Surpassing this President will be no stroll in the Park . . .
Mary McAleese did us proud with an assured handling of the visits by Queen Elizabeth and Barack Obama. It's a far cry from the doubts that surrounded her on her inauguration, writes Lise Hand
A FANFARE sounded and everyone rose to their feet as the two women walked side-by-side into St Patrick's Hall in Dublin Castle.
Queen Elizabeth looked dazzling in a snow-white gown and a sparkling diamond tiara. This was the first time we had seen the monarch in her full formal pomp, and it was an impressive sight.
But she didn't overshadow her hostess. Tall, confident and stunning in a Deborah Veale electric blue satin evening dress with chiffon sleeves, President Mary McAleese looked every inch a Head of State.