Kate and William were welcomed at Kaziranga National Park again today.
After this morning’s safari and other activities Kate changed clothes to visit Pan Bari Village with Prince William. The village is a community located near the outskirts of the park with about 1800 residents.
They were certainly ready to meet William and Kate.
More from an Express story:
Several hundred villagers turned out for a glimpse of the couple, some wearing traditional Indian robes, others dressed in western clothes and taking pictures with their smart phones.
The couple were offered a bench to sit on as they took off their shoes – black wedges for Kate and lace up beige suede shoes for William – before entering the humble prayer hall.
In the village, the couple first visited ‘Namghar’, the traditional prayer hall, where they entered after removing their shoes and kneeled down to bow before the altar housing the ‘nam-ghosa’ (the holy book). They then interacted with a group of local villagers and officials.
One of the day’s funnier stories involved Prince George. Kate and William were asked why George and Charlotte did not come on the trip. This Mirror article has the rest:
Kate apparently replied: “Because George is too naughty.
“He would be running all over the place.
“The next time we come we will definitely bring them.”
The pair also spent time with villagers at another location, hearing about the impact the National Park has on their lives.
One of the day’s highlights came when Kate and William visited the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation. The Daily Mail has more.
It provides emergency care and rehabilitation for wild animals that have been injured, displaced or orphaned.
In a large area of grassland and sparse woodland the baby animals had gathered under the shade of a tree waiting for the royal couple who walked towards them.
One of youngest was Murphuli, an elephant aged just four weeks when she was found alone in the trench of a tea garden in October last year.
But it was Dunga, the smallest and newest resident at the centre, who really won the Duchess’s heart.
The baby rhino was found alone during a patrol by forest staff and when they failed to locate his mother he was brought to the centre.
Kate with an orphaned Asian elephant calf.
Next on the agenda, a visit to a tea plantation. The Mirror’s story explains why this crop is grown locally.
The village grows tea rather than rice because the elephants bypass tea plantations as there is no water to drink there.
After seeing the plantation Kate and William enjoyed tea with Wildlife Trust officials. WTI gave William and Kate a nifty surprise, a photo album they made that has information on each of the animals they saw when visiting earlier in the day.
The Cambridges wrapped up their formal engagements at the Park with some elephant painting. The High Commissioner’s news release explains:
The Duke and Duchess put the finishing touches on an elephant sculpture to officially mark the ‘call for artists’ for India’s elephant parade, which will see 200 elephants decorated by artists and placed in 200 locations across India by the Elephant Family.
Now to what Kate wore for the afternoon’s engagements, beginning with her pink and black Topshop dress.
The product description refers to Kate’s frock as ‘boho chic,’ that is certainly in sync with some of her other tour styles. The 100% polyester dress hits below the knee in length, with a slightly fitted bodice, gathering at the waist and a full skirt. There are also black tassel-trimmed ties at the neck. The dress is embellished with distinctive black embroidery, including open ladder stitching, seen below left.
The dress has sold out everywhere, it retailed at $140. This is one of the few times I recall seeing the Duchess in a pink dress, even when adorned with all of the embroidery.
Kate accessorized with her black espadrille wedges by Dune London. The style is now called the ‘Karley‘ and isn’t available in Kate’s black, although the cream/ivory color she wears is still being offered.
I was asked a good question today: is Kate wearing a pair of the old Pied a Terre Imperias, or the newer ‘Karley’ style from Dune London? The Karley did come in black for some time, so it’s possible she purchased an extra pair or two, knowing hers would eventually wear out. I’ve no idea, and don’t really know of any distinguishing characteristics that would help someone trying to distinguish between the Imperia and the Karley.
We saw the Duchess wear her Accessorize Filigree Bead short drop earrings again.
Kate wore her hair up for the afternoon appointments.
We did not see Kate wearing her sunglasses this afternoon, but she had them on a good part of the morning. It looks like she wore the folding Ray-Ban non-polarized that we saw at Wimbledon last year, first worn to AELTC in 2014.
On Facebook, there was a question or two about why Kate would have changed her clothes, and why she opted for a dress as opposed to trousers. My thought was that perhaps she wanted to convey respect for local residents and the officials she was meeting. Someone else suggested it might be that she was cooler in a dress as opposed to the Zara jeans, which looked heavy, although they may be very lightweight. I’m not sure how much a polyester dress would breathe, but it certainly might be why Kate changed. Any other thoughts?
Also today, the royal entourage found themselves dealing with a situation not on the travel itinerary: an earthquake. Gordon Rayner has more in The Telegraph:
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were caught up in an earthquake scare today as a 6.9 magnitude tremor shook north east India, where they have been visiting a wildlife park. The royal couple felt the ground moving as they stayed in the Kaziranga National Park in Assam, where two tremors struck over the course of a minute, shaking buildings across the region.
The quake’s epicenter was more than 500 miles away, but it was unnerving.
Journalists reporting on the royal couple’s tour of India were evacuated from their hotel as guests ran for open ground when it struck at 7.25pm local time (3pm BST).
While unsettling for everyone, no injuries were reported.
THURSDAY APRIL 14: KAZIRANGA / BHUTAN
- Flight to Bhutan
- Paro Airport, Thimphu: official arrival
- Thimphu Dzong:
- Kate and William take part in a traditional welcome ceremony at this ancient monastery, now the seat of Bhutan’s government.
- Following the ceremony the Duke & Duchess have a private audience with the King and Queen, followed by a walk across an open courtyard to “to a temple where they will receive a brief blessing and will light butter lamps”
- Archery: The couple watches an archery exhibition, archery is the country’s national sport
- Dinner: The Duke & Duchess have a private dinner with the King and Queen
NOTE: I hoped to be able to cover the scarves being given to Kate and William, but have to table that until tomorrow or Friday.
- Learn more about Wildlife Trust India by visiting its website here, Read the WTI news relase about this afternoon’s activities clicking here
- Visit the International Fund for Animal Welfare website here, follow the group on here on Facebook; the organization’s Instagram page is here and Twitter feed here
- The Daily Mail’s story about Kate Feeding A Rhino is here
- Hello! magazine’s tour photo gallery is here