The Queen has met and dined with nearly every American president during her seven-decade reign. Today, we’ve got a closer look at a very unique ensemble worn by HM for a state dinner in California in 1983.
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh made a visit to the west coast of the United States in 1983, including a memorable stop in San Francisco, California, that March. One of the highlights of the trip was a state dinner hosted by President and Mrs. Reagan at the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park on March 3.
During the black-tie dinner, the Queen delivered remarks praising the continuing friendship between the United States and the United Kingdom. She drew laughs with a quip about the rain that had slightly dampened the trip, noting, “Our countries have shared many traditions, but I didn’t realize weather was one of them.”
The local press offered vivid descriptions of the gown and jewels worn by the Queen for the dinner. The San Francisco Chronicle wrote, “Wearing enough diamonds to light up all San Francisco, she dazzled and enchanted everyone from President and Mrs. Reagan to the white-haired museum volunteers who stood on tiptoes to see her. First, there was the tiara, a magnificent circlet with diamonds the size of walnuts. More diamonds blazed from her necklace, pendant earrings and one wrist. The other was adorned by with a chain of [a] small beaded bag. Her gossamer gown was of antique ivory silk with fitted bodice and ruffled sleeve and shoulder detailing. ‘A fairy princess gown,’ sighed an observer.” (And pure ’80s in its style!)
I’m not sure that I’d classify the diamonds in the Vladimir Tiara as walnut-sized, but it certainly sparkled under the gala lighting. The Queen’s other jewels included the Gloucester Pendant Earrings and Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee Necklace. The overall look was very ’80s romantic, a sort of modernized throw-back to days gone by. It’s definitely one of the Queen’s most memorable gala ensembles!
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