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Kate in Familiar Favorites for Himalayan Hike & Poppies on her Evening Gown

Today Kate and William were able to spend time enjoying Bhutan’s breathtaking scenery as they hiked to the iconic Tiger’s Nest Monastery high in the Himalayas.© Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/i-Images

The two started off on a clear, cool morning. More from the BBC:

They took time to soak up the panoramic views surrounding the 17th century monastery, formally known as Paro Taktsang, during a three-hour walk.

Situated about 10,000ft (3,000m) above sea level and on a cliff face, the monastery is considered to be one of the holiest for the Bhutanese people.

This photo of the iconic monastery is from 2011. 

We have a treat today, first-hand perspective from a WKW friend who knows exactly how challenging the hike can be. Brooke, a WKW friend, made the trek with her husband in April of 2014. Brooke described what the terrain is like and shared the 2 photos directly below her quotes.

It’s an imposing feat from the bottom. The trail itself is dusty and dry, with short flat stretches between hikes up rocky, steep ledges to ascend the mountain.

Our guides told us stories of men who complete the hike every day, and experts who climb in less than an hour. All Bhutanese men make the trek in their Gho (traditional Bhutanese dress), and combined with the gentle nature of the Bhutanese, it makes for a very beautiful, dignified and spiritual experience for such rough terrain and such a long journey.

Bhutan Hike Monastery Brooke 2

Kate and William approach the halfway point of the climb in this photo from Victoria Murphy of The Mirror.Victoria Murphy, The Mirror @QueeenVicMirror

The Telegraph’s coverage:

When they reached the halfway point after around 45 minutes of steep trekking in the thin mountain air, the Duke was showing signs of the effort and looked a little sunburnt around his eyes.

“So far so good,” laughed the Duke as he spoke to members of the media waiting at the halfway viewpoint.

Robin Nunn/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

From a NY Times story:

Halfway up, the prince told reporters the view was “absolutely stunning.”

Horses were kept at the ready in case the royals became tired, but they did not use them.

Robin Nunn/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

Robin Nunn/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

Brooke said that “But after tea and biscuits at the halfway cafe, and with the view of the monastery getting closer, the second half is easier than the first.”Victoria Murphy, The Mirror @QueenVicMirror

William is not the first family member to start the climb; in 1998 Prince Charles went halfway up the mountain. Many readers have probably seen the photos of Charles working on a watercolor at the halfway point. If I’m not mistaken the Prince encountered issues with vertigo, making an effort at the full trip unwise.

The Express Twitter

The Express Twitter

Back to today’s climb.



The Telegraph:

Her husband quickly broke into a sweat, but the Duchess of Cambridge stayed fresh as a daisy as she tackled a lung-busting trek to a Himalayan monastery.

Despite choosing to wear a leather jerkin and calf-length leather boots for the arduous, rocky climb, the Duchess looked as though she had been for nothing more than a stroll in the garden as she reached the Tiger’s Nest in Bhutan, which clings to a cliff 10,000ft up.

 POOL / i-Images

POOL / i-Images

A quick ITV video.

“The royal couple climbed very fast,” Bhutan’s information secretary, Kinley Dorji, told the Associated Press.

Rebecca English, The Daily Mail & Mail Online @RE_DailyMail

Rebecca English, The Daily Mail & Mail Online @RE_DailyMail

An interesting note from Brooke: 

From the final lookout across the valley to the monastery, there are long strings of flags seemingly impossibly strung up across the valley and high up from the mountains. Our guide told us there were some very skilled archers at work with getting these into place.

Hike Bhutan Monastery Brooke prayer flags Picture
Our thanks to Brooke for sharing a sense of what Kate and William experienced through her own trek to the monastery.   
Reviewing now what Kate wore for today’s adventure we start with her white Jaeger Linen Blouse. The blouse is 100% linen with a relaxed fit; it features a rounded collar, chest pocket and tabs for when you roll up the sleeves. It is priced at £89 (about $125) and is stocked in most sizes at Jaeger. The piece is also available in very limited sizing at John Lewis, and a mixed lot of sizes at House of Fraser
Kate Bhutan HJike Jaeger Linen Blouse April 15 2016

Jaeger/John Lewis

A look at the details.



Kate wore her Really Wild Clothing olive green Nubuck Waistcoat. The piece is olive green leather with a three-button front, deep pockets and an adjustable waist. Although shown on the website as ‘sold out,’ the piece can be special ordered. The waistcoat is £495, roughly $700.

Really Wild Nubuck Vest Gilet Waist Coat Waistcoat inOlive Green Nubuck

Really Wild

We have not identified Kate’s jeans but hope to work on that after we get this post up.

The Duchess elected to do the hike in her Penelope Chilvers boots. This choice prompted a little online chatter, with some thinking the boots would be too stiff, without enough ‘give’ (that’s my word). But they look fairly supple and seem to have worked well for Kate. More from Emma Spedding’s story in The Telegraph:

 It’s perhaps surprising given the difficult climb and the heat, that the Duchess chose to wear knee-high boots rather than hiking shoes such as the £106 Hillmaster boots she wore when she visited Borneo’s jungle, but Chilvers says that her boots are designed for adventures.

The boots are shown as being available in only two sizes on the Penelope Chilvers website, but this is a staple product for the company and I imagine they will be restocked.


We saw Kate’s Citrine Drop earrings by Kiki McDonough again.

Kate Bhutan Hike Citrine Drops April 15 2016

As well as her Ray-Ban sunglasses.Both: ©i-Images

This is raw video with William and Kate speaking about the climb. (And how much they’re missing George and Charlotte as well.)

 A whimsical side note, Simon Perry of People magazine mentioned that William and Kate made a few purchases at a trinket shop after the hike was completed. He Instagrammed a picture of a pair of earrings Kate bought, like those shown below in dark blue for about $7; if we ever see her wearing them we’ll know their origins. (Although we’ve no idea if they are a gift or if she plans to wear them.)

Simon Perry Instagram

Simon Perry (@SperryPeopleMag)


Back in Thimphu this evening Kate and William hosted a reception celebrating Britain’s relationship with Bhutan, and the Duchess engaged in more sartorial diplomacy.   

The Himalayan blue poppy is Bhutan’s national flower, and Kate’s gown was splashed with an abstract poppy print.

The gown is from another favorite Kate label, Beulah London.Kensington Palace

It is the brand’s Juliet style, originally part of last spring’s collection.

Beulah London

Beulah London

The silk chiffon gown features a fully lined bodice and skirt, sheer long sleeves, a front vee-neck neckline and a thigh-high slit. It is now available on the website and priced at £745, about $1060.

Beulah London

Beulah London

The pattern is called Flower Spirit – Red.Victoria Murphy, The Mirror @QueenVicMIrror

In addition to the dress there is also a scarf in this print, the ‘Petal – Flower Spirits Red’ silk chiffon scarf.

Beulah London

Beulah London

The scarf measures 120 x 120cm/47″ x 47″ and retails for £175, about $250.

Kate wore her Cassandra Goad Temple of Heaven earrings.

Cassandra Goad

Cassandra Goad

And her Gianvito Rossi Criss-Cross Sandals, also called the Sisely. There are still a few sizes in stock at Matches, we show the shoe as worn last night by the Duchess.

©Polaris/Bergdorf Goodman



We have a quick update on Kate’s spiral earrings worn when arriving in Bhutan Thursday morning and again for last night’s private dinner with the King and Queen of Bhutan. It turns out they are by Scottish brand Brora, the retailer’s Gold Charm Earrings style.

The earrings are 22k gold-plated brass with gold-plated sterling silver hooks. Brora is taking preorders now; the earrings retail for £39, about $55. Our thanks to a HRH Duchess Kate blog reader who let Charlotte know the origins of the earrings.  


  • Visit the Tiger’s Nest Monastery website here;
  • The Daily Mail’s photo-laden story is here; Richard Palmer’s story in The Express is here; The Telegraph’s coverage is here; Emma Spedding’s story about Kate’s wardrobe today is here 
  • People magazine’s story is here; ABC’s Bhutan slide show is here
  •  This link takes you to a slide show The Express has put together with more than 100 pictures of senior royals on tours all over the world.
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Tuesday 19th of April 2016

The poppy dress is perfect! Well done, Kate!


Monday 18th of April 2016

I'm disliking those Temple of Heaven earrings more and more.


Monday 18th of April 2016

I loved absolutely everything about her hiking outfit---she looked gorgeous but it was also practical to wear the layers which could be taken off if necessary. I noted that she did take off the vest as it got warmer. She has had the boots for a very long time and I suspect that she has broken them in to the point that they are super comfortable for her. She is clearly in excellent physical shape and I suspect that is why she didn't sweat so much. I think the hiking ensemble was perfection!

As for the Beulah evening gown. I think it is lovely that she wore something with poppies on it as a nod to her host country but I am so over those voluminous sleeves on the Beulah gowns. I think they are aging and unflattering on everyone. The sleeves made the entire thing look matronly IMO. I think her hair and makeup and styling are great---but would love to rework those sleeves.


Saturday 16th of April 2016

I love Beaulah clothes & this dress doesn't disappoint it's quite a popular print for British clothes. From the photos I don't know if Kate's dress is altered but the model photo shows a lining. Can't see why the split is there anyway, totally unnecessary. I skimmed thru this post quickly late last night with my daughter & we argued about how the Bunting got across the valley. My daughter suggested it was thrown, I scoffed, saying it was too far & that obviously a helicopter with gun was used; it wasn't until I actually read it today that I realised archers got the flags there!!! My daughter is on a bus to London where my subsequent text had her & her friends in high amusement at my ignorance. I don't think Kate has had Botox. Lots of walkers look fresh after a hike, it depends how fit/unfit they are & therefore how much effort it is.She wore a loose, natural fibre WHITE shirt but she obviously exercises a lot. Her arms are very muscular & photos show her wrists & hands with the telltale large distended veins; she also plays tennis, not to mention deer-stalking etc over rough terrain (which is never publicised in Britain). As for the monastery, just looking at the pictures makes me feel ill. It's obvious the builders didn't want to be reached so I'm wondering about a violent past? Thank goodness for Google...


Saturday 16th of April 2016

Love the hiking outfit. Perfect matching of scarf, shirt, vest, pants (which are the right fit) and boots both in colours and fabric. Love the cut of that vest - glad to hear it can be ordered. No problem with the broken in boots - this is a hike, not a climb per se. And there was the possibility of taking horses part of the way. I wondered if the boots might be a bit warm after climbing for a while - Kate removed the vest near the top, presumably to cool off. She seems to look at her best in these casual, active outdoor events.

The poppy dress. Love the red (the pattern not so much although recognize its signficance) and the v neck (at last!!). The bodice is very well cut and flattering for Kate. And then, oh dear, those sleeves. Long sleeves gathered into a little band at the wrist are so ordinary and old fashioned. Take at least half, and preferably all of them, off! Its just too much fabric and makes it look like she is wearing a dressing rather than an evening gown.

Her hair is the best I've seen on the trip. The makeup is better too, or maybe its just a glow from all that exercise and fresh mountain air. Or maybe the trip is almost over and she is finally able to start relaxing?

Anglophile Okie

Saturday 16th of April 2016

I suspect that the boots were a precaution to guard against horse contact allergy in case she had to spend part of the journey on horseback.

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