The Queen has decided to recycle her old wardrobe to save money.

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The royal has embraced “credit crunch couture” for her state visit to Slovenia and Slovakia and will wear a formal evening gown made from material given to her more than 20 years ago.

The gold, silver and grey brocade – which was presented to the queen during a tour of the Middle East – has been stored in acid-free paper.

Her team of designers have used the material to make a full-length formal evening gown for a state banquet in the Slovenian capital Ljubljana tonight (22.10.08).

A spokeswoman for Buckingham Palace said: “The queen has always been thrifty and she is well-known for her culture of saving energy around the palace.

“The difference with the dress she is wearing tonight is that since we have started designing and making things in-house, we are able to be thriftier because we are using materials we already have.

“The material that has been re-used for the queen’s outfit had been stored nicely in the palace for more than 20 years but it was difficult to know what to do with it because it was so good. The queen then realised that it could be put to very good use as a gown for the state banquet.”

The royal representative also insists other members of the British royal family are committed to saving money in light of the current economic climate.

She added: “Wherever possible, members of the royal family try to re-use what they have in order to save money where they can. They always make sure they switch off lights before leaving a room.

“The Princess Royal is well-known for recycling outfits and the Duke of Edinburgh has been reported as wearing the same pair of trousers that he had made 51 years ago.”

The 82-year-old monarch is also planning to recycle another two of her old outfits on the trip.