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Sir Norman Hartnell (1901-79)

Dress worn during State Visit to Italy c. 1961

RCIN 250408

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Worn for a State Visit to Vatican City to meet Pope John XXIII, 5 May 1961. This elegant ensemble consists of a long dress of black lace with a bell-shaped skirt and a silk tulle and lace mantilla or veil to cover the head, usually worn beneath a tiara. The ensemble respects the convention whereby female monarchs or heads of state wear black when in audience with the Pope at the Vatican and is an example of the careful planning and diplomacy that is involved in the preparation of