The Duchess chose a design by Catherine Walker for tonight’s arrival in Pakistan.
The Duke and Duchess were welcomed at Nur Khan Airbase at about 9:30pm local time for the start of their Pakistan tour.
A video of the arrival via The Telegraph.
A guard of honor greeted them.
A video of the royals arriving.
— Rebecca English (@RE_DailyMail) October 14, 2019
The couple was personally welcomed by Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, and his wife.
The Foreign Minister is just one of many officials we’ll see during the visit with strong ties to the UK; his Master’s Degree is from St. Mary’s College at the University of Cambridge. Another video, this one from Simon Perry, shows Kate with the children who gave her flowers.
— Simon Perry (@SPerryPeoplemag) October 14, 2019
Richard Palmer of The Express reports the flight “…was timed to allow them to drop their two older children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, off at their private school in Battersea, south London, yesterday morning. Aides confirmed that the departure time had been set with the school run in mind…”.
After their official welcome, William and Kate headed off in a heavily-guarded convoy to their base for the week, the High Commissioner’s official residence in the capital, Islamabad.
William was expected to spend the evening working on a major speech to be delivered tomorrow in which he is set to highlight the ‘unique bonds’ between the two countries, particularly the 1.5 million people of Pakistani origin living in the UK.
Anticipation has been building ahead of the visit, including rickshaws that have been decorated ahead of the tour, as seen in a photo shared on Twitter by Owais Siawo.
Below, a video from British High Commissioner Thomas Drew just ahead of the visit.
— Thomas Drew (@TomDrewUK) October 13, 2019
This is the first official visit by a member of the Royal Family since the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visited the country in 2006.
The visit is undertaken at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. From a story by Simon Perry for People;
Royal and diplomatic sources reiterate that a history going back hundreds of years has engendered a vast number of connections between the people and the governments of both countries. There are 1.5 million people in the U.K. who have family links to Pakistan
Government spokesman Iftikhar Durrani said: “This visit is definitely going to help Pakistan build an image in the world, to see that this place is no more a security risk, this place is peaceful enough to host dignities like the royal couple,” according to The Sun. Tourism is on the upswing, as seen in this graphic from the Tourism Board.
Per a Kensington Palace news release, areas of focus during the tour include:
- meeting “a wide variety of people, including children and young people, leaders from government, business and the charity sector, inspiring conservationists, and well-known cultural figures and sporting stars.”
- visiting programmes “which empower young people, and organisations that help ensure they have the best possible start in life. Access to quality education, particularly to girls and young women is one of the UK’s top priorities in Pakistan.”
- seeing how “communities in Pakistan are rapidly responding and adapting to the effects of climate change”
Now for our look at what Kate wore this evening. She was in a bespoke Catherine Walker ensemble.
Kate’s ombré fabric dress descends from very pale aqua to a deep, vibrant shade of turquoise atop a separate layer of white. The neckline is draped on the front and back of the fitted dress, which also featured an elegant row of self-covered buttons on the sleeves and a keyhole opening at the elbow.
The fabric looks like it may be a silk chiffon, ideal for the warm temps in the region, which hovered around 75 – 80º when the RAF Voyager aircraft landed at the airport.
The design was similar to a traditional salwar kameez, described by retailer Lashkaraa as “the national dress of Pakistan.” Below we see the Duchess of Cornwall wearing the style when visiting the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore with the Prince of Wales in 2006. The salwar is the loose-fitting trousers; the kameez is the fitted tunic; the long scarf is called a dupatta. (A sidebar: the Mosque is rumored to be on Kate and William’s itinerary.)
As Sarah pointed out on Twitter, Kate’s neckline gives “…the illusion of a dupatta draped across the neck (like women in Pakistan wear it!) without the hassle of handling a real dupatta. The bottom is what we call a “straight pant” in daily use. Modern twist to the shalwar.”
Many thought Kate’s ensemble was similar to one worn by Diana, Princess of Wales, when visiting the country in June 1996. It was also designed by Catherine Walker.
Thoughts on the look from The Telegraph’s Bethan Holt:
Landing at Nur Khan Airbase in Islamabad on Monday evening, Kate suggested that she is taking the wardrobe messaging opportunities of the tour very seriously indeed. For the welcoming ceremony, she turned to Catherine Walker & Co for a turquoise dress and trouser look which paid tribute to the salwar kameez traditionally worn in the country. She accessorised the look with $10 earrings by Zeen, an affordable Pakistan brand.
Back to Ms. Holt’s column.
…opting for Catherine Walker & Co for her arrival in Pakistan is a demonstration of the trust in which the atelier is held by Kate and also recalls the special relationship the house had with Princess Diana. Run by Said Cyrus, Walker’s widow, since her death in 2010, the label has set a modern standard in creating royal clothing which is appropriate, glamorous and deftly symbolic in equal measure.
NOTE: The column has a typo; it should say, “Run by Said Cyrus, Walker’s widower”.
Kate brought back her Rupert Sanderson Malory heels in nude kid leather for this evening’s arrival.
Her handbag was by Pakistani retailer Zeen, the brand’s ‘Cream Gleem’ hard-sided bag ($29) in faux leather.
Many thanks to Innominate93 for her speedy ID of the bag.
Thank you to UFO No More for another fast ID.
When it comes to what Kate might wear, a few predictions:
- we will see the colors green and white (or variations of those shades), Pakistan’s national colors
- we will see lightweight fabrics as the temps are in the 80s and 90s
- we are likely to see the jasmine flower, Pakistan’s national flower, incorporated into an ensemble
More about the wardrobe planning from this Vanity Fair piece, referencing Natasha Archer, long considered Kate’s stylist.
Natasha, known as Tash at the Palace, is going on her first foreign tour since having her son Theo at the end of last year. Now back by the Duchess’s side she will be crucial behind the scenes on the Cambridge’s week long tour of Pakistan.While William and Kate will be carrying out a number of important engagements, Natasha has been trusted with ensuring that Kate’s wardrobe is perfect for every event, which is expected to include at least one black tie reception.
Below, Ms. Archer with husband Chris Jackson, Getty’s royal photographer, at the 2018 Boodles Boxing Ball.
Back to the Vanity Fair piece by Katie Nicholl:
“Tash has spent hours combing through look books with Catherine ahead of the tour and compiling a really beautiful and practical tour wardrobe,” a source said. “ There are between one and three outfits planned for each day so that the duchess has options.” Tash will also have been responsible for photographing every outfit and wrapping it in colour coded tissue paper.
Another view of the Duchess this evening.
Here are two quick tips that may be of assistance in following the tour online.
- This link takes you to a time zone converter. Pakistan is 9 hours ahead of the USA’s east coast, four hours ahead of London.
- The hashtag being used on social media is #RoyalVisitPakistan. Type that into the search box on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or other sites to see all content related to the topic.
- You can follow Kensington Royal on Instagram and on Twitter for the Palace’s coverage of the tour
ITN’s Royal Family Channel offers roughly :50 of arrival video in this piece.
The PA has almost a minute of video in this clip.
William and Kate have been greeted by Pakistan’s foreign minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, and his wife at the Pakistani Air Force base in Rawalpindi, near Islamabad pic.twitter.com/0ZXxS0RyHc
— PA Media (@PA) October 14, 2019
- Visit the UK in Pakistan site here; the Facebook page is here; the Twitter feed is here and Thomas Drew, the British High Commissioner’s Twitter feed is here
- The Telegraph’s piece is here; The Daily Mail’s story is here; The Sun’s coverage is here; a Sky News article is here; a story from The Express is here; ITV’s piece is here
- People’s story is here; Town & Country’s coverage is here; a Hello story is here; PopSugar has a gallery here; the Fug Girls post is here; the Telegraph fashion column is here