Best Daywear Look
From a sartorial perspective the royal tour offered a varied selection of daywear looks for the Duchess. From classic designs from favoured designers to repeats and an abundance of printed boho style dresses, the climate in India meant we saw Kate choosing mostly dresses throughout the tour rather than her usual choice of coats and coatdresses. The tour kicked off when the Cambridges arrived in Mumbai, with Kate opting for a vibrant red print Alexander McQueen piece from the Pre-Fall 2016 Collection. Following a brief break, Kate changed into the colourful 'Gulrukh' Tunic Dress by Mumbai-based designer Anita Dongre for engagements in the city. An aide said: "She wanted to wear a local designer at the earliest possible opportunity."
There's a very interesting story behind the Anita Dongre dress which went largely unnoticed in the flurry of events and outfits throughout the tour. In March, PA Natasha Archer got in touch with the designer requesting a lookbook, then she went in and requested items for fittings. Among the selections - the Gulrukh - which had been significantly altered by Natasha herself. More from the Telegraph:
'All the more surprising was the fact that the Duchess’s team had altered Dongre’s design. The “Gulrukh” dress - from the SS16 Love Notes collection - was originally full length and included a traditional stole in matching fabric. “In India a lot of woman would wear this with trousers and a stole,” she says, pointing to the catwalk look from Lakme Fashion Week where the dress was shown in its original form. “Her stylist has taken the stole and converted part of that into the belt and then chopped it off so it can be worn as a dress. She’s amazing - it looks easy, breezy and so contemporary,” Dongre says of the DIY update by Natasha Archer.'
Kate chose the Emilia Wickstead Wool-Crepe Midi Dress for a Tech Awards launch and engagements in Delhi. The £1,700 ivory dress features two faux breast pockets, two front slit pockets, a full skirt and a concealed button and fastening back.
When the Duke and Duchess met vulnerable children in Delhi, Kate wore the £50 Red Navy Border Print Lace up Maxi Dress by British brand Glamorous. The long sleeve dress features a scoop neck, a wide flared skirt, and an allover pattern with paisley and floral details. For those interested in pre-ordering the dress, you can get a 25% discount with the code DRESS25. For lunch with Prime Minister Modi, Kate opted for the elegant Temperley London 'Desdemona' dress. The jade dress from the Autumn 2016 Collection is crafted from vintage-inspired lace reminiscent of traditional Spanish folk costume.
For a memorable day in Kaziranga National Park the Duchess chose a pretty Pink Print Dress by Topshop. We rarely see Kate in pink, which is a pity, because the colour works superbly well with her colouring. The boho-chic dress features black embroidery and tassel-tipped ties. We saw two royal repeats as the royal tour moved to Bhutan. Kate wore her Tory Burch 'Chrissy' Dress at Guwahati airport for an early morning flight to the country.
For the arrival in Bhutan, Kate repeated an Emilia Wickstead coatdress she wore first for the 2012 Order of the Thistle service. This time, the Duchess wore the soft yellow-gold version of the garment with a belt, which many readers felt was a welcome addition and added a freshness to the look.
We had discussed the possibility of Kate paying homage to traditional dress during the tour, and she did just that when she met the King and Queen of Bhutan. In many ways, this look was a particularly special one from the tour, and perhaps the one I'll remember most. Kate combined a beautiful embroidered cape by Parisian brand Paul and Joe with a lavender skirt, which was made by her unidentified designer in London using fabric woven by Kelzang Wangmo, a lady from Thimphu. The look paid tribute to Bhutan's national dress for women, the kira. I loved how different elements and designers were used to put the ensemble together.
On the last day of the tour, the Cambridges departed Bhutan and said farewell at Paro Airport. HRH repeated her bespoke broderie anglaise full-skirted suit by Alexander McQueen, first worn in Singapore in 2012. This time, Kate wore the suit without a belt.
The Duke and Duchess concluded their tour with a poignant visit to the Taj Mahal. I had a feeling the Duchess would pull something special out of the bag for this engagement and she certainly didn't disappoint in a beautiful white and blue sheath dress featuring intricate embroidery by Indian-American designer Naeem Khan. A stunning look - and one I imagine will garner quite a few votes.
Best Casual Look
For a safari in Kaziranga National Park, the Duchess wore the print ruffled 'Gretna' blouse by Australian brand RM Williams with ZARA Mid-Rise Biker trousers. What does one wear for a hike to Tiger's Nest? The Duchess chose a waistcoat by Really Wild Clothing teamed with the crisp Jaeger Linen Classic Blouse and skinny jeans.
The Duchess opted for a minimalistic approach to jewellery throughout the tour, foregoing bracelets, watches and necklaces (with the exception of the pendant given to her by Queen Jetsun). Kate brought a stunning and varied selection of earrings to add a touch of sparkle to her looks. First up, we have Kate's Cassandra Goad 'Temple of Heaven' earrings, worn several times throughout the tour.
One of Kate's favoured pairs during the tour - the £8 Accessorize Filigree Bead Short Drop Earrings.
A one-off pair of blue lapis and diamond earrings by Indian jeweller Amrapali added the finishing touch to Kate's sparkling look for the Bollywood Gala.
Kate wore a pair of chandelier earrings she's had for years for the Queen's birthday party.
The Duchess debuted a beautiful new pair of Kiki McDonough earrings: "Special Edition Green Tourmaline, Green Amethyst and Diamond Earrings." They were specially made to celebrate the birth of Princess Charlotte last May.
At Kaziranga, Kate brought back another pair of chandelier earrings she's had for at least a decade. The earrings appear to be gold with green stones.
Another new pair for the Duchess - the £39 Gold Charm Earrings by Scottish brand Brora.
The beautiful Kiki McDonough Lavender Amethyst Pear and Oval Drop Earrings.
Kate's Kiki McDonough Citrine Drops.
The Duchess wore her Kiki McDonough 'Lauren' earrings leaving Bhutan.
During William and Kate's hike to Tiger's Nest, Kate purchased a pair of £6 blue earrings. Much to everyone's surprise she teamed them with her Naeem Khan dress at the Taj Mahal. I thought it a lovely gesture giving a nod to Bhutan on the final engagement of the tour and the earrings worked perfectly with the dress.
Finally, as you may have heard, two engagements have been added to Kate's calendar for next Wednesday, 4 May. The Duchess will visit Hampton Court's recently unveiled Magic Garden, marking the official opening of the Palace's new children's play area. The Duchess will be taken on a tour around the new play area, and shown some of its unique design features. Along the way, Kate will meet those involved in the Magic Garden's design and construction, as well as children and families enjoying the new facilities before unveiling a plaque.
More from the press release:
'The Magic Garden has been six years in the making, and begins an exciting new chapter in the Palace’s 500 year history. The Historic Royal Palaces’ gardens team have grown and tended to hundreds of trees and plants to create the garden’s magical landscape, planting over 17,000 bulbs and 3,000 shrubs in the garden.'
It has been suggested this would be an ideal engagement for Kate to take George and Charlotte to - highly unlikely, but wouldn't it be fun. :)
Afterwards, the Duchess will undertake her first engagement as Patron of the Anna Freud Centre by attending a lunch reception supporting the development of a new centre of excellence for children's mental health. During this engagement the Duchess will meet families who have benefited from the centre, as well as key supporters, and watch a short film about the ambitions of the organisation.
William and Kate have a week of celebrations coming up: the couple celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary on Friday, and Charlotte's first birthday on Monday. I expect we'll likely see a photo or two to mark the special occasion. :)