Belfast Telegraph

The State banquet hosted by the Queen and Prince Philip: Who attended?

By Colin Francis

Last night's banquet proved to be a star-studded affair with Anglo-Irish representatives from the fields of politics, arts, business, sport and diplomacy all coming together in honour of the Irish President's visit.

The State banquet, hosted by the Queen and Prince Philip, had an invite list reading like a who's who of leading Irish and British public figures.

In addition to politicians from both sides of the Irish Sea and an army of presidential and government advisers, Hollywood A-listers Daniel Day-Lewis and Dame Judi Dench ably represented the performing arts.

Brian O'Driscoll and wife Amy Huberman received invites to the lavish event, as did Everton footballer Seamus Coleman. Other public figures at the historic occasion included former President Mary McAleese and her husband Martin, former Prime Minister John Major and wife Norma, and veteran TV presenter Terry Wogan.

Former Eurovision winner Eimear Quinn was there, along with designers Louise Kennedy, Joan Bergin and Philip Tracey, who created many of Mrs Higgins' outfits for the visit.

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