Shoes fit for a Queen? William Hague needs to take the boys shopping!

The head floods with questions when looking at this photograph. Everyone is laughing. Did Her Majesty just make a quip, or did Cameron just let rip? Why is he sitting down with his jacket buttons done up? Is he trying to hide recently gained weight? Why is Maria Miller dressed like a side portion of mushy peas? Does she actually model herself on Hogwarts sabotagess Dolores Umridge? Why is Baroness Warsi still there? I thought she was bringing a dance album out. Is Theresa May's stylist actually Helen Mirren?

The Standard ran it on their cover yesterday - The Queen visiting the cabinet for the first time. It's a big deal apparently because usually its them that go and see her. It's probably just me - but how is that faintly significant? Does it really matter which bits of carpet and gilt frame people meet around? The Queen on Skype. That would be a story. Or William Hague on Gaydar.

Her Majesty manages an impressively neutral smile. We have to remember that she has reigned right through the careers of 13 Prime Ministers to date and their constantly shuffling cabinets. Imagine how unexciting it must be to pose with Nick Clegg when you were once personally collected at the airport by Sir Winston Churchill.

But now let's press on with the important issue at hand here: Shoes!

Clegg's cloggs look tawdry, pale and scuffed like he's just been scaling the tall playground wall at break time in a boisterous grammar school. Black shoes should go with most suits but in this case they're so jaded that they actually clash with his trousers.

Moving on. Danny Alexander's shoes are terrible. Vague and unpolished vessels that are so lacklustre they blend into the antique rug.

David Cameron, what with being the Prime Minister of England, you would expect to be sporting a pair of really smart shoes and yet he too looks like he's just slumped down from his dormitory for a half-arsed smart casual six form social. Can you imagine the President of the USA wearing such middle of the road lace-ups that look like they're from a basket outside Clarkes in Bridgnorth?

There are shoes out there on the market for less than £200 that can connote power, elegance and class.  Take a note out of The Queen's book, you can see the photographer's reflection in the tips of those beauts.

William Hague is the only well-dressed man on the entire front row (which probably won't surprise some of my readers). He wears a charcoal suit with a gentle metallic finish, topped with a thin grey tie that manages to be both striking and understated, off-set rather boldly with a smart gold watch. His shoes have actually been polished, and he is the only gentlemen here sitting correctly with his feet crossed and his hands placed calmly on knees (no splaying your fingers Vince!)

Clearly this photograph, taken by ES photographer Jeremy Selwyn, has been selected editorially for its slightly off-kilter energy. So perhaps the shoes on show are better than they seem, but they just look bad in this particular shot thanks to the harsh flash?

Ultimately though it is Cameron's expression that steals the show. Relaxed and jovial or puerile and yobbish? It's certainly not an expression fit for a Queen. To me it looks like he's trying to do a Boris, act too cool for school in front of the cabinet kids, but can't quite pull it off. Or maybe Liz really did let rip?

But if you're reading this Miriam. Please please take Nick round the January sales and get him some fucking shoes.


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