Cardinal error! Queen's papal red clashes with Archbishop's purple for event at Lambeth Palace
The Queen looked resplendent in red today as she and the Duke of Edinburgh attended a multi-faith reception at Lambeth Palace.
But was she trying to make a statement
Her papal red skirt-suit and hat clashed with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams' equally bold purple gown.
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Resplendent in red: The Queen visited Lambeth palace this morning
The event, which offered religious leaders an opportunity to show their affection and support for the Queen in her Jubilee year, also included short speeches from Dr Williams and the Queen herself.
In an address before the Queen's speech, Dr Williams drew laughter from the multi-faith crowd when he said the Queen has shown that being religious is 'not eccentric or abnormal'.
Referring to her, he said: 'Thus you have been able to show so effectively that being religious is not eccentric or abnormal in terms of the kind of society we claim to be.
'On the contrary, if we take seriously the way our constitution works, the United Kingdom is a society where we might expect people to grasp the importance of symbols and traditions, not as a sign of mere conservatism or nostalgia but as a sign of what holds us together, what commits us to each other.'
The reception was one of the Queen’s first public engagements to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee year and she wore a red wool dress and jacket by Angela Kelly, finished off with a hat decorated with feathers.
Official visit: The Queen was greeted by he Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams and his wife Jane when she arrived at the palace
Linking the concept of religion with her anniversary, she said: 'Many of the values and ideas we take for granted in this and other countries originate in the ancient wisdom of our traditions.
'Even the concept of a jubilee is rooted in the Bible.'
In her speech, the Queen said: 'Here at Lambeth Palace we should remind ourselves of the significant position of the Church of England in our nation’s life.
'The concept of our established Church is occasionally misunderstood and, I believe, commonly under-appreciated.
'Its role is not to defend Anglicanism to the exclusion of other religions.
Celebration: The event, which offered religious leaders an opportunity to show their affection and support for the Queen in her Jubilee year, also included short speeches from Dr Williams and the Queen herself
'Instead, the Church has a duty to protect the free practice of all faiths in this country.'
Leaders from the Christian, the Baha'i, the Buddhist, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, and Zoroastrian communities were at Lambeth Palace and the royal couple spoke to each group about their particular faith and significant object.
Two objects came from the Victoria and Albert Museum, while the Jewish object – the Codex Valmadonna I, which is a Hebrew version of the Five Books of Moses – was flown in from New York.
From the V&A was the Jain faith's Kalpasutra which has pages from a 15th and 16th century edition, while representing the Sikh faith was a painting of Maharaja Ranjit Singh who was the first maharaja of the Sikh empire.
Happy to be here: The Queen met leaders of the eight non-Christian religions as well as Christian representatives
Dr Kamal Mehta, trustee of Jain Samaj Europe, said: 'For us it's an absolute honour for her majesty to see things from the Jain religion.'
Amrit Kaur Lohia, of the UK Punjab Heritage Association, said: 'This kind of event is very important because it's not just celebrating the monarchy, it's celebrating everything the British monarchy represents.
'She has done it so well throughout her reign and this event is just an example of her doing it again.'
Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks, a Jewish representative at Lambeth Palace today, said the Queen, and particularly the Duke of Edinburgh, were 'fascinated' by the book that came from New York.
He added: 'I have a deep reverence for her majesty and all she represents.'
Religious leaders: The Queen smiled as Dr Williams introduced her to his guests
Teaching tolerance: From left, the Chairman of the Buddhist Society Dr. Desmond Biddulph, Venerable Ajahn Amaro Bhikku, and Venerable Bogoda Seelawimala
During her visit, the Queen was also invited to see the ampulla and spoon – the jug and spoon which was used when she was anointed at her Coronation – and said: 'It's nice to see it again.'
Meanwhile, the Archbishop of Dublin, the Most Rev Michael Jackson, said she made a joke when she was reminded of how long ago she was anointed.
'She said 'Gosh, was it as long ago as that'' Dr Jackson said.
The Duke was in good spirits and also made a joke as he was being introduced to religious figures.
Passing by an area which had a higher number of women than men, situated in front of a press area which was also predominantly female, the Duke asked if it was the 'female section'.
Commenting on the event and the two speeches, Sister Catherine, from the Sisters of the Love of God, said: 'I think it was a very impressive occasion. They were very inspiring words from both of them.'
Sister Catherine, who said her main role is to pray for the Archbishop, also expressed her delight at the inclusion of so many faiths, and commended the Queen on making the point that all faiths should be protected.
Interesting artifacts: The Queen is shown the Codex Valmadonna I book by Jewish guests, from left, President of Board of Deputies of British Jews, Vivian Wineman, Chairman of Ostro Minerals Schweiz AG, Maurice Ostro, and Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, Jonathan Sacks
'Was it as long ago as that': The Queen is shown the Ampulla and Coronation Spoon used at her Coronation in 1953
Sister Catherine said that 'to hear that stated so clearly is very inspiring'.
To mark the Queen's visit to Lambeth Palace, tickets for Royal Devotion: Monarchy and the Book of Common Prayer go on sale today.
The exhibition is a celebration of the Diamond Jubilee and the 350th anniversary of the Book of Common Prayer, and is the first to bring together Lambeth Palace Library's collections of items of royal provenance.
It will give an insight into the relationship between royalty and religion, from medieval times up until the present day.
Dr Williams said: 'We are delighted to be able to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee year with this special exhibition looking at the close relationship between the monarchy and the Church.
'We hope that visitors to Lambeth Palace this summer will come away with a deeper understanding of this shared inheritance and connection, told through a series of exquisite and culturally significant artefacts held by the library on behalf of the nation since 1610.'
Each religious leader presented the Queen with a treasured object or text which is important to their faith
Heading home: The Queen looked like she had enjoyed the visit as she left the palace after the reception
It has been a busy week for the royal family.
night the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh hosted a reception at
Buckingham Palace as part of celebrations marking the bi-centenary of
Guests included members of the Dickens family as well as stars such as Ralph Fiennes and Helena Bonham Carter.
Earlier yesterday, the Royal couple attended a theatrical performance at the Guildhall in the City of London which featured some of Dickens' most popular characters.
The Duchess of Cambridge was also out and about yesterday.
She fulfilled her second solo public engagement – an away day in Liverpool – where she was presented with flowers and Valentine's Day cards from adoring children associated with the charities she supports.