22 OCTOBER 2008

During the current money-conscious times even the people behind the Queen's wardrobe are mindful to save money it seems. Instead of purchasing a new gown to be worn at a state banquet during a visit to Slovenia, her design team created one from material presented to the Queen 20 years ago.

Palace officials are hailing the thrifty sartorial move as "credit crunch couture". The brocade used in the floor-length, gold-hued evening gown was given to the monarch on a tour of the Middle East. And has been carefully stored in acid-free paper ever since.

"Wherever possible, members of the royal family try to reuse what they have in order to save money," said a Buckingham Palace spokesperson.

The 82-year-old royal wore the result - a classic-cut, fur-trimmed affair - to a banquet at Brdo Castle in the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana.

On Wednesday the British sovereign concludes her two day trip - her first visit to the former communist country - with a visit to Lipica stud farm in the southwest of the country. She will be presented with her own Lipizzan stallion, a rare breed known for their grace, beauty and distinctive white coats.

Photo: ©
The monarch wore the floor-length gown made from material she was given 20 years ago to attend a state banquet in the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana with the Duke of Edinburgh Photo: © RexClick on photos for gallery
Photo: ©
Earlier in the day the Queen was wearing an interesting Slavic-style hat as she arrived on a two-day state trip, her first to the former communist countryPhoto: © Getty Images
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