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Lyonnaise 05-05-2004 11:59 AM

State Visit from the President of Poland: May 5-7, 2004
President Of Poland Welcomed To London For Official State Visit
Guards march to line the streets as Polish president Aleksander Kwasniewski begins the first day of his state visit on May 5, 2004 in London, England. The three-day trip by Mr Kwasniewski and his wife Jolanta follows the accession of Poland to the European Union on 1 May.

A.C.C. 05-05-2004 07:31 PM

The Queen and The President of Poland walking before the state banquet at Buckingham Palace

A closer picture of Her Majesty

greg 05-06-2004 06:31 AM

As a Pole, I am very proud of our First Lady, Mrs Jolanta Kwaśniewska. She is very beautiful and always elegant. The dress she was wearing at the State Banquet looks to be plain, but it is very suitable for this occassion. ;)

Torkel 05-06-2004 09:45 AM


Originally posted by A.C.C.@May 5th, 2004 - 6:36 pm
The two couples before the state banquet
The Queen is wearing the sash and star of a Grand Cross of the Order of the White Eagle - the highest Polish decoration conferred on foreigners. Her Majesty received this order in March 1996 during her state visit to Poland.
The tiara is known as "the Grand Duchess Vladimir tiara", and was bought by Queen Mary from the exiled Grand Duchess in the early 1920s. It consists of diaomnds in circles, with a pearl-drop hanging from each circle. The Queen is also wearing a diamond and pearl necklace, a gift to Queen Victoria on the 60th anniversary of her reign from the people of the UK; and a diamond brooch originally given to Queen Mary as a wedding-gift.

The Duke of Edinburgh is wearing the sash and star of the same Polish Order, which I believe he also received during the 1996 state visit. His Royal Highnes also wears the neck-badge of the British Order of St Michael and St George, of which he is Grand Master.

The President of Poland is wearing the sash and star of a Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath - the British Order usually given to republican Heads of State - which he received during the 1996 state visit of Queen Elizabeth to Poland. His Excellency is also wearing the star of a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George which he received during an official visit to the UK in Oct 1996.
It seems the President of Poland did not get any new decoration for this visit (there were no higher decoration to give him).

Mrs Kwasniewska did not receieve any British decoration. Neither does she have any Polish decoration.

Julian 05-06-2004 02:40 PM

Do you happen to know how long ago this Polish order "Grand Cross of the Order of the White Eagle" was created by the Polish state? Does it pre-date the communist period or was it created after 1989? Thanks.

Torkel 05-06-2004 03:06 PM

It was an old order, dating from the Polish monarchy
The present Order was instituted by then President Lech Walesa 16 Oct 1992.
More info at:
Polish Orders and Decorations

There was also a pre-revolution Russian Order of the White Eagle, and a Yugoslav Order of the same name during their monarchy.

btw - there was one mistake in my previous posting. The Duke of Edinburgh is Grand Master of the Order of the British Empire, and wore the neck-badge of that order.

greg 05-06-2004 03:11 PM

The Order of the White Eagle is the greatest distinction in our country. It was established in 1705, reactivated in 1921 (when the March Constitution was introduced) and given back in 1992, after a long period of communism. This order is a reward for Polish and foreign citizens for their civil and military merits. The Order has only one Class and is conferred on distinguished Poles and foreign heads of state.

If you want to know something more about Poland, just let me know ;)

Bubbette 05-06-2004 03:58 PM

I loved the first lady of Poland's suit, and QE also looked nice and springy in that ensemble!

Julian 05-06-2004 06:10 PM

Torkel, I noticed from the link you provided on Polish orders/decorations that it states the White Eagle was never officially discontinued during the communist era, at the same time (or part of it), it also states that the non-communist government-in-exile continued to award it. Does this mean that the present government recognizes those persons so awarded by the president-in-exile as legitimately holding the Order? (I know that government was discontinued some time shortly after the war...) B)

Torkel 05-07-2004 07:14 AM

Julian, I'm afraid I do not know the answer to your question. I believe the Polish government-in-exil was not officially recognized by most countries, as they all had diplomatic contact with Communist Poland. Whether the present post-communist government accepted the awards given by a governmnet-in-exile I have no idea.

A.C.C. 05-07-2004 04:56 PM

Prince Charles talking at the return banquet given by the Pres. of Poland, May 6, 2004

A.C.C. 05-07-2004 05:27 PM

Another closeup of The Queen at the return banquet, May 6, 2004

Closeup again

A.C.C. 05-07-2004 05:45 PM

Great choice of a dress

The Queen walking with the Pres. of Poland at the return banquet given by him for HM at the Dorchester Hotel, May 6, 2004

View of The Queen and the President at the table

A.C.C. 05-07-2004 06:02 PM

A closeup of The Countess of Wessex

The Earl and Countess of Wessex talking to the Duke of Edinburgh at the return banquet

A.C.C. 05-09-2004 06:31 PM

A closeup of The Queen and the President of Poland at the farewell at Buckingham Palace on the last day of the state visit, May 7, 2004

Her Most Lovely Majesty posing with the Duke of Edinburgh and the Pres. and First Lady of Poland as they bid farewell to their guests

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