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State dining has been shown to define the social, cultural and political position of a nation’s leaders (Albala, 2011; Baughman, 1959; Strong, 2003) and has been used by rulers for centuries to display wealth, cement alliances and impress foreign visitors (Albala, 2007; De Vooght and Scholliers, 2011; Young, 2002). This paper will show how the state banquet for Queen Elizabeth II was carefully curated to represent Ireland’s diplomatic, cultural and culinary identity. As the first visit by a reigning British monarch since Ireland had gained independence from Britain in 1922, the state visit of Queen Elizabeth II to Ireland in 2011 was a significant event. The state banquet hosted by President Mary McAleese at Dublin Castle was to be the pinnacle of the visit. This paper will demonstrate how the brief ‘Ireland on a plate’ was fulfilled and the statecraft involved in what was to be a theatre of political and cultural diplomacy and a showcase of the Irish gastronomic register.
Mahon, E. (2015) ‘Ireland on a Plate’: Curating the 2011 State Banquet for Queen Elizabeth II, M/C Journal of Media and Culture, Vol. 18, Issue 4, August 2015, 'curate' http://journal.media-culture.org.au/index.php/mcjournal/article/viewArticle/1011