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Overview of William and Kate's Upcoming Tour

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Good morning to you all! Hard as it might be to believe, we are in that most exciting of royal months--April! This year, we are looking forward to another royal tour, which kicks off very shortly. You have likely already seen the itinerary, but we are going to skim through it just quickly this morning.

April 6th: William and Kate will attend a reception at Kensington Palace at which they will meet young people form India and Bhutan who are working and living in the United Kingdom. According to the Palace, this will give TRHs the chance to get to know the two countries a little better in the run up to the tour! 
The Duke and Duchess will meet India’s High Commissioner to the UK, Navtej Sarna. Additionally they will be introduced to a wide range of Indian and Bhutanese people, including those involved in British and Indian business, the charity sector, key figures within the diaspora community, academia, and representatives from the British Asian Trust.

Their Royal Highnesses will also chat to Bhutanese and Indian students enrolled on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Chevening Scholarship Programme, the UK’s international awards scheme aimed at developing global leaders.
Just a few days later, the royal couple will jet off for the actual tour. The Palace press release isn't selling this  tour short. if this were the back of a book jacket, I think I'd buy it.
The tour will see The Duke and Duchess interact with people from all walks of life, from people in very difficult circumstances, to aspiring and established business leaders, well-known cultural figures, inspiring conservationists, leading politicians, and of course other Royals. This will be the most ambitious tour Their Royal Highnesses have undertaken outside a Realm nation and promises to be the most colourful tour to date. It will cover five distinct locations over six days across four regions of India and a visit to a remote and beautiful Himalayan kingdom. Events will take in everything from state ceremony, to Bollywood glamour, frontline conservation, urban life, and rural tradition. The Duke and Duchess cannot wait to meet the people of India and Bhutan.
I don't know about all of you, but the Bollywood mention is leaping off the page at me. I think if Kate wore a sari this could very well be the most spectacular tour...ever. Let's all start wishing/hoping/praying for this right now. 

April 9th: William and Kate will take an overnight flight from the Uk to Mumbai, where the tour starts on,

Day One, April 10th, Mumbai: 
Their first public moment will be on arrival at the Taj Palace Hotel. The Taj was one of the scenes of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai in November 2008 and is now an iconic symbol of the city’s resilience and strength. The stories of the bravery and dedication of the staff there are now known around the world. The Duke and Duchess are following in the footsteps of other world figures, including The Prince of Wales and The US President who have both used their stays at the hotel to display solidarity with the people of this great city. On arrival they will lay a wreath at a memorial inside the hotel and meet members of staff who helped protect guests during the attack.
After this arrival, The Duke and Duchess will get a chance to say a big hello to Mumbai at one of the city’s most famous public spaces, Oval Maidan. This large public park is home to cricket pitches that boast great views of the city’s skyline and is a gathering place for local people. They will watch a young person’s cricket match and also meet representatives and beneficiaries of three charities here – Magic Bus, Doorstep, and India’s Childline. They will meet and play with children who live in slums around the city. There may be a couple of surprises at this event as well. 
From here, The Duke and Duchess will make their way to the Banganga Water Tank. Banganga is an ancient water tank in the Malabar Hill area of Mumbai.

A visit here will allow Their Royal Highnesses to get a real sense of the complexity of this city. Alongside one of the most upmarket residential areas in Mumbai, they will see people who are living in tough circumstances in a small slum and are working hard to gain skills and make their way in the world. They will meet representatives of a charity called SMILE that focuses on skills and opportunities for young people and their parents. 
Later that evening, The Duke and Duchess will be introduced to some of Mumbai’s leading figures, including some well-known names from Bollywood and the city’s thriving business world. They will attend a glittering reception and dinner being held in their honour to celebrate Mumbai’s film and creative industries. This will be hosted by The British High Commission in partnership with The British Asian Trust, of which The Prince of Wales is founder and President. It will be a great way for The Duke and Duchess to finish their first day in India. The event will include red carpet arrivals, dance and musical performances, and of course fashion. The event will raise funds for the three charities that Their Royal Highnesses will have met earlier in the day – Magic Bus, Doorstep, and Childline. The Duke and Duchess are pleased that this event will raise funds that will create a small legacy of their visit to India. [Emphasis added by Jane.]
That glittering reception sounds so, so promising. I think we might see Kate in traditional dress, but even if we don't, I think we can hope that she will wear something very colorful and striking. Recalling similar events over the years, she has always gotten these fashion moments right, and we have seen her choices grow in confidence. The BAFTA dress in Los Angeles was understated, as is very much her style, but it was just what that night called for--elegance, understated stunning beauty. She balanced that event to perfection:


Kate did her best to channel and pay tribute to her guest country at the State Banquet in Kuala Lumpur. 


The Hibiscus gown was unusual, although expected for event. Nevertheless, Kate sometimes surprises us. Excitement was high to see what Kate would wear to the Met on her trip to New York. Few expected Kate to recycle the Jenny Packham she had worn twice already! As it turned out, she could not have been more radiant among New York's high society.



Still, Kate's overseas style has gotten more adventurous. I remain convinced that the Half & Half dress the Duchess wore to the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards in 2014 was originally meant for her visit to Malta. 


What's the upshot of these musings? Kate might go with a British look, but if I had to gamble, I'd say she will wear something eye-popping. Whether she chooses to adopt a traditional ensemble, or adapts her own style to the country,--as she did with the blue Half & Half, it won't be boring. We have gotten sidetracked, though. Back to the itinerary.

Day Two, Mumbai & New Delhi, April 11th: 
The next morning, The Duke and Duchess will meet with aspiring young entrepreneurs at a GREAT campaign event at a bar, restaurant and collaborative workspace called The Social. Mumbai has a thriving young business scene and The Duke and Duchess will be given the opportunity to meet young people with great ideas to power the future of India’s massive economy, where more than 1 million people join the workforce every month.

Prime Minister Modi has launched the Startup India campaign to encourage new businesses and job creation and this will be a chance to explore how the UK can work with Indian business to achieve these goals – Mr Modi has described the UK and India relationship as ‘an unbeatable combination’.
Let me pause to assure you, this is all one day! It's a busy one. They start in Mumbai, but will fly to New Delhi where their schedule is packed:
From here The Duke and Duchess will begin the next leg on their tour when they fly to New Delhi, India’s capital city. Their time in Delhi will allow them to pay respect to India’s military contributions, to honour the memory of Mahatma Ghandi, and also to get to know the men and women who now lead the country in government and politics.

They will begin their Delhi programme with a wreath-laying at India Gate. This memorial is situated in the heart of New Delhi. The 42m high red standstone structure is the country’s main war memorial, covering the two world wars, the Third Anglo-Afghan War, and the Indo Pakistan War of 1971.

As the world marks 100 years since the First World War, The Duke and Duchess will in particular honour the 70,000 Indian soldiers who lost their lives while fighting for the British Army during the conflict.

From here The Duke and Duchess will travel to Gandhi Smriti. Literally meeting ‘Gandhi memory’, this museum is located in Old Birla House, where Mahatma Gandhi, India’s founding father, spent the last few years of his life.

After arrival The Duke and Duchess will be given a tour of the museum before moving outside where they, like other visitors there, will follow Gandhi’s final footsteps from his humble bedroom to the spot in the garden where he was assassinated in 1948. They will pay their respects at the memorial that marks the location and will watch a choral performance from a group of young people before departing. The Duke and Duchess are grateful to have the chance to learn about this great man’s life in the place where he spent his final years. 
That evening The Duke and Duchess will attend a birthday party for Her Majesty The Queen at the residence of the British High Commissioner.

Attended by hundreds of VIPs from the world of government and politics, the garden party will be a chance to celebrate the links between Britain and India, and for all in attendance to toast The Queen ahead of her 90th birthday the next week. The Duke will use the occasion to personally pay tribute to his grandmother with a speech to the invited guests.
Day Three, New Delhi & Kaziranga National Park, April 12th:  
The next morning will include two engagements in Delhi, which will be announced closer to the time of the visit. One will allow The Duke and Duchess to see up close work to support desperately vulnerable young people in the city. The second engagement will be a meeting with a senior government leader. Details will be advised. 
The Duke and Duchess will also have a private meeting with NGOs working in Delhi before departing the city. Further information will be provided in country. 
After these events, Their Royal Highnesses will move onto Kaziranga National Park in the state of Assam. The theme of this leg focuses on the role of conservation in the lives of the rural people of this area. Kaziranga is a World Heritage Site and a wildlife conservation site of great global importance. In addition to being the home of elephants, water buffalo, a number of bird species, the endangered swamp deer, and a high density of tigers, Kaziranga is home to two-thirds of the world’s population of Indian one-horned rhinoceroses – Latin name, Rhinoceros Unicornis.

More than many other famous national parks in the world, in Kaziranga you get a real sense of how closely linked local people are to the animals that live there. This connection is not always easy. The visit to Kaziranga will allow The Duke and Duchess to see up close work being done to manage the conflicts that arise when humans and wild animals live in close proximity. A number of stories of human animal conflict in India have made global news recently and this trip will allow Their Royal Highnesses and accompanying media to understand this issue in much more detail. 
The visit to the park will begin on the evening of Tuesday 12 April. The visit comes at the time of the Bohag Bihu festival, the celebration of the Assamese New Year. Around a campfire, the Duke and Duchess will meet local people and see dance and musical performances. It will be a colourful and fun introduction to rural life and a great way to start this leg of the tour.

Day Four, April 13th:
The next morning, 13 April, will be an early start for an open-air drive around the National Park itself. They will be welcomed by local people and park staff at the entrance to Kaziranga before the drive begins. The Duke, President of United for Wildlife, has long wanted to visit Kaziranga. The park is situated on a flood plain and the vital annual floods drive animals up to the adjacent hills.

In between the park and the hills, however, are growing numbers of villages which are in the path of ancient corridors for elephants and rhinos. The importance of the floods makes the area highly vulnerable to climate change as well, as reduced or increased snowmelts from the Himalayas could have severe consequences for this ecosystem.

The Duke and Duchess will also meet rangers inside Kaziranga. The park has had success in recent years with protecting its animal populations from poachers. This has begun to change, however, with a number of recent poaching incidents. Rhinos are in particular danger as demand in other parts of Asia for their horns continues to rise. Traffickers in South East Asia are now marketing Indian rhino horn as ‘fire horn’ and lying about its increased potency when compared to African horn. The Duke will use this visit to speak out against the lies and violence that threaten this valuable species and the communities that rely on it. 
After the tour of the park the Duke and Duchess will have an opportunity to interact with local people in a village. Details will be announced later. 
In the afternoon, they will visit the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation. The centre provides emergency care and rehabilitation to wild animals that have been injured, displaced, or orphaned. The centre has a strong re-release rate of 60% and has rehabilitated thousands of animals including hand-raised elephants, rhinos, and bears. The centre is also home to rescued leopards which sadly cannot be re-released from the site and have to be rehomed in sanctuaries and zoos in other locations, mainly in India. Before leaving CWRC, The Duke and Duchess will meet young filmmakers who are members of Green Hub, a project that teaches film-making as a vocational skill to young people across North-East India. They will see two short films that both focus on human animal conflict. 
After visiting CWRC, The Duke and Duchess will travel across the road to the Kaziranga Discovery Centre built by Elephant Family, the charity founded by Mark Shand, late brother of The Duchess of Cornwall. Here they will see a first of its kind health clinic for working elephants and an elephant information centre, which is under construction. Their Royal Highnesses will also have an opportunity to meet with villagers who have been relocated by the charity to keep them safely out of the path of an elephant corridor. Before departing, The Duke and Duchess will put the finishing touches on an elephant sculpture to officially mark the ‘call for artists’ for India’s elephant parade, which will see 200 elephants decorated by artists and placed in 200 locations across India by the Elephant Family. These parades have previously been staged in London, Edinburgh, and New York.
Day Five, Bhutan, April 14th:
On the morning of Thursday 14 April, The Duke and Duchess will fly to Bhutan. On arrival at Paro airport, The Duke and Duchess will immediately get a sense of the beauty of this mountainous country. They will be ceremoniously welcomed by senior state representatives before departing for a scenic drive to the capital city of Thimphu.

In the afternoon, they will travel to the beautiful Thimphu Dzong where they will take part in a Chipdrel, a traditional welcome procession, complete with music, ceremonial dress, and plenty of colour. Inside the Dzong, they will have a private audience with The King and Queen. Their Majesties will then lead The Duke and Duchess across the Dzong’s vast courtyard, which will be beautifully decorated, across to a temple where they will receive a brief blessing and will light butter lamps. 
The Duke and Duchess will then say goodbye to The King and Queen for the afternoon before heading to Thimphu’s open-air archery venue, located in the heart of the small city. Their Royal Highnesses will see first-hand Bhutan’s awe-inspiring national sport, where archers must aim at very small, brightly decorated wooden targets positioned 145 metres away from where they are standing. The Duke and Duchess will also have the opportunity to meet young people from local schools and NGOs who will be playing other traditional games. 
That evening The Duke and Duchess will have a private dinner with The King and Queen at Lingkana Palace.
I am very excited for this visit to Bhutan. The Queen of Bhutan--Jetsum Pema--is absolutely stunning. She is only 25 and just had her first baby, so although Kate is a few steps ahead of her, both these women are relatively new royals and new moms, and will doubtless have much to share. 


Day Six, Bhutan, April 15th:
The next day, 15 April, promises to be a very special one. The Duke and Duchess will hike to Paro Taktsang, the Tiger’s Nest monastery which dates to 1692. The monastery is near the cave where Guru Padmasambhava – who is credited with introducing Buddhism to Bhutan – is said to have meditated for three years, three months, three weeks, and three days in the 8th century. It is a magical place that The Duke and Duchess are thrilled to be visiting. Their hike will take between 5-6 hours in total and will allow them to get a real sense of the natural and spiritual beauty of the country.  
Back in Thimphu that evening, The Duke and Duchess will attend a reception for British nationals in Bhutan and Bhutanese people with strong links to the UK. 
Day Seven, Taj Mahal, April 16th:
The next morning back at Paro Airport, The Duke and Duchess will say farewell and thanks to the people of Bhutan. 
They will then board a flight to Agra, India, the home of the Taj Mahal. The Taj, one of the wonders of the world and completed in 1648, will be a fitting location for The Duke and Duchess to say thank you for the generosity and warmth that will have been extended to them on the tour. The Taj Mahal is one of the symbols of India and Their Royal Highnesses cannot wait to see it with their own eyes. The Duke of Cambridge is of course aware of the huge esteem his mother, the late Princess of Wales is held in India and he appreciates the iconic status of the images that exist of The Princess at the Taj. He feels incredibly lucky to visit a place where his mother’s memory is kept alive by so many who travel there. 24 years on from her visit to the Taj, The Duke and The Duchess are looking forward to seeing this beautiful place for themselves and creating some new memories as they say thank you to the people of India at the conclusion of this tour.
Ending the tour with the Taj Mahal will be dramatic and memorable. This is a really well-structured tour, and...it will be just long enough. I am hugely excited, as I know all royal fans are. It will also help to clear the air and move forward from the bad press that has been generated largely by the boredom of these past slow months. 

I am also excited to tell you all that I have a special post I have been working on, and it should be ready tomorrow, or early in the new week. Keep an eye out for it! 

64 comments:

  1. Love your posts Jane and I would guess that the person who published the itinerary is also on the tour.A lot is being fitted in to a fairly short tour.
    The packing must be a nightmare--clothes for everything from a glittering reception and dinner to camp fires; garden parties and private dinners with the monarch to hiking boots.
    We get to see something of places we might otherwise know little about.
    Looking forward to spending the week with the Duke and Duchess and with Jane and all you ladies.

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    1. Me too,looking forward to it!

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    2. My thoughts exactly, Jean. So much has been packed into this tour. I cannot imagine the preparation for it! Aside from planning a wardrobe and packing, imagine being briefed on every aspect of it. I will be happy to follow and admire from afar! :))

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    3. This is a very ambitious tour and they will be exhausted! It will be fun to hurry here to FBTB every day for fashion news and commentary from everyone!

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  2. Do you know if George and Charlotte are going along? I would love to se them go but I totally understand if they don't considering the short visit and packed schedule.

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    1. It has already be announced that the children will not be on the tour. With a daily itinerary in new cities, it seems so much more reasonable to leave them with their grandparents and/or nanny. I suspect they will stay with the Middleton's and Nanny Maria will have time off, but I could be way off base.

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    2. I would guess that Nanny Maria will have some time off but I would also guess that she will be on hand to help the grandparents. We have three little grandkids and they are a handful - especially since we are no longer young enough to carry out the full time responsibilities with the level of energy our daughter has!

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  3. I'm just wondering if you think kate may echo or make a slight nod fashion wise to Diana's iconic photo at the Taj Mahal?

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    1. I hope not. I am not so keen on her fashion choices of copying. She is not Diana so let's not pretend she wants to be. I think a nod is there because they visit the place.

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    2. My guess would be no to a fashion nod on this one. I think the statement reveals their intentions: "...The Duke and The Duchess are looking forward to seeing this beautiful place for themselves and creating some new memories..."

      The symbolic image of Diana at the Taj Mahal has haunted the RF for decades, and for valid reasons. I cannot imagine a more appropriate way for Diana's lonely and unhappy visit to be put to rest than to have her happily married son visit with his wife and provide a very different image for the history books.

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    3. I agree wholeheartedly, royalfan. The image of Diana sitting alone at the Taj Mahal will always be one of the saddest.

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    4. I think, if she makes a nod at all that it will be subtle like maybe wearing a red or purple or white dress that day I don't think it will be all 3 colors but she may surprise me and wear just that..Seems like Wills doesn't mind her giving a nod here or there to his mum and as long as he doesn't care, or Harry, why should anyone else..But there are always the people that think she does nothing right so I suppose it's a wait and see situation.. I am super excited to see what she wears though..Tiara or no tiara etc..

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    5. I don't object when KAte "gives a nod" to Diana, Valerie G but I think it is often a mistake because 1) It leads to comparisons with Diana that are best left uninvited 2) it can feel like an attempt to manipulate public sentiment. After all, we aren't talking about Kate dressing like Diana at home for Will at a family gathering for Will and Harry. ...we're talking about public events where the comparison will be invited. And Kate will NEVER measure up. That's not a criticism of Kate (although I expect to get blow-back :) but it just isn't possible (in real time--the view of history is a different matter) to come out ahead of a revered person who is dead!

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    6. Lizzie, I pretty much agree with you I was talking about the people who dislike the duchess. The people that are never going to be happy with anything she or William do not anyone that posts here.. She may wear the same designer etc as a nod because she tends to do that sort of thing now and then but as someone else said just them visiting the Taj Mahal is a nod to Diana.. And at the very end I meant I can't wait for the fashion throughout the tour not just to the Taj, I don't think there's any chance of her wearing a tiara that day.. It really doesn't seem like Kate is a tiara kind of girl..

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    7. Lizzie, no "blow-back" here. :) I do agree that the fashion nods invite the inevitable comparisons, but I do not believe for one moment that Kate is trying to compare herself to Diana.

      I truly believe it is just a respectful acknowledgement of Diana as the mother (and grandmother) who isn't here to share in the special occasions with William and his family.

      When Kate walked out of the hospital with George in her arms, I thought her dress was such a sweet gesture. And it's one that will be in the history books along with the iconic images of Diana leaving the same hospital with baby William.

      If you consider just how "inconvenient" Diana's memory has been over the years, well, this sappy royal follower has to say, "GO William and Kate!"

      Valerie, we should make a bet on this one. :) I will be very surprised if the Taj Mahal visit is a fashion nod moment. Personally, I think the "nod" will be Diana's very happily married son visiting with his wife. W&K will hit the "re-set" button and make it their own memory.

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  4. Every time I think you've surely maxed-out,Jane, you come up with a humdinger post like this one.
    The best-written and illustrated story I've seen for this tour. Plus you've given us another
    look at her royal gorgeousness in the lilac gown.
    WIN. WIN. WIN

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  5. I am so excited for this tour! What a fantastic itinerary with so many different & wide ranging events packed into one week.

    I believe that it was a good decision to have the visit to the Taj Mahal last.... The photo of the Cambridges there is bound to be front page news across the world & has the potential to overshadow the rest of the tour. That isn't necessarily a bad thing... but this way hopefully the rest of their events will get equal coverage.

    On the fashion front, I think this tour has the potential to be the most exciting one yet! I'm hoping for a few outfit changes a day - for both of them. A beautiful new gown paired with some stunning jewelry is top on my wish list - though a repeat would be welcome too!

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  6. Alejandra RamírezApril 2, 2016 at 5:50 PM

    Excellent post Jane! So looking forward for the tour!
    I would guess that Catherine will have to change at least 2-3 times each day, except Day 1 which might me 4 and Day 7 which might be 1-2 :D

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  7. Thank you Jane for such a detailed and informative post. I can not wait for this tour and look forward to hearing eveeryone's comments and observations. I for one loved the Hisbiscus gown. Just stunning and satorcally on point!! 8 days to go!!

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  8. I am really looking forward to the fashion we see on this tour! I think Kate will wear bright colors and there may be a possibility of a sari or she may opt for the more conservative choice of a tunic. We have a huge Indian population here where I live and some of the fabrics are really stunning. Some of the traditional clothes, however, leave the midriff bare and I can't see Kate doing that.

    I am most looking forward to the visit to Bhutan. Not only because we will see two striking royal couples together but also because of the beauty of the country. Because this is a royal visit on both sides I am hoping for a tiara moment.

    I hope that in all of the visits with dignitaries, celebrities, and wildlife conservationists, the Duke and Duchess will also get to see some of the horrid conditions the extreme class system in India has created for a good share of their people. Those people who live in the "upmarket" area are literally right across from the slums. I have two good friends who went over there to work for six months with the people and children in the slums. The stories are horrifying. I won't go into detail why it's not safe for females to use the outhouse in the middle of the night.

    If we see pictures of the Duke and Duchess in the slums with actual buildings in the background they aren't quite telling the whole story. Those people live in houses made out of whatever they can find. Old cardboard boxes, cast off metal siding, plastic remnants. Sometimes, when the people in the upmarket area get their way, and the city officials get tired of their complaining, the slums are bulldozed during the day. The people return home from whatever meager jobs they have to find their entire neighborhood gone and their children sitting on the piles that used to form their "home" without any shelter. Most of these slums don't have clean water. The Indians who live abroad are the "upmarket" type. The majority of the Indian population can barely afford to eat. I really hope William and Kate get a chance to bring attention to this problem. It would be great if they would get involved in encouraging the wealthy Indians who get a western education to go back to their country and try to improve the conditions of their people. I doubt the politics of the situation will allow them to say anything while there but, hopefully, afterward they will back a charity dedicated to helping. Those people in the slums of India would feel as if they had won the lottery if they got to live in the "slums" here in the US. There are some images here if you can stomach it:

    https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=india+slum+pictures&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

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    1. Robin ~ ditto W&K and the Indian slums/class system. If they visited the photos would be seen on front page news world wide, and would further be contrasted by their good looks/grooming/well dressed. Every so often we need to be forced to remember others suffering, and to remember how fortunate we are, even during our tough times. There are also issues in Indian like all the dowry violence, punishing women who have been sexually abused, etc. So many great things in that country, but so much that requires attention and reformation.

      ~ A

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    2. ~ A ~ You're right about the contrast between W&K and the difference in their clothes but if they wore jeans, simple shirts, and no jewelry they could pull it off.

      The sad thing about how they punish the women who have been sexually abused is that the abusers are doing the punishing. One of the things my friends were doing - besides working really hard to get clean, running water into the slums - was organizing classes for young girls to teach them how to protect themselves. The stories were heartbreaking. After seeing all the photos and visiting my friends after their time there it did make me doubly grateful for what I have. It also kind of made me look at the Indians here in my community with their million dollar houses and resent them a little for not going back to their country and doing something to help change the circumstances. They need to build industry, create jobs, and let the women in the slums become educated.

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    3. Robin ~ oh I definitely think W&K would be tactful and dress down for a visit to anything remotely like the slums. I just mean that they would still look glamorous in contrast - even a high street Kate outfit is more than these people have. Just pointing out how the dichotomy would be effective in photos :-)

      It's truly heartbreaking. I have friends who have volunteered in Thailand where the (child) sex trade in rampant. India has class systems that are so deeply embedded with them. Very complex places, but with a lot to offer too. The world is never an easy place to reconcile, unfortunately.

      All that aside, I think we all look forward to this trip for various reasons :-)

      ~ A

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    4. I really hope Jane publishes my comment, even though it is a little more aggressive than most comments that get through, because wow Robin - you are being incredibly racist and paternalistic. You resent people for making the best of their situations, emigrating when necessary, and finding success?
      First of all, it makes me really uncomfortable when Americans talk about India like it's all bad. The US isn't all that great eiher. But Americans love talking about "third world" nations like they are horrible. India is not just one singular entity that can be discussed so monolithically. It's an incredibly diverse nation, and each region has a very different culture. Dowry violence occurs in villages, but not in a lot of the more developed parts of India. It's just like the US - sexual violence and in general just more horrible things happen in the less developed areas, like large parts of Mississippi, west Texas, etc. But you won't hear Indians talk about the US like Mississippi represents all of it. You are also just wrong when you say "The majority of the Indian population can barely afford to eat." The World Bank, an independent organization, says around 28% of India's population is living in poverty. For a country with a huge population growth rate, that's not anything abnormal. Not to mention, the idea that William and Kate of all people should encourage Indians to go back to help their own nation is so paternalistic as well. First of all, it's none of William and Kate's business whether or not Indian people choose to go back to India after finding success elsewhere. They have no right to "encourage" anyone to do that. Secondly, and even more importantly, that completely ignores the HUGE role the British Royal Family played in holding back India's development on purpose in order to justify ruling over it, and also just because cultural differences made it difficult for the BRF to know how to do good things there. If anything, the BRF, and British citizens in general, have a bigger obligation to help the poor in India than Indians do, because it's actually more their fault. Especially when quite a bit of William's family's money comes from unjustly and violently ruling over India and taking money from it that could have helped those people in poverty that you speak of. Btw, William and Kate, and the BRF in general, still do that in England - they take money that otherwise the government would spend on more needy people. So India is not the only nation where "the horrid conditions the extreme class system has created for a good share of their people."

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    5. I agree with **some** of your comments Anon...it really is not anyone's business what individuals who have left their home country choose to do. But I would vehemently disagree that sexual violence and other "horrible things" are more likely to happen in rural Southern areas of the US than in other areas. Plenty of really awful things happen in cities like NY, Chicago, and LA! Some famous, easily Googled examples...Kitty Genovese (NY) Genie ("Feral Child" LA) Ariel Castro kidnappings (Cleveland OH) But the general point about India as well as the US being diverse is well-taken.

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    6. The turn of conversation on this blog was making me increasingly uncomfortable. RobinfromCA it is always risky to form opinions of an entire very very diverse nation on the basis of hearsay from friends. If you genuinely care then at least visit the country.
      India is one of the most diverse countries in the planet. Over 15 major languages are spoken. There are scores of different kinds of cuisine. Northern cuisine is vastly different from Southern. The two coasts have their own types of cuisine. There is literally very little overlap in how they cook - the differences stem from the spices used, to technique, to kinds of vegetables, how crunchy these vegetables are, etc. India is a country where people from different religions have existed largely in harmony for centuries while maintaining a democratic process. Last election more than 500 million people voted.
      Yes it is a country with tremendous inequality. And as Anon points out the British Royal Family have a lot to answer for in creating such an impoverished and unequal society. India has come a long long way since its freedom in 1947 - India is still a very young nation and in some sense is still finding its way.
      Around 30 percent of the population eat less than 2000 calories a day - that is true. The upper middle class is getting wealthier while child malnutrition is the highest in the world - that is true and it is not because food is not available. Lack of education and awareness has a lot to do with that. Yes, women are not treated very well on the whole. There are many many causes for India's poverty and problems. While absolute poverty is decreasing in India , relative poverty is increasing.
      But the solution to India's problems cannot be found in simple statements like "Indians should go back home". This sort of sounds like one of Donald Trump's prescriptions. Perhaps you would like to be his advisor, Robin and send all Indians home?
      And FYI; poverty rates and violence in inner cities of New Jersey are not that different from poverty rates in other "third world nations". Perhaps you would like to find out a bit about how the poor and minorities get treated in the USA as well, while you are at it, Robin?

      Delete
    7. India was a part of the British empire for 200 years - opinions have been divided on whether it was all bad for India for about 269 years .... And no doubt that argument will continue. However, if I may remind you of a couple of good things - cricket :-) the railways which even today connect this vast country, the bringing together of a huge number of disparate states under local rule to one country one nation. I declare my bias - my grandparents lived in and loved India for about 30 years and my mother was born there and lived there until she as 15 - oh and I'm British! In my humble opinion India is an extraordinary country. It's diversity and sheer size make it like no other country I have been to - I have worked in and travelled around India extensively. For sure the slums are shocking and sickening but as is the growth and speed of change that is happening across India. It's incredible to watch it happen before our eyes. Mumbai is a city of staggering contrast - from the moment you land and leave the airport your senses are assaulted by the smell, the noise, the colour, the absolute vibrancy of the city. I am lucky in my job in that I get to travel across Asia frequently and India, like China, is in a period of massive change and growth - that means that we are watching nations develop as America did and the U.K. And Europe did many years ago BUT it's happening right before our eyes and some of it will be distasteful as it is different and foreign to our eyes. I am sure as America was being built there are many things that would shock us in terms of what we see as acceptable today - like the treatment of the indigenous people of America or going back further the behaviour of the Romans or Vikings or in even more recent times the treatment of the Aboriginal people of Australia....
      I hope William and Kate love India as my grandparents did, for sure there has to be more change and they will help to highlight those very real issues but outweighing that is the beauty of the country and of its warm and loving people. I for one am very excited about this trip! All the best Simone X

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    8. Wow, I haven't been on this thread in a few days and I'm surprised at the nastiness! I am not a racist, paternalist, nor a supporter of Donald Trump and I resent and am insulted by the accusations. You ladies do not know anything about me. I actually teach nearly 140 students a week who have immigrated here from India and I am not ignorant of their situations, their culture, diversity, nor beliefs. I was merely sharing what I learned from my friends who worked daily for 6 months in the slums of India helping the people there and was sharing my hopes for the improvement of the lives of those people. Nothing I said about those who live in the slums was inaccurate and I never insinuated that we don't have problems here in America. If your experience in India was different and you didn't have to spend time in the slums, all you had to do was share that without name calling and rudeness Anon. 11:25 and IndianGirl. And if you're going to call people horrible names, hiding behind anonymous names is cowardly. After all, you were able to call me by my real name as you were labeling me.

      Simone, I appreciate your comments! Sharing your fondness and history in the country and acknowledging the good and the bad - in a kind way - was uplifting. I know we have horrible stories here in America from our early days as a country, as does every country, and we still have poverty here today. I'm sure you didn't appreciate the insinuation that the British caused all the problems in India. You're right about everything in struggling countries unfolding before our eyes. Our ability to travel easily worldwide and our 24 hour news cycle make us all too aware of the warts on our lovely little planet.

      Delete
    9. Based upon your reply Robin, I think I have missed some of the content of these posts. i will review this thread this afternoon.

      Delete
  9. Ditto to the above comments. It's going to be an action packed tour. I wonder if Mr Security will be packing his security suitcase too?

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  10. Sonja from BavariaApril 3, 2016 at 3:47 AM

    What a packed schedule! I hope Kate won't have any problems with the strange climate in India...

    Do you think we'll get to see her wear a tiara for the evening reception? I really really hope so! But if not, some jewels from the royal collection?
    I'd also love to see sth similar to the hibiscus gown!

    I'm sure W & K will get along well with the King and Queen of Bhutan.

    I am excited for the special post you promised - I love the way you write and am already much looking forward to it!

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    Replies
    1. I really doubt that Kate will wear a tiara to the Mumbai reception. It would be completely inappropriate given the history of India's independence struggle from Britain. In addition, India is a republic. The public is very excited that William and Kate are visting. Heavy and ornate jewellery would be completely appropriate, especially jewellery which was gifted from India's maharajas during the raj (India has a long tradition in jewellery); however, a tiara would be entirely inappropriate and likely to cause bad press.

      The weather will be tough this time of year...it's very humid in the lead up to the monsoon, so I hope she packs light and airy clothes.

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    2. anon 9:35-If the event is white-tie and a State occasion, there is a good chance
      Kate will wear a tiara. I don't think it is, though.
      Protocol is tricky.
      India didn't invite Angelina Jolie-Pitt. (wouldn't be a bad idea) They invited a future king of England and
      his consort. A certain amount of royal bling and pomp are anticipated .
      HM wore tiaras. Camilla did.

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    3. It's hard to tell. The U.S. is a republic too but HM has worn her crown to all state dinners hosted by the White House. On the other hand, Princess Diana did not. W&K haven't been to state dinners here so there is no precedence for them. I hope Kate will wear some of those gorgeous gold bracelets they have over there. All of the ladies here where them when they are in traditional dress and they are so stunning when stacked together!

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  11. I travelled to India for a friends wedding and wore both Salwar Kameez & Saris for the various events scheduled so I would expect to see Kate pull out the traditional dress particularly when the general population do tend to wear more traditional clothing on a daily basis. Despite the caste system no longer being inforce (although its historic legacy remains) the clothing you wear very much shows your class with certain sari's going for £££££ so if she does opt for the traditional dress it will be interesting to see the jewels used on Kate's outfit.

    As for travelling to India I wonder how much of the true India they will see, even in the slums. India is a stunning country but it is a country of massive inequality, with little appetite to change whilst the middle/upper class get richer and the uneducated poor remain dirt poor. I am still reminded of homeless infants pulling at my shirt sleeves begging whilst I travelled round india, yet attending an "upper class" wedding attended by Bollywood stars, I was appalled at the indifference to the poor and at the ingrained class system which shows no sign of disappearing. I've travelled to many developing countries, but India has remained the country that I've found hardest to reconcile. That being said I cant wait to see Kate and Will do India!

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    Replies
    1. Exactly, Anon. 10:21. I fear those who organized the tour from the Indian side of things will keep the Duke & Duchess from the true tragedy of those in the slums and the indifference of those who have more fortunate situations.

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    2. I understand your viewpoint,Robin, and agree with most of it. I also appreciate your reminding us to keep in mind the sober facts of life as we discuss Kate's fashion.

      I'm not sure if emigrants should be expected to return to a situation, once they have escaped.
      I don't know the circumstances of those in your area, but I wonder if some were hard-working small business owners who saw a chance and took it.There are those who
      return to a situation to help improve it. Unfortunately, I think that ideal is the
      stuff that Sunday magazine human interest stories are made of. For example, in the
      US,small communities are desperate for physicians; however, the lure of the city
      and seemingly more favorable circumstances keep them from returning to help
      their communities. Is this wrong? I'm fairly certain they never really forget the folks
      back home, nor do the ex-pats of India. I personally know Canadians, Phillipinos, and former Mexican residents who send money back home. When we see immigrants enjoying an affluent life, there is that to consider.It is the story of Ellis Island. Work hard in
      the new country, make good, and send money home or bring family in.

      There is also a limit how many causes one can become the face of before the
      benefit of the association of the face/name and the cause are diluted. We have
      seen W&C photographed with some whose stories are certainly tragic:I can't
      forget the hospice pictures-the dying babies, children from apalling home conditions, the drug-
      damaged ones trying to climb out of that hole, even William's photo with that elephant on his China tour. There is also the fact that
      the Cambridges have a demanding, fast-paced tour that will require all their reserves
      as it is. There are at least several "photo ops" with slum scenes, if that is what
      you mean.I suspect you are correct in assuming that the Indian schedulers would rather not display their bad side. This is meant to promote India,afterall. It may be
      that what scenes there are of slums were added at Cambridge insistence.
      Otherwise, I can't imagine W&C not being painfully aware at every step just what
      the underbelly of India is.
      Each country has it's pile of dirt brushed under the rug.
      (I am speaking of situations here, not the people)

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    3. I agree with you that many of those who have emigrated send money home but, at least those in this area, were the ones with money to begin with so whatever they send home isn't going to the slums. To create real change would take people going back and trying to create real reform which can't be done from a distance.

      I think you're probably correct that William and Kate are the ones who want to see something other than the polished side of India because they care about the conditions children live in, but it will be controlled by the Indian officials, I'm sure.

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    4. But why go back? Why not just stay there to begin with? If the motivation is to help one's people. I wonder if whatever motivated them to emigrate in the first place could keep them from returning.There is plenty of money in India.

      Actually, I reread the itinerary-there is a lot more about conservation and fund-raising and bringing attention to the children of the slums than I thought.
      Maybe W&C did have significant input into tour focus.But yes, India, as the host nation, will have its hand firmly on the till.

      Delete
    5. This is a very complicated issue. People emigrate for various reasons including but not limited to political, economic, social, education, etc. Similarly, they may not return for various reasons. It may not be safe for them to go back. Would they be allowed to return? Would they be welcome after leaving? Is it safe? And if they send money back home, would it end up in the right hands? So many variables here.

      Delete
    6. Anon 10:21 Your reflections are the same ones I hear from people I know who travel to India. Like you appear to be, they are well well traveled and have visited a wide range of countries. It is is very sad. ali

      Delete
  12. I could potentially be wrong but I'm counting appx 10-12 different outfits!!! Yay! I can't wait to see what beautiful creations she has come up with!!! Funny you should bring up the JP high/low that is the one dress I thought she may rewear?? I love love love that particular dress and it is my very favorite evening gown of hers to date.. How many outfits do you think Jane?? So excited! Can't wait! Does seem rather exhausting but it sounds fun. I've read 4 or 5 different articles about this trip but had not heard one word about the dinner at KP on the 6th! Jc where do you get your info? KP Twitter? Other? Once again thanks so much for this wonderful article!!!


    P. S. On the first paragraph about Ghandi you have meeting but I think it should read meaning??? Have a wonderful day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Valerie G
      There are 2 things on the 6th---lunch for the Duke, given by the FA to celebrate his 10 years as President and later a reception to meet young people from India and Bhutan.
      The statement about the reception was put out by KP and the lunch by the FA.

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    2. I was referring to the reception at KP.. I was just saying you always do an awesome job because no where else have I seen anything about the reception on the 6th or the lunch.. You keep us well informed!!It's a 9 hour plane ride from London to Mumbai they are going to be exhausted!! I honestly don't know how they will get everything done.... Do you have any other predictions for rewears?

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  13. Wow, Jane, you will have your work cut out for you ;-) I'm looking most forward to all the outfit changes, to be honest.
    ~ A

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  14. I am just so excited for this tour to begin! I am sure Kate is going to stun us all with some amazingly beautiful clothes! I so hope she dons a sari or two? She would look fabulous!

    Very excited!



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  15. Please, please, PLEASE let her wear some Naeem Khan. I will die and go to heaven if she wears one of his evening gowns. It would be a fantastic change up from the McQueen/Packham evening gown rotation.. in a better way than that floral Erdem!

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    Replies
    1. Oh, yes! He has some gorgeous gowns! I was just watching his Spring 2016 runway show. You can see it here.
      http://naeemkhan.com/pages/spring-summer-2016

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    2. You are so right!I would love to see her in the yellow or the pink that is white at the bottom..Can't wait for her to knock our socks off!!!!

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    3. Wow! Just watched the runway show. There are some seriously stunning gowns! Love love love the purple gown just before the pink with white at the bottom & the yellow one after the pink. Gosh! I would love it if Kate stepped out in any of these gowns! This designer knows how to produce an evening gown!

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    4. And please please please some knock-your-socks-off jewellery. India's jewellery culture / history is fascinating. The pieces are stunning. The jewelry houses all get pieces finished there bc the workmanship is unmatched.

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    5. I must say, seeing the movement of the gowns takes it to different level. Stunning indeed.

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  16. Wow! Wow! Something for everyone. I liked the red and white poppy dresses and a bunch of other ones.
    I did worry that the models might tip over backwards-between their platform shoes and sway-backed strut. Maybe the earrings were for ballast. ha!
    Thanks for the link, Robin.

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    Replies
    1. LOL, Anon. 4:01! Maybe the earrings did give them that much needed forward motion! What struck me - and it seems to be the trend of runway shows in general - is that none of the models crack a smile. They seem to work extra hard at looking put out to be there. Maybe they're just all really, really hungry!

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  17. Ha! Hunger or indigestion maybe, Robin. I think the sour looks distract from a gown as much as the
    ugly shoes. I just don't understand the rationale..
    This collection is truly inspired. Deserves better than sway-backed, sour-pussed, ugly-shoed models.
    Of course, none of that is the models' fault.
    What was he thinking!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree that the sour/bored/just plain ticked off look detracts. The shoes on most runway models are horrible. I don't know why they do that. In this particular showing there was a smattering of perfectly fine shoes but, for the most part, those hideous platforms! No rhyme or reason as to why. Let's hope the shoes, outsized earrings, and turbans do not become a fad! I sure can see Kate in some of those gowns though!

      Delete
    2. Robin-4:37- Ha! they're getting dangerously close to Carmen Miranda territory-platform shoes,outsize earrings, and turbans.
      I think that would make a great fancy dress costume for Kate.

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  18. She doesn't seem to have many dress-up events, compared to the nitty-gritty ones.
    As far as her fans go, I don't think it is possible for Kate to have too many tiara
    moments.
    Khan for Wow and glamour in India, certainly.(although he is American)
    I think Elie Saab has my vote for Wow elegance and Chanel for under-stated elegance, otherwise.
    You know who would absolutely rock Khan? Princess Charlene of Monaco!

    ReplyDelete
  19. How to make sure lots of people check your website many times? Announce a post for the beginniming of the new week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I sense your irritation. I am sorry. I had every intention of getting the post up, but it still needs several hours of work to format the pictures and those are hours that I unexpectedly had to allocate elsewhere this week. It has been a very real challenge for me to maintain this blog and work and go to law school and maintain competitive grades. Given the "blood, sweat, and tears" and money I have poured into this website over the years, it is likely more disappointing to me than it is to you, but I apologize that you wasted your time checking in.

      Delete
    2. Jane, you need not apologize to us. You have quite a full plate on your end, with understandable priorities, and we appreciate the time you are able to devote to this wonderful blog. It IS appreciated, and I know I am not just speaking for myself here!!

      Delete
  20. Post when you get a chance, Jane.Yours is my favorite Kate site and I was already
    committed to clicking every chance I could, just on general principal. Doing my part-ha!
    That and commenting way more than I should.Probably not helpful, though.

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  21. Naeem Khan makes drool worthy dresses. Fashion gods, please hear my prayer, and send Kate one of those gowns!

    So excited for the tour! But gee, I wouldn't want to be Kate with that exhausting schedule for a whole week! I think I would need two weeks of complete alone time to recover.

    Not to mention - lots of work for the Kate bloggers too! Thank you Jane for all the work you put in!

    ReplyDelete

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