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Queen Rania of Jordan delivers regal splendour on state visit to Italy

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King Abdullah's 'bella donna' Rania charms her hosts during the couple's three-day visit
 Photo: © Rex

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The royals were hosted by President Giorgio Napolitano and his wife
 Photo: © Rex

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Her Giorgio Armani Privé gown was another stunning choice from the queen
 Photo: © Rex

23 OCTOBER 2009

It's not easy to impress the Italians.

After all their country is famous for its fashion industry, with names like Valentino, Versace and Gucci to attest to the fact.

But that didn't daunt Queen Rania of Jordan, who reinforced her reputation as the first lady of Middle Eastern chic by putting on a veritable fashion display for her hosts.

The royal – in Europe with her husband King Abdullah and daughter Iman, whom she showed off proudly earlier in the week – chose a show-stopper of a dress for a gala dinner in Rome.

Her choice was an unusual silk crepe gown by Stephane Rolland in ivory, featuring a cape and a tie at the waist that finished in gold tassels.

With the addition of bold gold statement jewellery, the overall effect was that of a latter-day Princess Leia – the character played by Carrie Fisher in Star Wars.

At another glittering soiree she dazzled in a dress from Giorgio Armani, the designer who once praised her for "(having) the body of a model and (holding) herself like the queen she is".

The velvet mermaid shape evening dress with crossed sleeves and studded with Swarovski crystals on the back was another stunning choice.

The mother of four also made headlines away from the fashion arena.

Deputies in the national parliament awarded Rania the Marisa Bellisario prize for her campaigning work – an accolade previously won by the likes of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

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