Reported in the News Letter on April 11, 1957: Queen breaks schedule with impromptu visit to stables

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The Queen yesterday broke away from the crowds and the glamour of Paris to give herself a special treat – a quick and unofficial look at some of France’s greatest racehorses.

Officials who had planned a tight programme of small ceremonies and visits on the outskirts of Paris reckoned without the Queen’s fondest hobby. When she heard that she was near the stud of M Marcel Boussac, the racehorse owner, she upset the schedule by insisting on a rapid inspection.

Her renowned punctuality for once went by the board and she was eight minutes late for a visit to General Lauris Norstad, the American Allied Supreme Commander in Europe.

The big talking point of the women of Paris yesterday was still the Queen’s wardrobe. Newspapers published glowing descriptions of the silver “mermaid” gown she wore at Tuesday night’s Seine pageant [April 9].

At a State banquet in the Louvre on her last night in Paris she wore a cornflower blue gown with a deep neckline and cut low at the back. It was her third new evening gown in three nights.

The Queen looked tired after her hectic three days in the French capital, but gazed with interest at 20 priceless paintings, including the Mona Lisa, pointed out to her by President Coty.

Today the Queen leaves Paris and visits Lille and Roubaix, provincial textile towns, before flying to London.