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Glamour, beauty, high fashion and... Biffo

IT'S like a scene from Beauty and the Biffo.

Taoiseach Brian Cowen meets the glamorous royal who has been outshining Carla Bruni and Michelle Obama in the fashion stakes.

Princess Letizia was the star attraction in Madrid last night as EU, Latin-American and Caribbean leaders met for a summit.

Not even the ash cloud could stop Mr Cowen keeping his date with the gorgeous future first lady of Spain.

She has already won a fashion face-off with the wife of France's Carla Bruni and it seems that our leader is fast becoming a fan.

This picture shows Mr Cowen shaking hand with the princess as her husband, Crown Prince Felipe, watches on.

The Taoiseach looks more than impressed with Princess Letizia's sleek, all-black ensemble and classic eloquence.

The princess opted for a short-sleeve top, embellished skirt and black shoes, while for his part Mr Cowen played it safe with a standard black suit and grey/black stripped tie.

Some 60 world leaders were in Madrid last night for the sixth European Union-Latin American and Caribbean (EU-LAC) summit.

The conference will deal with a range of transatlantic issues including the global financial crisis and climate change.

A formal banquet in the royal palace last night was the first opportunity for many of the leaders to meet the new president of Chile, Sebastian Pinera,

But there are a number of notable absentees including President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, who said he had "a clash of diary dates".

Britain's new prime minister, David Cameron, was also too busy settling in to 10 Downing Street and instead sent his foreign minister, William Hague.