London - Three days of pomp and pageantry got off to a shaky start today at the Turkish presidential state visit opening ceremony.
Representing the largely secular NATO ally the country's First Lady Mrs Hayrunnisa Gul stunned Brit officials with her hastily put together High Street outfit.
This included some heated rollers under a salon-style nylon headscarf which aides said were needed to complete the look for tonight's Buckingham Palace state banquet.
Stunned officials watched the Horse Guards Parade ceremony as a 41-gun royal salute was fired by the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery at nearby Green Park.
In all fairness the scarf was not that different from headgear frequently sported by HM the Queen and several relatives such as Princess Margaret and the Old Queen Mum.
President Gul looked totally nonplussed as he sneaked off with Prince Philip from the official royal welcome party for a quick puff on a cigarette behind the barracks' portico.
He was later seen coughing and wheezing next to the Queen as the pair travelled together in the State Glass Coach whose windows quickly steamed up amid all the hacking splutters.
The Turkish visitors will dine at the Palace tonight at 7.30pm by which time their travelling hairdresser hopes Mrs Gul's coiffure will dazzle all and sundry in the Buck House dining room.
Prince Charles is 69.