We are back with coverage of the Pakistan Tour Day Five, but first, the release of a new royal portrait.
The photo portrait of HM, the Prince of Wales, Duke of Cambridge and Prince George was taken in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace to commemorate the start of a new decade. The image of the Queen and three future kings was taken by Ranald Mackechnie the same day as the Queen’s Christmas luncheon. It is also the day when photos were shot of the four generations of royals making Christmas pudding.
You may recognize Mr. Mackechnie’s name. He also shot the only other portrait of HM and Prince Charles, Prince William, and Prince George. You may remember its release in April 2016 to mark HM’s 90th birthday.
Headshots from that photo were then used on special commemorative stamps released by the Royal Mail. Below, you see the headshot framing for each of the four stamps.
On his website, the photographer tells the story of how that image was shot:
It was the first time that Prince George was to appear on a stamp and it was all very top secret. Having been commissioned by Royal Mail 18 months previously I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone, including my wife that I had been to Buckingham Palace until after the shoot.
You can read Mr. Mackechnie’s whole story about that historic shoot here, including what happened after this: “Unfortunately, when the Royal family came into the room and sat down, my computer system crashed.”
While the news release says this is only the second portrait of the foursome, Ruth pointed out on the WKW Facebook page that there is another photo with the Queen, Prince Charles, Prince William, and Prince George. (You can see that photo here.)
Now to our almost-completed coverage of the Pakistan tour, and an outfit that may actually have been packed as a spare but was worn on Day Five of the Royal Tour. Below, the Duke and Duchess at Lahore airport on Friday, October 18th, as they were about to fly back to Islamabad.
A quick reminder that the day before the couple went to SOS Children’s Village in Lahore, followed by a trip to the iconic Badshahi Mosque and then a tea party at Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital.
They were scheduled to return to Islamabad that evening but RAF pilots had to abort two landings at the airport because of severe weather. More from a Belfast Telegraph story:
Describing the flight as “quite an adventure really”, Kate told reporters on Friday that she and the duke had been “looked after so wonderfully”.
“It was pretty bumpy up there,” she told reporters. Lightning strikes could be seen from the carrier plane near the right wing as it shook with heavy turbulence.
William, who came to check on travelling media, joked “I was flying!”, as he made a reference to his time as an air ambulance pilot.
Below, the RAF Voyager aircraft on the tarmac at Lahore Airport after it returned from the attempted landings at Islamabad. The Belfast Telegraph story noted, “The plane was in the air for more than two hours, despite the journey from Lahore to Islamabad usually only taking about 25 minutes.”
You can see the lightning in this video tweeted by Emma Louise Bowden, a reporter for the UK Press Association.
Those big flashes are the RAF Voyager, carrying William, Kate and travelling media, going through lighting – two aborted landings at Islamabad due to the storm and we’re back in Lahore @PA pic.twitter.com/6q45Em3E53
— Emma Louise Bowden (@emmabowds) October 17, 2019
The royals, staff, and media ended up spending Thursday night in Lahore instead of Islamabad. The change in plans prompted the Duke and Duchess to make another visit on Friday morning to the SOS Children’s Village they had visited the day before, where “150 children who have lost their parents are given a second chance at a family upbringing in SOS families.”
More from Simon Perry’s story for People.
Kate, 37, asked aides if they could factor in another visit to the place that had such an effect on her. Sources said it also enabled the couple to delve deeper into the stories of the children, and the graduates, of the remarkable set-up.
Simon notes in his story that “The previous residents now mentor some of its younger residents, and William sat down with some of them and asked them about their “journey? Where would your life be if you hadn’t found SOS?”
Saba Shahzadi, 28, who came to SOS when she was 8 years old after her grandmother – who had been caring for her when her parents divorced – died. She still lives there, acting as a mentor to the children, when she is not working as a manager for Nestle in Pakistan.
“I can’t even imagine what would have happened if I hadn’t found SOS,” she told the couple.
The couple also played a little more cricket.
From The Mirror’s coverage:
Their impromptu game at the SOS Children’s Village in Lahore saw the duke hit a softball which landed on his wife’s neck.
While Kate laughed and feigned pain, the Duke told the children: “Ha! She’s my wife, so I can just about get away with it.”
The Duchess chatting.
And with the children.
Where she always seems to be very much in her element.
I liked this image of the Duchess with one of the little girls.
More about the visit from SOS Children’s Villages: “Later, the couple knelt on the ground as a group of children tied friendship bracelets on each of their wrists.”
The SOS story added that “Eight-year-old Khadija was thrilled. “The royal couple was very nice and friendly. They let me put a friendship band on their hand and I won’t forget this moment,” she told us.” Below, a closer look at the bracelets, both featuring a chevron design.
In his story for The Sunday Express, Richard Palmer reports that “Prince William said, “I won’t take it off. My children will wonder why I’m wearing it.””
They also spent time with an art group.
We return to Richard’s Express story:
Later, they joined an art group, with William and Kate kneeling and painting. As the children told him about how the “house mothers” help with their homework, William told them: “I was never very good at homework.”
Kate said: “Do you like art? I’m drawing a palm tree. I’m really enjoying this – I do lots of drawing at home with my children.
“I have three – George, Charlotte and Louis – he’s a baby, he’s one and a half.”
And there was a group photo.
The Duchess was clearly impressed by what she experienced at Children’s Village. So much so, she did her very first Instagram post about the topic.
View this post on Instagram
The community at the SOS Village is built around family – and the best possible family you could imagine – where everyone comes together to nurture, love and protect the children in their care. These vulnerable children, many who have come through traumatic circumstances, are nurtured in this caring environment and are able to form these quality relationships that they so desperately need to thrive. — Catherine
Now for our look at what Kate wore for the unexpected return visit to SOS Children’s Village, a traditional silk kurta and trousers.
The tunic is by Élan, an upscale Pakistani label founded in 2006. The kurta is described as, “A traditional handspun design in classic monochrome. This kurta with its tapered silhouette features beautifully delicate floral and tribal embroideries in ebony silk thread on a pristine ivory base.” Below, a look at the design as shared on Twitter by Élan founder and creative director Khadijah Shah.
And a better view of some of the detail work on the piece.
Monique Jessen of People reports the design will be available to buy next spring, retailing for £70-£100 (roughly $92 – $130 at today’s exchange rates). Monique also notes that “Kate’s team discovered her [Élan’s] designs on Instagram.” Ms. Shah tweeted her reaction to seeing the Duchess in an Élan design.
Ms. Shah shared a letter on Twitter she received from the Duchess, saying, “I was delighted to have even been considered, this is just humbling to a whole different level. However what’s most commendable is the consideration, grace and thoughtfulness of HRH the Duchess Catherine.”
Ms. Shah received her Bachelor of Science from the London School of Economics. More about the force behind the brand from the company’s website: “As the creative director of ÉLAN, Khadijah is respected for her combination of intricate embellishments, flattering silhouettes and attention to detail. Each collection is conceived with glamour, elegance and versatility in mind.” Below, Ms. Shah in a photo from Zaha, a ready-to-wear label she launched in 2018.
Kate accessorized with her Smythson Panama East West Tote (now sold out).
She also brought back her Lucie Suede Pumps ($218, and still available in larger sizes), a design from J. Crew featuring a distinctive d’Orsay cut and 3″ heel. The shoe is also offered at Zappos in black ($99 and in-stock in a mix of sizes) but it has a different style name: the Colette.
The company is a sister brand of Monsoon. I was unaware of the following, taken from the Accessorize website, which could be another reason the Duchess wore the earrings on this trip.
As a founder member of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), we’ve been at the forefront of driving sustainable improvements in working conditions and livelihoods wherever we do business. But that’s not all. Each year, the Monsoon Accessorize Trust (founded in 1994) supports life-changing projects in income-generation, healthcare and education for over 15,000 women and children throughout Asia.
The Duchess wore the dupatta (long scarf) by Maheen Khan we saw during yesterday’s visit.
One more view of the royals as they board the RAF plane waiting to ferry them back to Islamabad.
- Learn more about SOS Children’s Villages Pakistan at the charity’s website here; its Facebook page is here; the Twitter feed is here and Instagram page here.
- The Telegraph’s story about the return visit to SOS Children’s Villages is here; the Daily Mail’s piece is here; People’s Pakistan story is here; The Mirror’s article is here; The Belfast Telegraph piece is here; Richard Palmer’s Express story is here; a Hello Article about the Élan design is here;
- a People piece about the new photo is here; The Mirror’s story about the new photo is here; a BBC piece on it is here; Victoria Murphy’s Town & Country story about the new portrait is here; an Express piece on the new image is here; a Guardian story is here