We have a very brief post to share today, with a bit of breaking news we thought might be of interest: This morning Kensington Palace announced Kate and William will undertake a royal tour in the spring, but not to the Caribbean as many expected. Instead, they will travel to India. Kensington Palace’s tweet announcing the tour.
The official announcement on Palace letterhead.
The announcement was timed to coincide with the visit of India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, to the UK. This morning the Prime Minister addressed Parliament and met with Prime Minister David Cameron. Mr. Modi also lunched with Her Majesty. It is the first UK visit by a Prime Minister in more than ten years. This evening Prime Minister Modi addressed a crowd numbering 60,000+ at Wembley Stadium in an event put on by the Europe India Forum.
Formally William and Kate’s trip is being undertaken at the request of the government. It’s possible the tour will be used to create or solidify and grow business and cultural opportunities between the two countries. That possibility can be seen if reading between the lines in this Telegraph story about the Prime Minister’s visit.
….Mr Modi said the two countries should “seize our opportunities, remove obstacles to co-operation, instill full confidence in our relations and remain sensitive to each others’ interests” to create one of the “leading global partnerships”.
The theme was echoed tonight at Wembley as Mr. Cameron introduced Prime Minister Modi. The Duke and Duchess have proven themselves adept ambassadors overseas, it makes sense to utilize their skills in efforts to create stronger ties between India and the United Kingdom. Kate and William’s most recent trip out of the country together was last December’s visit to New York.
While nothing official has been released about the duration of next spring’s tour, it is likely to be at least one week+. Kate fashion followers are already wondering if we will see another formal occasion like the Malaysia state dinner in 2012 during the Jubilee Tour.
Or this Tuvalu dinner on that same tour.
One of the first questions asked involved George and Charlotte accompanying their parents on the spring tour. The word from the palace is no, they will be staying home.
There is a long history of royal tours to India, we will quickly look at just a few. Here you see HM in February of 1961 visiting the Atomic Energy Center at Trombay. This was her first visit to India as Queen; previously she visited as Princess Elizabeth. The most recent royal visitors were Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall in November of 2013.
Sophie, Countess of Wessex, visited the country in 2013.
HM in 1997.
Charles and Diana on their February 1992 trip.
Diana, Princess of Wales, at Mother Teresa’s headquarters in Calcutta on that same 1992 trip.
Here you see Queen Elizabeth II presenting Mother Teresa with the Order of Merit in 1983.
On that same 1983 visit we see HM with Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
With Prince Philip and Indira Gandhi in 1970.
While not in India, this 1985 photo shows Princess Anne, Princess Diana and the Queen Mother at the premier of A Passage to India, the film based upon E.M. Forster’s classic novel of the same title. (For anyone who might not have read this yet, it’s one I recommend, especially with the tour now on the horizon.)
We will keep you posted with any new information about the tour.
Two other very quick items:
1. There’s a new engagement on Kate’s Calendar next week; the Duchess now has events on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.
- Friday, November 20: Kate & William will visit Caernarfon, Snowdonia, and Denbigh in North Wales, continuing their focus on mental health issues. They will meet students using art to cope with issues at ‘Mind for Better Mental Health,” and also visit the Men’s Shed program, an endeavor targeted toward maintaining the mental wellbeing of men aged 50+. There is more info in this news release from Mind.
2. The deadline to enter our $1000 StyleRocks Giveaway is midnight tonight. (Pssst – if you haven’t entered yet, now’s the time!) We will announce the lucky winner on Twitter and FB as soon as we have verification of name/email/eligibility; we will also share the news in this post as soon as possible. (Look for ‘UPDATE” in the post title.) If you haven’t entered, perhaps this comment left by a previous winner will spur you to do so.
May everyone enjoy a splendid weekend.
- Prime Minister Modi’s official website is here, his Facebook page is here and Twitter account here
- the UK Welcomes Modi website is here
- Click here for Hello! magazine’s look back at other royals visiting India
- The Daily Mail’s story about the upcoming tour is here
- The Telegraph’s story about Prime Minister Modi’s Wembley address is here
- a solid BBC backgrounder on efforts to strengthen ties between Britain and India may be read here