Photo of Bulgarian Ambassador Goes Viral over Choice of ClothesDiplomacy | October 10, 2016, Monday // 12:19| views
Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs
An image showing the new Bulgarian envoy to Luxembourg Maya Dobreva standing next to Henri, Grand Duke of the country, has left the public divided over the ambassador's choice of clothing.
Dobreva, who is also Bulgaria's ambassador to Belgium, was recently accredited to the grand duchy.
While the photo was published on the Foreign Ministry's website in late September, it took news websites and social media a week to pick up the story.
"The two discussed the development of bilateral relations, boosting economic contacts, and cultural exchange between the two countries," along with migration and challenges to the European Union, the statement noted - but it was her baby blue outfit what nailed readers' attention.
Her hat, festooned in feathers and ribbons, also drew particular interest.
While some noted the combination of garments accessories was not devoid of taste, others were outraged by what they saw as inappropriate if one is to meet a monarch. Lyubomir Stoykov, a fashion expert, slammed her appearance as a "cheap imitation of monarchic style".
Others (including former colleagues of hers) have shied away from harsh words, simply describing her style as "eccentric".
Asen Genov, an active blogger, tried to defend her for "trying to stand adequately next to a noble person."
The event in Luxembourg is not the first case in which she displays an unusual taste for clothing, but diplomats, quoted by Standart, recall her activity in Podgorica, Montenegro, where she also stood out for her dress code by had organized very smoothly the visit of Nikolay Mladenov, then Foreign Minister.
Dobreva was posted to Canada and Belarus prior to becoming becoming Bulgaria's ambassador in Montenegro.
Across Europe, examples of ladies with a preference for colors that often enjoy mixed reception include German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Queen Elizabeth, and the current Prime Minister, Theresa May.
"It is not the hat that matters, but what one has got under it," Ambassador Dobreva has told daily 24 Chasa.
She has described public interest in her outfit as "inexplicable", adding the particular clothes she was wearing were a matter of protocol.
"The exact wording [used in a protocol booklet she received] describing the garment I had to wear was: an afternoon tea dress. It had to be neither an evening dress nor one in dark colours. There had to be a hat or other head accessories. It might be funny for a state like ours, but this is not seen here as funny clothing or some kind of an exception," she has made clear.
Other possible colours she could have chosen included sugar rose and light green.
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