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Suzy Menkes

Vogue International Editor Suzy Menkes is the best-known fashion journalist in the world. After 25 years commenting on fashion for the International Herald Tribune (rebranded recently as The International New York Times), Suzy Menkes now writes exclusively for Vogue online, covering fashion worldwide.

Suzy Menkes: Queen Elizabeth sparkles in France

Dressing for garden party and solemn memorial

6 Июня 2014

The Queen attends a garden party at the British Embassy during an official visit to Paris, ahead of the 70th Anniversary of World War Two’s D-Day, wearing a white Angela Kelly outfit — Getty Images
The Queen attends a garden party at the British Embassy during an official visit to Paris, ahead of the 70th Anniversary of World War Two’s D-Day, wearing a white Angela Kelly outfit — Getty Images
Offering English cheese to French politicians, diplomats and Parisian high society might seem like a challenge.
An over-sized edible crown made of cheese and crudités on display at the party
An over-sized edible crown made of cheese and crudités on display at the party
 
But when two chefs carried out a picture of a crown made up entirely from cheese balls, tomatoes and cucumber, even the most formal guests had to smile – and that included the Queen of England.
Red and gold uniform of the ceremonial guardian popularly known a «Beefeater»
Red and gold uniform of the ceremonial guardian popularly known a «Beefeater»
The summer garden party held at the British Ambassador’s residence in Paris on Thursday in honour of a State visit to France for Queen Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip, was like a scene from Alice in Wonderland.
The ornate regalia of the Beefeater
The ornate regalia of the Beefeater
The drizzly Paris weather turned miraculously fine, with a deep blue sky above the grand residence. The lawn was bright green, the grass a little damp and a challenge for those women foolish enough to wear high heels. 
The Queen’s band  marched with typical military precision
The Queen’s band marched with typical military precision
The Queens band play some military music
The Queens band play some military music
Military figures wearing full decorations competed with a band in full regalia. They performed marching music in front of the royal couple, who were sitting on red satin thrones of chairs.

The Queen wore an off-white dress woven with knots of sparkling threads

The news that Her Majesty would not be wearing her habitual hat frightened off most women from wearing fancy headgear. The Queen wore an off-white dress woven with knots of sparkling threads, re-cycled from the outfit worn at the 2012 Diamond Jubilee for the river pageant. (So it is not just Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, who is thrifty with her wardrobe.)
Thrones waiting for Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Foreign Secretary William Hague and his wife Ffion Hague
Thrones waiting for Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Foreign Secretary William Hague and his wife Ffion Hague
The dress was from Angela Kelly, who has brought a new dynamism to the Queen’s wardrobe. 
Her Majesty in the Angela Kelly outfit with knots of sparkling threads — Getty Images
Her Majesty in the Angela Kelly outfit with knots of sparkling threads — Getty Images
In fact, there had been a series of outfits on Thursday, starting with a white coat with back hat to celebrate 20 years of Eurostar, the railway tunnel under the channel.
Angela Kelly the Royal dressmaker with Royal hairdresser Ian Carmichael
Angela Kelly the Royal dressmaker with Royal hairdresser Ian Carmichael
That coat was peeled off to reveal a black and white suit with white hat for the arrival in France. Then there was a pink suit for the ceremony at the Paris Arc de Triomphe.

Angela Kelly was present at the garden party, along with the Queen’s personal hairdresser Ian Carmichael, who had had turned the royal bob into regal silver. 
Clare Waight Keller and husband American architect Philip Keller
Clare Waight Keller and husband American architect Philip Keller
British fashion designers invited for the event, included Clare Waight Keller of Chloé, who was also wearing white, and Phoebe Philo of Céline, who came with Lee Radziwill, the sister of the late Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
Phoebe Philo of Celine,  and Lee Radziwill
Phoebe Philo of Celine, and Lee Radziwill
According to Kelly, there was royal splendour to come for the dinner at the Élysées Palace on Friday, after the solemn visit to Normandy to commemorate 70 years since the Allied invasion which led to the end of World War Two. 

Follow Suzy Menkes on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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