Waterford's glass tickles monarch

TOAST: THE TINKLING that tickled the Queen emanated from the gentle touching together of Waterford Crystal wine goblets, prompting…

TOAST:THE TINKLING that tickled the Queen emanated from the gentle touching together of Waterford Crystal wine goblets, prompting her to remark "I like this clinking glass".

Etiquette experts suggest “clinking” glasses is not the done thing in the presence of royalty, but there was an enthusiastic response when Queen Elizabeth asked those present at Wednesday’s State dinner in Dublin Castle to join her in a toast to President Mary McAleese and the people of Ireland.

When Mrs McAleese uttered a heartfelt “thank you so much”, the Queen surprised many with a somewhat quirky response: “I like this clinking glass”.

The off-the-cuff remark was caught by a microphone put in place to record and amplify the Queen’s long-awaited and well-received speech.

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Royal correspondents who had travelled with the British press pack, still flabbergasted at the Queen’s use of Irish at the beginning of her speech, were astonished to hear her make such an informal reference afterwards.

The glasses belonged to one of four sets of State Waterford Crystal featuring the Irish harp. The precious glassware sets are kept in Dublin Castle, Áras an Uachtaráin, Government Buildings and Farmleigh. Champagne flutes, whiskey tumblers, sherry glasses and many other shapes and styles feature.

Mary Minihan

Mary Minihan

Mary Minihan is Acting Features Editor of The Irish Times