Everyone wants to come dine with Queen
They are the most sought-after tickets in town with government ministers vying with church leaders for a place at the royal table. Who gets to dine with the Queen was being kept a closely guarded secret this weekend.
President Mary McAleese will host a State dinner on Wednesday night for 172 guests, including the Queen and her royal entourage. The guests will include the Taoiseach and State dignitaries and their partners, along with any special requests made by the Queen.
Ross Lewis, the chef from the Michelin-starred restaurant Chapter One, is devising the menu for the dinner, which will take place in Dublin Castle. The menu -- to be revealed on the day -- will emphasise an Irish theme with locally sourced meat, fish and cheese.
The government ministers who don't make it to the State dinner will still get to meet the Queen, however. The guest list has been organised so that every one at the cabinet table gets to be at least one of the events the Queen will attend during the week.
The populist event of the week is the concert at the National Convention Centre, hosted by the British Embassy and organised with the help of Harry Crosbie. It features a typical Irish celebrity guest list with television presenter Amanda Brunker, RTE stars Aidan Power and Ryan Tubridy, and ex-TV3 xpose presenter Lorraine Keane, amongst the invitees. Westlife and Mary Byrne will provide the entertainment. Terry Wogan, the veteran BBC broadcaster, Erin O'Connor, the London model, and Jack Charlton, will travel from London for the event.