Jacinda Ardern wears traditional Maori cloak to dinner with Queen Elizabeth

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern turned heads at Buckingham Palace on Thursday night by wearing a traditiona...

Posted: Apr 20, 2018 1:14 PM
Updated: Apr 20, 2018 1:14 PM

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern turned heads at Buckingham Palace on Thursday night by wearing a traditional Maori korowai cloak to a state banquet of world leaders.

The korowai was loaned to Ardern by the Ngati Ranana London Maori Club, who said it was the second time in had been worn in the presence of Queen Elizabeth II.

"The Queen encountered this particular Korowai ... meeting our Whaea Esther at the Westminster Abbey for the Commonwealth Day Service," the group's Facebook said.

Describing it as an "honor" to loan Ardern the korowai, the club said it had been made for a wedding years ago and, upon its original owner's depart for Italy, it was given on permanent loan to the club.

The korowai has garnered massive attention on social media with many people praising Ardern for her choice for an outfit representing her country's indigenous Maori population.

Ardern was in London for the biennial Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, held approximately every two years for members of the British Commonwealth of Nations.

Among the attendees were the leaders of Canada, Australia, Pakistan and the United Kingdom.

The New Zealand leader made a speech to the assembled Commonwealth leaders during the banquet, just one of two leaders to do so, which she attended along with her partner Clarke Gayford.

According to Radio New Zealand, Ardern was one of only four leaders to get a 20-minute private audience with Queen Elizabeth on Thursday. Ardern has previously voiced her support for New Zealand to become a republic.

It is expected to be Queen Elizabeth's last Heads of Government Meeting due to her advanced age. In a speech on Thursday, the monarch said she hoped the group would pick her son Charles, the Prince of Wales, to be their next head.

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