Queen wears her wedding tiara for CHOGM banquet

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Port of Spain, Nov.28 (ANI): A white floor length embroidered dress, a necklace of giant pigeon red rubies and diamonds and a magnificent tiara....the Queen (Elizabeth II) was dressed to impress at the state banquet given by Trinidadian President George Maxwell Richards on the first day of the two day Commonwealth Heads of Government MeetingsCHOGM).

The tiara was the one she wore at her wedding in 1947.

However, it was her dress that evoked maximum attention. The hand beaded ball gown had Trinidad and Tobago's national birds, a scarlet ibis, cocrio and chaconia stitched on to it.

But clearly, its recessionary times and it showed. Despite the ostentatious tiara that she wore, the silver bag she carried was splitting at the seams.

Ah a fashion faux pas by the Queen. How did that happen, considering that she has been immaculately turned out in the past two days.

On Thursday, when she arrived here she was dressed in a green silk dress which had a chiffon sheath on it. A green hat complemented the well cut outfit.

On Friday, at the inaugural, she was dressed in a beige silk dress with a matching hat. A bit heavy on the lace and embroidery element, the dress was appropriate nonetheless as it was a morning event.

At the inaugural of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meet, the Queen gave a call for Commonwealth leaders to "continue the pursuit of peace, liberty and progress which means as much today as it did in 1949."

It was her grandfather, George V, who started this grouping and today she is no longer head of the Caribbean republic.But of the 53 countries in the Commonwealth, 15 still have her as their monarch.

On Thursday, the people in the islands of St.Vincent and Grenadines voted to say they wanted Queen Elizabeth to continue to be their head of state. A referendum vote saw more than 56 percent of the population rejecting the move to replace the Queen with a President

Here in Trinidad, the Queen's visit is being feted with great fanfare. This is her third visit since 1966.

At the banquet speech on Friday night, the Queen praised the Caribbean islands' fight against drug trafficking

"Your government's leadership on regional security has been rightly praised, particularly its pioneering efforts to encourage the sharing of good ideas and techniques in counter narcotics co-operation throughout the Caribbean," she said.

Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh also attended the banquet. By Smita Prakash (ANI)

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