Monday, 14 October 2019

The Cambridges Land in Pakistan for "Most Complex" Tour to Date

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's eagerly anticipated official visit to Pakistan began tonight as they landed in the Royal Air Force Voyager at Pakistani Air Force Base Nur Khan in Rawalpindi, located just a half hour from the capital city Islamabad.


The links with Pakistan are extensive, the British High Commission in Islamabad being one of the UK’s largest diplomatic missions in the world. William and Kate's communications secretary revealed: "'From the modern leafy capital Islamabad, to the vibrant city of Lahore, the mountainous countryside in the north, and the rugged border regions to the west, the visit will span over 1000 km, and will take in Pakistan’s rich culture, its diverse communities, and its beautiful landscapes."


Arriving after 9.30 pm local time, the Duke and Duchess were warmly greeted by officials including Britain's High Commissioner to Pakistan, Thomas Drew. Speaking ahead of the arrival, he said: "There is a real sense of buzz and anticipation. I knew this visit would be a big deal. I've always been struck by the warmth in Pakistan toward the Royal family and the fond memories of previous visits. But I confess I've been overwhelmed by the warmth and enthusiasm I've experienced already."


An arrival video.


Kate received beautiful flowers.


They were joined by a team of fourteen staffers including private secretaries Simon Case and Catherine Quinn, communications secretary Christian Jones, and four additional members of the communications team, two personal assistants, an orderly, two programme coordinators and a hairdresser, believed to be Amanda Cook Tucker. Members of the press also travelled with them.


For security reasons, the itinerary has been largely kept under wraps with details expected to be revealed just before engagements commence each day. We do know we'll see a focus on young people, education, climate change and opportunities to learn more about the "challenging security picture". Kensington Palace added: "As with previous overseas visits, the Duke and Duchess have asked that this tour allow them opportunities to meet as many Pakistanis as possible. Over the course of the visit, Their Royal Highnesses will meet 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."


Chris Ship reports:

'The security for this week’s visit to Pakistan, by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, will be the highest of any royal tour since the Queen’s visit to Ireland.
With 207 million people, Pakistan is one of the most populated in the world (about the same number as Brazil and a little more than Nigeria) and 96 per cent of them are Muslim. But the people are not wealthy. As measured by GDP per head – Pakistan is in the bottom quarter of the world tables
William and Kate will also use the visit to draw attention to the effects of climate change and how communities are ‘rapidly responding’ to those effects.'

More from the Telegraph:

'More than 1,000 police will secure the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in Pakistan next week as the couple begin a visit the country hopes will dispel its image as a terrorist haven blighted by violence. The visit will be held under unprecedented security for a trip by the couple, as they travel across the country in what Kensington Palace described as their most complex visit ever undertaken.
This week's visit is the first one to Pakistan, the Commonwealth's second most populous country, by members of the Royal family for 13 years.
Dr Farzana Shaikh, an associate fellow at Chatham House, said Britain mattered less politically to Pakistan than China or Saudi Arabia, but a royal tour would be a “feel good” visit. “It's going to be, as far a Pakistan is concerned, a further piece to put in place in repairing it's image,” she said.'

Whilst learning about the challenges the country is facing is on the agenda, this visit is very much about showcasing Pakistan as it is today, "a dynamic, aspirational and forward looking country". There will be cultural highlights and meetings with the President and Prime Minister along the way. Additionally, they are expected to follow in Diana's footsteps during the trip.


The British High Commission has done an outstanding job preparing for the visit and sharing behind-the-scenes glimpses as preparations were made.


The detail and level of workmanship is a delight to see.


The Duchess wore a stunning ombre turquoise ensemble by Catherine Walker. The bespoke look channeled the traditional shalwar kameez - a long tunic and trousers. I was very much hoping we would see Kate honour Pakistani dress; this Walker creation is sublime. The draped detail on the neckline and proportion of the dress and fitted trousers make for a gorgeous look.


As several of you have already noted, the look bears similarities to the shalwar kameez Diana wore in Pakistan in 1996. Diana's porcelain blue look was also by Catherine Walker.


Kate accessorised with a pair of £7 Beaded Chandelier earrings by Pakistan based brand Zeen (with thanks to UFO No More). You'll recall Kate chose a pair of their earrings for an engagement at the Aga Khan Centre earlier this month.


And the Zeen Cream Gleam clutch (with thanks to Innominate93).

The Duchess completed the look with her Rupert Sanderson Malory pumps.


We'll see engagements kick off properly in the morning. Whilst we won't have any details until tomorrow, reports suggest they will undertake engagements in Islamabad and meet with senior figures.

103 comments:

  1. Does anyone have insight into why it takes so long for the couple to get off the plane? Do they wait to put on arrival clothes until they land? Or they are getting their immigration paperwork processed? Thanks!

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    1. I think both of those ideas would be very likely. As well, I was watching the live feed of their arrival, and I noticed that the press contingent travelling with them deplaned first, from the rear exit, so they would have needed time to leave the plane and get in position on the tarmac to take their photos of the Cambridges arriving. I had never considered that before, but it makes sense now that I've seen it.

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    2. I noticed many photographers and media get off first so they may be waiting for them to get lined up for photos also.

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    3. My first thought was that the people deplaning from the rear were press. Perhaps the press travel separately and the people I saw deplaning were part of the official British contingent of the trip and not press at all! If only it weren't dark when they arrived . . .

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    4. I don't think they need to have immigration paperwork processed to be honest. I think it's just that in general once a plane has landed it takes a while until people are allowed to debark and as the commenter above mentioned, in their case press and staff debark first, then British photographers who traveled with them need to get in position and get their cameras out.

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    5. Sask Reader, it was both the press and their staff/ advisors. The press do on occasion travel with them (I think whenever they take a government plane as opposed to flying commercial.)

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    6. Thank you, Anonymous! :)

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    7. I suspect there’s a final security sweep of the ground as well. I noticed a uniformed man standing in the doorway for several minutes and once he received a thumbs up, he stepped aside and TRH deplaned. Probably a combo or press setting up and final security check.

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    8. It is an interesting question about immigration papers. I know (rumour has it) the Queen travel without a passport, but I would think the rest of the royals would still need to have the paperwork done.
      Don’t get me wrong, they definitely not queing and waiting for some grumpy immigration officer, but it would be weird to let them into the country without some papertrail.
      This is the kind of logistics of royal tours that I love.

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  2. Maria from Austria14 October 2019 at 17:43

    Gorgeous look. Love it.

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  3. Love her look!! - Anon in CA

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  4. Wow,just wow. Such a beautiful and respectful way to honor the host country. Wishing them a safe and blessed visit.

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  5. LOVE LOVE LOVE that traditional outfit she is wearing.

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  6. Wow, Catherine is stunning, what a great outfit. Wishing them a good time and fruitful visit.

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  7. I love how she put her own spin on the traditional dress.
    She looks respectful and beautiful. I had a very anxious weekend so now i am ready to soak in the tour!!

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  8. Absolute home run!! She looks incredible.

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  9. LOVE LOVE BEAUTIFUL STUNNING FUTURE QUEEN, CATHERINE THE GREAT. AMAZING RESPECTFUL

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  10. Love the colour and nod to Pakistan dress code Kate looks stunning Can’t wait to see their tour unfold x

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  11. She looks beautiful. I love the color. It wi be interesting- and different- not knowing what to expect each day of the tour as far as where/who they will be visiting. It's kind of exciting that way and I'm looking forward to it. It must make it harder for you to cover, Charlotte. Thank you in advance for all the work you will be putting into your posts for us!

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  12. Rebecca - Sweden14 October 2019 at 18:32

    Wow, she looks absolutely stunning! Very very pretty!

    I do wish though, that when she wears cultural clothing she would wear real cultural clothing made in the country. I think it's better to either wear western clothes from British designers or when she wears traditional looking clothes actually support the people making such clothes. It feels a bit wrong coming from such an institusion like the BRF to take the cultural elements without supporting the actual culture. I think this with other royals as well. Maxima did the same thing in India today. This is not hate what so ever, just some thoughts I've had on this! And I think that her accessories are local makes it feel a bit more alright.

    I do love the look of it all though! That draping on the neck is stunning! And those earrings are right up my alley. And that colour on her! Splendid!

    I hope they have a successful tour!

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    1. Rebecca, I think we will see some designs from local designers on this tour. That is a thoughtful suggestion. I am so excited to follow this tour.

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    2. I like that it's an interpretation by a skilled Western couturier. For me it represents bridging the two cultures. Sometimes dressing all local can look a bit touristy, and somehow too obvious. Done this way it's clearly the BRF paying respect. Just my two pen'orth!

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    3. Bertie I agree with your take.

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    4. Rebecca, you raise a very interesting point, one that I have changed my mind on a number of times.
      With it goes the question are they there to give publicity to Pakistan on a global platform or to represent the UK in Pakistan and showcase the links between Pakistan and the UK. If it is the latter then having a British designer design a Pakistani inspired dress is a great way to start off.

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    5. I agree, Rebecca. There is already a long history of western/British designers profiting from the local culture/designs of those in India and Pakistan. It makes me very uncomfortable when Catherine helps continue that tradition like with with this outfit here, and several times in India as well.

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    6. Her earrings were from a Pakistani company.

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    7. I completely agree with Rebecca.

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    8. I'm not so sure, Rebecca. When the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his family donned "real cultural clothing" on their India tour they were criticized for looking as if they were seeking extra attention for photo ops and dressing as if they were going to a costume party as their hosts were in Western business dress.

      The upside of this bespoke ensemble is that Catherine can remove the trousers underneath and wear it again to various other functions. In contrast, the way Diana styled her outfit can only be worn on the occasion for which it was designed.

      For me, this ensemble is one of her top ten ever. Right up there with the Easter Sunday ensemble on the Australia/New Zealand tour. Beyond gorgeous.

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    9. Zora from Prague14 October 2019 at 23:03

      Bertie, I think you put it very nicely and I agree with you. I really like the idea of "bridging", not just here but in general. A bridge is such a powerful symbol.

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    10. Rebecca - Sweden14 October 2019 at 23:16

      RachelZA, yeah, I change my mind a lot on this as well. It's so hard. In general I like the bridge and combination idea. But I think it's the historical "taking and profiting" that is connected to the areas that make me not like that the profit is going to the UK in cases like that. But I don't know where my line goes, and why I get that gut feeling. And at the end of the day, it's not my opinion that matters. I'm just another white lady from a historically non-opressed country. I can debate and think until my face turn blue but it's not my opinion that counts on this!

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    11. I would love to see her wear real traditional clothing but I always think it's difficult area to navigate with all the political correctness and "call out"culture these days. I guarantee if she had worn a salwar kameez there would be people on social media screaming that it's cultural appropriation from a privileged white woman from a colonial country to wear traditional clothing (not that I agree). I feel like she will she get criticised no matter what she wears.

      I do think this is a nice way of middle ground: showcasing British design whilst paying tribute to her hosts. The info makes it clear it is inspired by traditional Pakistan clothing and not a revolutionary new design by the company.

      Personally, I think the best compromise would have been something designed by a British-Pakistani designer to showcase the two worlds.

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    12. Cultural appropriation is such a strange concept IMO. Everything is so intertwined nowadays. There doesn't seem to be any authentic unexposed culture left. Look how Halloween is celebrated in countries where 20 years ago nobody had heard of the tradition. Which culture is appropriating which one is colonizing? IMO, Indian restaurants over the world are a success for India not a western appropriation. All the world buying Ikea swedish Christmas decorations is a success for Sweden, not a cultural theft of swedish traditions. Or what do you think Rebecca? If British designers are attracted by Pakistani traditional wear and make it fashionable, more power to Pakistan.

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  13. Five Pakistan channels broadcasting their arrival live and the royal visit being number one trending topic on twitter in Pakistan! There’s a huge interest on this visit. From what I’ve read on social media, people are very pleased by Kate’s choice of dress. She looks spectacular, dignified and so regal.

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  14. What a beautiful color! I love the swirls in the neckline! Good job, Kate! I do hope we see her in a shalwar kameez from a Pakistani designer with beautiful embroidery. Plenty of time for that, though.

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  15. Boy oh boy oh boy do I love this

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  16. Wow, this is absolutely gorgeous. Kate looks stunning (and I rarely use that word to describe someone). I know this is really corny, but I got emotional when seeing them exit from the airplane. As someone who's been following William since his birth, and Kate since we first saw her on the ski slopes with William during their university years, to see them come such a long way since then, so handsome, so beautiful and so regal, and so very much like the King and Queen that they will be some day, it's almost like I feel so proud even though of course it's nothing to do with me! I do sometimes wish my country had people like them to represent us.

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    1. Had the same emotional reaction Pam!! You did a great job of putting the feeling into words. Kate looks absolutely stunning. She and William are such a handsome, elegant couple....they do Britain proud. cc

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    2. Pam, it's not at all corny. I had butterflies myself! Haha. And yes, it would be nice to have representatives like this.

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    3. I’m right there with you, Pam! Well said!

      Julie

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    4. Pam, I too have those moments! It fills me with emotion! xx

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    5. Pam, I second your thought about needing such representatives in the US.

      The girls/ladies who greeted Kate looked just lovely! And I'm excited about Kate's earrings -- like those Meghan wore in Africa, I love earrings that are little works of art.

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  17. Gorgeous outfit! Lovely smile!
    May God hold you in the palm of His Hands! XOXOXOX

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  18. I can’t wait for more proper pictures of her dress.
    I am thinking they have some form of reception to attend tonight.

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  19. Beautiful dress, but can I just say that I find the stiletto heels out of place here? They would be considered immodest with the type of dress she is wearing. Chunkier heels or flats would be more respectful.

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    1. Pakistani women wear high heels all the time.

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    2. I respectfully disagree. A chunkier heel would look out of place with the delicate fabric of the dress. I believe every detail of the fashion statements Kate makes when representing the UK in foreign countries is researched and double checked as to never offend their host country.

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    3. My thoughts exactly from one granny to another.

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    4. Depends on the region. Some areas showing the foot is considered immodest.

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    5. I think flats would have been great with this dress, but it would be completely not Kate. Especially at a formal, red-carpet welcome ceremony.

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    6. Rhonda - Wisconsin14 October 2019 at 21:34

      Agree USA Granny.

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    7. Caroline in Montana14 October 2019 at 22:19

      I feel the region would have been studied and the heels are ok.

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    8. Ivy, Islamabad is a sophisticated metropolitan city.

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    9. "Some areas showing the foot is considered immodest." When I google "pakistani traditional wear" and "pakistani ethnic wear" all the women are wearing high heeled sandals. Kate's closed toed shoe is modest compared to my google search. *tiny shrug*

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    10. Those are usually fashion shots. I know that in certain regions near Afghanistan burqas are still required for local people and any fancy footwear would definitely be considered immodest.

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    11. Which areas do you mean Ivy? Where showing the foot is immodest? The lady in red is showing her feet too. Can you be specific about which areas?

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    12. Ivy Lin have you ever been to Pakistan?
      Because the Pakistani official greeting them is wearing open-toed sandals. I’m going to trust that she knows what is appropriate in her own country over a random westerner assuming.
      I myself come from a country that gets a lot of assumptions made by tourists and it’s not a nice feeling.

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    13. Dee, Adelaide Australia ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ15 October 2019 at 03:32

      Hi Ivy Lin, I’m with others ... Catherine is impeccable in her choice here, the ombrรฉ colour is just gorgeous on her, but more importantly she has been completely respectful of her host country. Pakistan is a country of contrasts, and Islamabad is a vibrant city. High heels are worn across the country (as are flats), and both are respectful forms of. footwear. She looks stunningly beautiful from head to “foot”. I wish both of them a safe tour of Pakistan.

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    14. So do I Anna. And when tourist or speak about my country they usually are way of mark...
      But then, I make assumptions too over other countries. We should all read Pakistani papers if we want to know what they think about Kate's outfit.

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    15. Areas like Peshawar wearing a burqa is still mandatory.

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    16. Ivy Lin15 October 2019 at 12:10..Will she be visiting Peshawar during this visit Ivy?

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  20. Per๐Ÿ‘fect๐Ÿ‘ion๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜

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  21. Absolutely smitten!!

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  22. There is an exceptional photo posted on the Kensington Royal instagram account. It's of Kate and William exiting the plane from behind....very memorable. Also they have the message in English and in Arabic script. What a lovely start to the tour....well done. cc

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    1. They posted the same picture when William visited Israel I think. Those type of pictures are truly iconic, I hope they become a tradition!

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    2. That is my absolute favorite picture. It gave me a feeling of them as two human beings not just the icons they are. Can you imagine walking down those steps representing your country? The dress is perfect. Such a gorgeous color and very respectful of the Pakistani culture. They look regal.

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    3. I agree Anon 19:57, this type of picture is truly iconic and think these shots should become a tradition. Also, Kelly, love this picture as it is from their perspective. This picture evoked many emotions and seems very timeless.....definitely a Time Life iconic photo of the Cambridges. cc

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  23. What great look. I like the color and the flow of this dress. The Dss looks wonderful, now we wait the the other outfits. I don't think she will disappoint me.

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  24. Beautiful and so elegant
    She represents our country beautifully.

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  25. I am really looking forward to their visits, but tonight, it seems like Kate's hair is back to her dark chestnut. I was rather liking the "blonde" vs "caramel" and wonder if it's just the lights or if she's really "dark" again.

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  26. The fit and flare dress along with its color pallet is absolutely beautiful on Kate. I do hope in the future we see the dress stand alone for an official occasion. Kates hair appears to be back to a more natural color looking lovely against her complexion.

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    1. Caroline in Montana14 October 2019 at 21:37

      I was thinking the same thing, we could hopefully see this dress again!! fingers crossed.

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  27. William and Catherine both look confident and comfortable. Her dress is beautiful and seems to hit the right note on the appropriate scale.:)

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  28. Kate looks PERFECT!!! The color of that outfit is just amazing!! It fits her so well and flows so beautifully!

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  29. Utterly stunning - that colour on Catherine! Perfection in every way. I think her hair is still honey blonde; think it the light.

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  30. Zora from Prague14 October 2019 at 20:23

    What a fantastic look! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜
    The outfit is beyond beautiful.
    I hope the tour brings a lot of good!

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  31. My my, what a beautiful couple! Yes, the clothes are gorgeous, but there is so much more that stands out in these photos. These days, William has such an ease and grace about him. Kate, too, exudes confidence and joy, paired with extraordinary beauty. Certainly, they have captured that elusive royal mystique that makes us all swoon. Yay, yes, yay!

    Looking forward to more.

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    1. So well said Anon, I completely agree!! :)

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    2. Agree, they are both so comfortable in their roles. I believe the way they are handling things will hold up over time. They have so many years of service and their work will only be getting more stepped up over time.

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  32. Sublime is so right Charlotte. This is just perfect. I love the simplicity of it. The clean lines and uncluttered accessories allows the beautiful drape and colour of the fabric to sing. Greatly looking forward to the rest of the week. :).

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  33. Bertie, I agree with you. Kate is a foreign visitor and not Muslim. She is respecting the cultural norms while reflecting her own nationality and royal protocol in choosing a British designer. It's perfect. She's wearing locally designed jewelry, and that's a nice gesture. It's a lovely design. I wish them safe travels, it's a scary time to be there.

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  34. Maria from Austria14 October 2019 at 20:47

    The draped detail is actually a westernised interpretation of the dupata (shawl) traditional worn with this kind of garment. In my opinion there is no other similarity to Diana‘s porcelain blue set other than the fact that both are shades of blue. Different cut, buttons and no buttons, shawl and draped detail, slits and no slits, flats and high heels, minor lining versus heavy lining. I still love Kate‘s and I loved Diana‘s back then.

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    1. Maria, Agree about not really being like Diana's except both in shades of blue.

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  35. I LOVE the picture of them leaving the plane, its beautiful, as other have said I hope it becomes a tradition, She looks great love the color, looking forward to this trip though I understand for security reasons (and am ok with it) it is harder to follow when we don know what is happening. But I love learning about places and Charlotte you always do a great job at giving us so much information of the country they visit.

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  36. Kate 's salwar kameez is absolutely gorgeous.
    I must admit, having lived in India for a few years, that I am slightly worried regarding security issues. Let's pray this tour will be a successful and smooth one.

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  37. I want what the Duchess of Cambridge is wearing๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ. Thanks so much Charlotte all the info. I don’t know much about this country so I’m looking forwarding to reading all the research you have compiled.

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  38. Caroline in Montana14 October 2019 at 22:18

    I love this outfit, flows beautifully, great color on her. I think the earing's really flatter the dress. I'm just not sure about the nude shoes, wish she had a pair of white heels, think that would have looked great with this shade of blue. also not really sure about the shoe/purse combo, they don't really go together to me? excited to learn about Pakistan and see her fashion choices. she is so poised and they look very confident. I hope security is tight and this is an uneventful tour, if you know what I mean. cant wait to see more!!

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  39. First thing is first, I am so glad the entire crew made it safely! I hope and pray they are safe throughout the entire trip! Now moving on to her wardrobe, absolutely stunning and a complete respectful nod to the host country! She looks gorgeous! Does she ever place a foot wrong on her choices, I think not! Love it! ❤️

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  40. Great outfit shame about the shoes - flats would have looked much better.

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  41. GORGEOUS.
    I'm glad they arrived safely and hope for a safe and productive tour.

    Annie
    NY, USA

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  42. The colour is stunning. But She looks very anxious walking down those stairs. It must be a very hard thing to do knowing you have to trust that security have done and will do their job. Erininnyc.

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    1. I don't think it is about security. If Kate seems anxious it is IMO because of the importance of the visit, and the wish to get it right. She is a perfectionist

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  43. Love this, Kate looks perfect as always. Love the seriousness and professionalism of the way Kate and William carry themselves, no silly game-playing for them. They really make you want to respect the monarchy and the power and effectiveness that is possible when done right. So proud of them both. They’re not the young generation anymore. What I have noticed most lately is how much more mature Kate has become compared to Meghan... and I know I am not supposed to compare, but I used to think Meghan was the more worldly mature one and I am seeing now how wrong I was.

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  44. I came across this article on Pakistan earlier this week and I thought I wanted to share it. It gives a bit of a different view on Pakistan from what you read in the media. With the Sussex tour I often read headlines about my country, that while it was true was so far removed from my day to day live that I almost did not recognize my country in them.
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/breannawilson/2019/10/11/this-popular-solo-female-travel-vlogger-thinks-pakistan-could-be-the-worlds-1-tourism-destination/

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    1. I suppose it is what the host country or rather the government of the host country wants to highlight? And how it uses the royal visit to "sell" its country or make a point, sometimes about domestic affairs. I get the feeling this tour is more about the promotion and rehabilitation in the world opinion of Pakistan. The SA tour was very different.

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  45. This is a beautiful outfit. The colour is gorgeous. Lovely draping of the neckline front and back, gives interest and added softness, the buttons on the sleeves is the perfect finishing touch. The flow and fall of the dress as the Duchess walked was perfect. The little girl that presented flowers to the Duchess looked amazing in her blue or aqua ensemble, I'm not quite sure which. From the back it looked so pretty and then to see her standing by the side of a gentleman, being able to see the front of her outfit confirmed that thought, it looked like she had a tiny tiara in her hair, really beautiful.

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  46. i love the duchess Cambridge wearing how i wish they have a successful tour ahead them

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  47. she looks so beautiful im so excited for this tour thank you so much Charlotte for your hard work

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  48. Wow!!! What a wonderful start. This outfit is perfection and the photo of the Duke and the Duchess taken from the back while descendind tua plane’s stairs is awsome: congrats to the photographer

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