Now we know the truth -- our ex-presidents don't swap sartorial text messages
THE two Marys, all dressed up like Michael D's 'Santa Sisters' in matching red and black outfits.
To TV viewers, Mary Robinson and Mary McAleese looked like a pair of matching vases on either side of a mantlepiece, with the jubilant president-elect in the middle, about to take the oath.
Red is a key fashion colour this season, but what were the chances of both former incumbents of the Aras turning up at Dublin Castle yesterday in exactly the same shade of red? Only their hemlines differed.
You can just imagine the surprise and diplomacy earlier when the two women spotted each other inside Dublin Castle, both wearing similar colour combinations.
Nowadays the first mothers regularly check out each other's sartorial intentions before the wedding but do former presidents text each other to flag their outfits?
Clearly not, as evidenced by their body language, heads straight ahead as they sliced through the deep pile carpet in St Patricks Hall.
Jewel colours were the order of the day and ruby reds, emerald green and amethyst were amplified by the dramatic electric blue and gilt of St Patrick's Hall.
Junior ministers Frances Fitzgerald and Joan Burton wore green and violet while Deputy Mary Mitchell O'Connor arrived in a purple coat with a cerise outfit underneath.
The president's wife Sabina Higgins had flagged her intention to wear a Louise Kennedy off-the-peg cashmere coat (€1,995) in a vivid shade of purple.
Underneath she wore a purple jersey dress with ruffle detail down the side.
The Higgins' only daughter, Alice Mary, was 'dressed' by her godmother, Emmy-winning dress designer Joan Bergin. She chose a €425 navy silk dress with ruched panelling and covered buttons from Peter O'Brien's range for Arnotts.
Michael D wore a smartly cut black Louis Copeland suit with a white shirt and a jacquard-patterned silver tie.