg. Both of them were warmly welcomed by the Queen and the Duke of Edinborough with handshakes and double kisses on either cheek.
After which the other royals to arrive was King Harald V and wife Queen Sonja of Norway who too were warmly received by the Queen. Next in line was Prince Albert II of Monaco with his lovely wife Princess Charlene. When Queen Beatrix of Netherland arrived she was most effusive in her greetings. She flung her arms open on meeting the British monarch and kissed her warmly on her cheeks.
The British Royal family was represented by all its senior members including the Duchess of Cambridge. Accompanying her was her husband Prince William and brother-in-law, Prince Harry. Other younger royals included Prince Andrew’s daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. Also attending the royal luncheon was the King Mswatsi of Swaziland who had brought with him, one of his 13 wives, Inkhosikati LaMbikiza.
Although it was an opulent affair, the atmosphere was one of family get-together with everyone chatting loudly catching up on their lives. The royal family members easily moved around the chamber playing good hosts to their foreign guests. Prince Harry could be seen in deep conversation with guests. Meanwhile Prince William and wifewere seen sharing a joke with the King of Jordan Abdullah II and his wife Queen Rania.
Once the drinks were done with, nearly ninety-eight diners moved into the glorious St George' Hall for lunch. The seating arrangements there were relatively informal, with round tables accommodating up to a dozen persons. Each group had at least one monarch and their spouse, a British royal family member and a member of the royal Household seated together.
An interesting menu was tastefully set on the royal table for the international guests. For starters there were poached eggs with English asparagus. The main course comprised of noisettes of new season Windsor lamb. Dessert was made up Kent-grown fresh strawberries.
Before sitting down for lunch, the assorted bunch of twenty-one crowned heads of state and the six foreign royals representing their sovereigns, posed for a group photograph. It may be noted that it has been nearly a decade since this many crowned heads of state had congregated together. The last time was in 2002 at the Queen Mother's funeral and at the Golden Jubilee lunch the same year.
Check Video: World's Monarchs' at Windsor Castle
Source: Daily Mail.co.uk
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