Yesterday evening (Wednesday, April 6th) William and Kate attended a reception at Kensington Palace. The couple met with people from Bhutan and India ahead of the upcoming Royal Tour.
During the reception, William and Kate spoke with students and workers from both countries who live in the UK. They learnt more about the two countries ahead of the Royal Tour, which kicks off this Sunday.
Kensington Palace said the reception was an opportunity for William and Kate to “learn more about India and Bhutan’s people, history, current affairs and culture ahead of their forthcoming tour”.
A little bit of information about the event’s notable attendees, excerpted from the Daily Mail:
Among the recognisable faces at Kensington Palace – the group included members of the business, charity and academic sectors – was Burberry model Neelam Gill, who has carved a path for young Asian women in the fashion industry.
Also there to meet William and Kate was India’s High Commissioner to the UK Navtej Sarna, and key figures from Prince Charles’ Britain Asian Trust.
The couple [spoke with] Bhutanese and Indian students enrolled on the FCO’s Chevening Scholarship Programme, the UK’s international awards scheme aimed at developing global leaders.
Kate’s full-length blue dress is by Indian-born designer Saloni. Specifically, Kate is wearing the “Mary Illusion Dot Dress”.
The piece was previously available to buy from Moda Operani for $595 (that’s approximately £420).
The navy blue dress features a high neckline with ruffled collar, a very sheer daring plunging neckline and sheer bracelet-length sleeves.
Here’s how they described the garment:
This Saloni dress features an illusion plunging neckline with a high ruffled neck, sheer long sleeves with button cuffs at the wrists and a floor length column silhouette.
The dress was met with mixed reactions – some on my Facebook page loved it, others weren’t so sure.
Spotlight on Saloni
Saloni is a carefully considered choice for Kate. The Indian-born designer Saloni Lodha founded the contemporary womenswear label in 2011. Even though Saloni herself now lives in Hong Kong, the label is based in London.
Saloni subtly draws on her Indian heritage while designing, often re-interpreting prints, silhouette and colour in a modern way
“I always keep in mind my Indian heritage while designing but don’t translate it literally into our clothes. I think the way we as a brand celebrate bold colours and patterns is our way of bringing the spirit of India into the collections”
– Saloni Lodha
You may recall that Kate wore a dress by Saloni last year?
Click here to refresh your memory.
My favourite Saloni dresses:
Those familiar with Kate’s selection of earrings will recognise the gold pendants she’s wearing today. They’re the “Temple of Heaven” style by Cassandra Goad. The 9ct gold earrings cost £1,495 (approximately £2100 USD).
Just a note: Royal watchers should keep their eyes peeled on Saturday, the day before the Royal Tour officially begins. This is because photos have emerged of William and Kate leaving London before Royal Tours in previous years – I expect we’ll see airport photos this year too. (Click here for airport photos from the North Americas tour)