We have seen Kate in two different looks today as the royal tour left India and traveled to Bhutan. For the departure from India and arrival near Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan, Kate brought back an Emilia Wickstead piece.
Flying into Bhutan can be quite an undertaking; from The Telegraph:
The Duke and Duchess touched down in Paro, near Thimpu, at an airport that is reputed to be the hardest in the world at which to land. Only a handful of pilots are qualified to fly in to Paro, where they must perform a sharp 90 degree turn immediately before landing because of the mountains that surround it.
Kate and William’s visit is big news in the Himalayan country, many of the day’s events were live-streamed by Bhutan Broadcasting.
The Duke and Duchess were greeted by the King’s sister, Her Royal Highness Princess Chimi Yangzom Wangchuck.
The two couples on their way to pose for an official photograph. You can just see Kate’s yellow coat on the far left.
We previously saw this piece at the Order of the Thistle in 2012.
Today the coat was worn with a belt, that enhanced the look of the coat significantly. When leaving India this morning the Duchess wore her ‘Chrissy’ dress by Tory Burch, as shared in this picture by ABC’s Carolyn Durand; you can just see Kate as she is about to board this morning’s flight.
Kate previously wore the piece when attending a private Place2Be meeting in June, 2014.
UPDATE 2: Sarah left a comment sharing that NBC’s correspondent reported Kate changing clothes on the plane today. I was definitely wrong on this one. Thanks to everyone who shared their input. The post has been changed to reflect the updated info. UPDATE 1: Several comments have noted that the Tory Burch dress is unlikely to have been worn under the Wickstead coat, the dress would have shown at the collar of the coat. That is a good observation. On some level I believe that if there was one person who might button up that coat to the neck, concealing all beneath it, that person is the Duchess. But that begs an obvious question: why would she do that? My inclination is that she probably didn’t. Kate accessorized with her Natalie clutch and Fern pumps, both by LK Bennett. The Fern is out of stock but you can register your interest in owning a pair with LK Bennett if so inclined.
She also wore a new pair of earrings we’ve yet to identify. Below, Kate and William on their way to the Tashichho Dzong for their audience with the King.
The Duchess changed into a traditional Bhutanese look, wearing a kira (also spelled as kera).
Inside the Dzong you see a massive tapestry behind the couple.
In the corridor leading to the throne room the walls are covered with murals depicting the life of Buddha.
They arrived at the official royal fortress, the Tashichho Dzong, walking behind a procession of musicians and dancers in national dress, then bowed and curtsied to the king and queen, reflecting their more junior status, as they were welcomed by them.
After the audience Kate and William saw what is considered the grandest room in the building, and where monks perform their daily prayers. “Every inch of the room is covered in Buddhist art, and a thousand smaller statues of the Buddha line the walls.”
After the private time both couples made their way across the courtyard for the chipdrel, or welcoming ceremony. On the far right below you can see William and Kate.
The chipdrel features traditional Bhutanese musical and dance performances.
— Simon Vigar (@simonvigar5) April 14, 2016
Then it was time for another formal photo memorializing the visit.
Kate’s purple fabric played nicely off the Queen’s rich red hues.
After the ceremony ended Kate and William were treated to an archery exhibition and competition; archery is Bhutan’s national sport.
From The Telegraph’s coverage:
…crowds lining the archery field had been told the Duke might try his hand at archery, but clearly had not expected the Duchess to get involved too. After the Duke fired two arrows at a dinner plate-sized target from 50 yards away, shooting wide both times, he offered the bow to the famously competitive Duchess, who prompted a huge cheer from the 1,000-strong crowd when she accepted.
“Target? What target?”
Now for a closer look at Kate’s outfit, beginning with some background on traditional dress from Bhutan.com.
The woman’s kera is an ankle length dress. Made from finely woven fabrics, the kira has traditional and beautifully coloured patterns. While machine milled traditional clothing is popular for daily wear, the traditionally woven dress is worn on all formal occasions including working in the office
The fabric for the piece was sourced and woven in Bhutan by noted artisan Kelzang Wangmo.
Kate did not actually wear a dress, but a skirt, what is called a half-kira. More from Monique Jessen’s story for People:
Putting her own spin on the look, Kate chose not to wear the full kira, which is normally draped around the entire body and secured with a brooch and a hand woven belt. Instead, Kate opted to wear a sarong-style kira skirt. “Normally the kira is not really a skirt, it is more of a dress because it comes right up to the neck – which is the traditional way of wearing it,” explains the translator, sitting by Wangmo’s side. “But some Bhutanese women wear a half kira, which is more modern and similarly the Duchess has chosen this style.”
Ms. Wangmo is so respected she was asked to create pieces for the wedding of the future Queen Jetsun. Kensington Palace shared a brief video of the weaver reacting to news that her fabric was used for Kate’s skirt.
The Duchess introduced another clothing brand, wearing a Paul and Joe wool cape.
The cape is all wool, with a silk lining and hook & eye front fastening. The intricate embroidery seen on the piece was actually done in India.
Our thanks to HRH Duchess Kate for the identification of this piece.
Kate wore her LK Bennett Fern heels again UPDATED: It turns out that Kate changed shoes before the afternoon’s engagements. She put on something with a lower heel than the Fern worn this morning with the Emilia Wickstead. Below we show the heels worn in the afternoon compared with the LK Bennett Florete; it very much looks like the Floret (It’s spelled both ways), but even LK Bennett can’t definitively say it is their shoe.
She wore a beautiful pair of earrings we haven’t previously seen.
UPDATING EARRINGS: I think the photo in the upper right of this updated montage shows what the other two pictures didn’t, the diamond borders on the earrings. It looks like Anna of My Small Obsessions was correct in thinking they are Kiki McDonough’s Lavender Amethyst Pear and Oval Drops (£3900).
This evening the Duke and Duchess have a private dinner with the King and Queen. I am doing a separate post on that event, lest this become unmanageably long. We leave you with this funny face of Kate’s.
UPDATED APR 15: Apparently Kate’s expression had nothing to do with song lyrics. I am hunting for the proper info and will update when I am able to do so. 🙂
Apparently the Duchess had just learned about the…well, the rather earthy lyrics in songs being sung during the archery competition. From The Daily Mail: “…Sonam Karma, a Bhutanese Olympic Committee official who works closely with Prince Jigyel explained just how rude some of the songs were about the competitors. ‘They are singing obscenities,’ he said. Asked to translate them, he said: ‘You’re bald. You’re a baldy. Your nose is really big.” (There is a little more but we’ll leave things here.) LINKAGE:
- The King of Bhutan’s Facebook page is here, the Queen’s page is here, the Bhutan Archery Federation website is here
- A BBC piece, “Bhutan: Things you may not have known about the country” is here
- The Daily Mail‘s story on the arrival is here; The Telegraph’s story is here;
- A Daily Mirror piece on visiting Bhutan is here
- A profile of weaver Kelzang Wangma in the Taipei times may be seen here, the Kelzang Handicraft website is here and Facebook page is here