Kings, queens and geishas samba at Rio Carnival

Andrei Khalip

Brazil's Carnival parades got off to a majestic start on Sunday night as dancers dressed as monarchs, courtiers and even roast pheasants at a royal feast shimmied their way through Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome. Beauty queens wearing little more than plumed headdresses gyrated on top of giant floats as singers chanted "The kingdom has moved, my Rio has bloomed".

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