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Tea Time in Assam as Kate & William Spend Time Touring the Region

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

After their morning touring the park, Kate changed out of her Pangolin Pants and into a summer dress for a full afternoon. First the couple headed to Panbari village where they were due to mix and mingle with the locals and learn about regional livelihoods including weaving and tea growing!



Fun fact, Assam is the largest tea growing region in the world! According to that greatest of all information sources, Wikipedia:
Assam tea is a black tea named after the region of its production, Assam, in India. Assam tea is manufactured specifically from the plant Camellia sinensis var. assamica (Masters). This tea, most of which is grown at or near sea level, is known for its body, briskness, malty flavour, and strong, bright colour. Assam teas, or blends containing Assam, are often sold as "breakfast" teas. For instance, Irish breakfast tea, a maltier and stronger breakfast tea, consists of small-sized Assam tea leaves. Though Assam generally denotes the distinctive black teas from Assam, the region produces smaller quantities of green  and white teas as well with their own distinctive characteristics. . . .Historically, Assam has been the second commercial tea production region after southern China. Southern China and Assam are the only two regions in the world with native tea plants.

Kate was warmly received at the village. I think these are the moments when Kate's head is going into overdrive and she is wondering how she got to a place where people curtsy and bow and kiss her hands.  It was yet another instance of beautiful Indian hospitality on a tour that has been highlighting the best of this nation. 


In less important, but still good news, the two collected more scarves at this stop.  Kate is going to be set for life. 



The couple toured the tea fields and got a closer look at those famous Assam leaves. Who knows, maybe these have (or will) grace the breakfast table at Kensington Palace or Anmer Hall. According to Victoria Murphy, the couple mentioned how much they are enjoying their stay in Assam, partly because they love tea! 


Getting the inside scoop on all that tea:



The next part of the program was a stop at the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation. Before William and Kate headed out onto the plain to interact with the animals, they got their own tea break. It seems only fair after looking at it and hearing all about it earlier. 



Be honest, who woke up this morning and thought they'd see a picture of Kate running after a baby rhino...in a dress?  Well, it happened. 



These monster sized bottles were on hand and the royal couple got to feed the elephants and rhinos. It was a like a goat petting zoo on steroids.

Scott FurssedonnWood

I love this picture of Kate soothing her little rhino. Kate told a villager earlier in the day that George would have gone wild in India and was "too naughty" to come. Can you imagine him in this scene? It would have broken the internet...possibly him, too, I guess. 


Kate and William finally visited the Kaziranga Discovery Centre founded by Mark Shand's charity Elephant Family. You probably remember that Mark died in 2014 while William and Kate were touring Australia. He was the brother of the Duchess of Cornwall and his untimely passing shocked the Royal Family. Today, the charity was in the midst of painting large elephant statues. Apparently, "Elephant Parade" is an event which "will see 200 painted elephants in 200 locations around India." Elephant Family was in no mood to waste Kate's artistic talent and they put her to work straight away.

Kensington Palace

William tried his hand at it, too. You can't stand idly by while a lady is working. I think Kate gave him some constructive criticism. :) 


William cracked open what looks like a coconut, but could be anything for all I know, in an unveiling ceremony:



There were a bunch of sweet little ones gathered, all of whom got to meet the royals. To my fashionistas, note these wide legged trousers that the two ladies to the left of Kate are wearing. I'm kind of loving it. Karlie Kloss wore this exact look throughout PFW and I think it might be fun to try this summer.



Kensington Palace tweeted that the royals chatted with villagers (below) about the problems that accompany living near the park and all those wild animals. Regrettably, the tweet didn't include what had to have been an interesting answer. 


Kate wore an embroidered smock dress from Topshop, continuing her tunic-top streak. I liked it. It didn't impress itself upon me. There is almost never a neutral fashion choice, but this was truly one of the rarities. I thought Kate looked lovely in it, and it was a great color to set her apart in her various afternoon activities. She stood out feeding the animals and it complemented the colors of those with whom she interacted. Beyond that, however, it really didn't leave an impression on me. I think it is a win. She looks polished in all the photos.



This evening in India a 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck Myanmar. William and Kate apparently felt the tremors in Assam. Royal reporters say the quake was actually quite scary.Richard Palmer's description suggests it was unusual even for locals:



In any event, tomorrow, the tour packs up and heads to Bhutan. It promises to be an exceptional viewing experience. See you then!

P.S. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't hoping for a Royal Baby Three. Too soon?


56 comments:

  1. Don't forget Buthan is half an hour before Indian time

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  2. WilliAm did break a coconut. It is done at the beginning of a new project - in this case the 200 art elephants going on their journeys. Knowing this because? I lived in India for 5 years. Kudos to all.

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  3. Alejandra RamírezApril 13, 2016 at 5:16 PM

    Love the post and your comments! Love the extra information and your insight!
    I liked the dress, it looks feminine, casual and elegant.

    As for the baby, I believe they might have another one soon. The reason is that after the 2012 Tour, two months later the pregnancy was announced and she was one month. I read on another FB page that after the Tour, they waited a month for the malaria pills and then got pregnant.
    Charlotte is almost one and if they follow the same pattern, then Baby No. 3 is coming.
    Who knows! Time will tell :)
    (Or am I thinking too much)

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  4. Such a fun day! I think she looked lovely in her dress. I couldn't decide if it was the dress or just the overall picture of her and William with the animals and the locals but it all fit together with a big win for me.

    I read in one article that cracking open the coconut to begin the campaign was the equivalent of breaking a bottle of champaign on a ship. I was in Amsterdam the year they had the Elephant Parade and took as many photos of them as I could. I think I got about 50 of them. They are delightful and I'm sure the colors on the ones in India will be fantastic!

    I'm a jaded Californian so I'm a bit surprised that the intensity of the earthquake by the time it traveled far enough to reach where the reporters stay received such a reaction. At first, when I saw 6.9 (which is quite a destructive ride), was a little shocking. Then I realized how far away they were and thought, meh, no big deal. I guess it's all a matter of perspective. Around these parts most earthquakes below a 5 are just an office pool. We do, on the other hand, have buildings built to code so there is that. And we would never run outside or advise others to run outside. I thought that was odd advice from the hotel.

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    1. ...I think that the intensity of the waves / movement that is felt is only lessened if the earthquake as it travels must go through houses, buildings and other structures and soil. If there are no structures and it travels mainly through soil, then the intensity will not lessen and it will be felt considerably. In any event an earthquake of that magnitude is frightening, jaded or not.

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    2. Absolutely, royal watcher, 6.9 is definitely frightening and can cause huge damage even in places built to withstand them - such as where I live. But most buildings are built to a 7.0 code so 6.9 is really pushing the boundaries! Actually, as I was reading your comment you made me think about it and why they may have felt it more strongly even 500 miles away. The soil there is mostly sand based. Like landfill, sand will nearly liquify during a strong earthquake so the shockwaves stay very intense. Can you tell we have to learn a lot about our geology living so near the San Andreas fault and on so many others as we do? The hotel's advice was still strange. Earthquake drills = Duck, Cover, and Hold. Outside power lines and building parts can fall on you!

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    3. Soil itself lessens too. It s not that the whole earthis shaking. There is an epizentrum shaking and the. Lore you are awa they lessser the shaking

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    4. It was about 130km deep. The only injuries reported were in Bangladesh from stampeding, trampling.There are daily earthquakes where I live..My dog can sense them
      before they happen.
      Robin, you must be relieved it has been many years since California had regular
      earthquakes large enough to be felt. 1980's, I believe.
      Of course, that's also the bad news; stress is building up, especially along the southern portion of the San Andreas fault.I keep up with the USGS on a daily basis.
      They monitor EQs around the world.

      The noise is something that freightens me the most.

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    5. A fellow EQ nerd! I keep up with the USGS too! Yes, animals are very sensitive to them and the noise is horrible. I think that's why the animals know before us. Their hearing is so much better. We've had a few 4s in the past decade but no damage mostly 2-3 down in Hollister. It is worrying that the stress is building up on the fault lines. The one closest to us that worries me is the Hayward fault. If it ever slips with a big magnitude the whole area could be devastated. I keep my eye on the "ring of fire" in the Pacific especially!

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    6. From one EQ nerd to another...became one out of necessity, as you likely did.
      Ring of Fire has been especially active the past few days. And other areas. Japan just had a very destructive quake. When I consider how anxious I get with loud noises and vibrations with my experience, I can't imagine how they must feel.
      I believe the Hayward is an off-shoot of the upper SA fault and concerns me too.
      I have family in the Concord area-all over California, really.
      Robin,I have enjoyed chatting with you during your Spring break. I hope you'll have time for FBTB once school takes up again.
      And thank-you, Jane, for allowing all these little forays into OT land.

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  5. They looked more relaxed today and seemed to have loads of fun. I wasn't crazy about this dress either. It worked well for the engagement and she looked great but it is one of those benign pieces of clothing that is forgettable. I found the loose fit, the length and the high waist somewhat frumpy.

    I confess I would love a royal baby number three but I feel bad saying that considering she gets so sick. I would not be surprised if she was happy with her one of each and that was it. It would also mean she would be out of the public eye for months at a time again. Time will tell.

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  6. Jane, in a word, YIKES! :) My mind wandered into baby number three territory earlier today! My money is on yes. Perhaps later this year....

    I liked this dress and thought the black espadrilles were a good match. Dusted off after yesterday's adorable antics, of course. ;)

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  7. I agree, I thought she looked cute in the dress and it's a win for me but I'm not running to the Topshop page to buy it.

    I think my main thought this morning was...I'm amazed the mama rhino isn't going for anyone near her baby but I'm glad that didn't happen and we got these amazing pictures!

    (PS Jane, I've been among the first to comment on a lot of these posts because I'm literally stalking to your blog waiting to see your verdict on the tour fashion :))

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    1. I think the baby rhino was an orphan so no worries about the mama. I've been able to stalk too because it's spring break here! How lovely of them to time their tour while I don't have any lesson prep to do or classes to teach!

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    2. Mama Rhino is dead. They are orphaned that's why they receive feeding at the center.

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  8. Hello, yes William is breaking a coconut. This is auspicious in the Hindu belief system, who will break coconuts to mark important events, the start of festivals, the openings of buildings, and as offerings to God.

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  9. Love, love, love this tour! Thank you for your thorough coverage ~ always fun to read :) ...

    As to royal baby no. 3: I hope there will be one in the future but right now I think too soon - It seems to me that India (or at least parts of it) could be suitable for spreading the Zika virus in which case waiting a bit would seem prudent :D.

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    1. I think the Zika virus is in your system for 8 weeks after infection. If they're planning another baby, I'm sure she will get tested before hand. We're paying close attention here because my daughter lives in south Texas and is pregnant right now. Very scary!

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    2. Robin, I thought about you and your daughter when I saw the new reports from CDC.

      There is this undercurrent weighing on the joy.

      I think standing water is the worst hazard. Evening hours.
      I don't think the virus has been isolated in England. Not sure about India. Doubt
      Bhutan. Time to read up.

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    3. Thank you! The most recent news from the CDC mentioned Houston (only an hour away from my daughter) and New Orleans where they happened to be visiting when the new report came out. She's using lots of repellent (she's not thrilled about that) and they have a screened in porch which is where she'll have to spend most of the summer if she wants fresh air. They should buy stock in citronella candles!

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  10. Jane:

    Thank you so very much for this wonderfully sensible blog on the adventures in fashion of our much beloved Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.

    I am loving all that the Duchess has chosen to wear on this tour: she had definitely captured the attention to detail that Indians are famous for in the fabric that they manufacture / wear, whether it is for their sari for women or the shirts for men. Her clothing on this tour, so far, were wonderfully rich in color, patterns and short of donning a sari, I think, paid homage as best she could sartorially to this most colorful and culturally rich continent.

    Once again, I think, the Queen and the Duke will be greatly pleased with the work of TRH,s.

    Thank you.

    Regards,

    RW.

    PS: I read about the earthquake and it was big. One never gets use to the shaking and for those who have never experienced even the tiniest amount of shaking, it must be terrifying. I am just happy that they are all safe.

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  11. When I saw Kate feeding the baby rhino, I wished George could be there to do it too! Maybe when George and Charlotte are older, they could visit. What a great photo op that would be!

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    1. Kate said they would definitely bring the children back when they are older. Given William's particular interest in conservation, I am sure they will!

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  12. Baby #3 has been on my mind for a couple months now :) Although I hate the wait when there is a baby on the way, an announcement in Aug./Sept. would be great. When you have such cute kids you should have a whole bunch ;)

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  13. By the way, I am LOVING all these outdoor shots! They are such a cute couple - #relationshipgoals :) I'm sure George will see the photos of the animals and be full of questions :)

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  14. I love the outfit!
    Also I'd be surprised if Kate got pregnant again because that means she would probably get HG again and I couldn't imagine going through that three times!

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  15. Love the hair and earrings and the wonderful video/photos of her feeding the animals. She must envy William wearing the same comfy shoes day after day. I also loved her comment at the start of the safari as she patted William's knee and said, " we'll be safe." I've always thought she could wear a sack and look elegant and the two ensembles today prove that.

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  16. I hate to speculate about someone else's family planning, because it's none of our business, but they are looking particularly loved up! (And could for them!) I certainly mind if they had #3, but feel badly for Kate as she gets so sick (and honestly, Charlotte isn't even one yet, so there's plenty of time)!

    The dress is cute and I like it and think it works for the seting, but I am just whelmed by it.

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  17. I love so much about this tour!!!! What I'm loving most, surprising myself by seeing this more than the fashion choices: This is an elegant woman who is loved by husband and family. Secure and confident in her own skin and increasingly so in her public role. Kate exudes this no matter what she wears, and it is a true beauty.

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    1. That's a lovely comment, 9:00, and I do agree with you. :)

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    2. Perfectly put, Anon:900. You have enumerate all of the reasons why I so admire the Duchess.

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    3. In the last photo, William shows, sitting cross-legged that he is just as fit and limber as his wife. Not overlooking in the same photo,the loving look between the two!

      RW.

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  18. I too liked this dress on Kate but it wasn't a love of mine. Enjoying the Inidan experience. As for a baby, its seems to be every second year they tour so maybe next year there is a gap. Will be interesting to see how many they have.

    KiwiNic

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  19. I want to see George with those baby elephants!

    Is William sitting or squatting?

    Baby-that's what I've been trying to tell you. Fuller face-less wrinkles; glowing; pants too tight.

    I have screen-blindness and have lapsed into rediculousness.
    Tour fatigue.
    I can't even imagine Jane's fatigue.

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  20. Not to rain on the parade, but Kate did all this cool stuff... And "baby #3" is the hot topic? This bothers me.
    Liked the look a lot, & the rhino time was adorable; Kate's having a great time and looks to be making a great impression on all.

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  21. Was I misinformed or were they not to visit the Taj Mahal too?

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    1. They visit the Taj Mahal after Bhutan.

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  22. hmm I great day for them actually sure they are missing there kids

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  23. For me the black embroidery doesn't go really well with the delicate pink pattern,so O find the dress to be OK.

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  24. They both look very at peace today... getting into the swing of it all. Love your posts as always Jane. Thank you Dy from NZ

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  25. I am loving the tour so far, mostly because it seems more relaxed than the previous ones (which looked more formal). I have already seen the repeated Wickstead she's worn for the arrival in Buthan and I am head over heels about it!!!
    As per Royal Baby 3, Jane... I am so hoping for it too! I think before the end of the year there might be an announcement <3

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  26. RFCA: wholehearted agree regarding learning all about earthquake when one lives near a fault line. I might be wrong, but perhaps the hotel instruction to leave the building is not unusual in an area where building codes just might be none existent.

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    1. I'm sure their building codes are "loose" but the power lines - yikes!

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  27. Hello, Jane! Thank you as always for your gorgeous, witty, and informative blog.

    What is it about this tour that is making Kate seem so...alive (if that's the word)? She looks so comfortable and totally captivated by what she is experiencing - it honestly looks like she is having the absolute time of her life. I fear that one day we will just refer to poor Prince William as the man who accompanies Kate to all of these fabulous events. She is just bursting off the screen with vitality and pure joy.

    I have no knowledge of what royal tours have looked like with other members of the royal family. I don't think I have seen many pictures (apart from Diana) where the royal lady has taken such care to compliment her host country by wearing local designers/designs. Is this a trait that is unique to Kate? Would it be completely inappropriate for William to do some of the same? Going back to my previous paragraph I wonder if William would appear to be exuding as much excitement as Kate if he were in something other than a navy/black suit next to her dazzling ensembles.

    I have loved each piece that Kate has worn on this tour. It is so hard to choose a favorite but my jaw literally dropped when I saw the jade Temperley dress. It's also been fun to see Kate in a variety of hairstyles. I hope she keeps this shorter,layered hair style for a while.

    Lastly I have a question that is not royal tour related...well, I would like to consider it my own version of a royal tour. :) My husband and I have the opportunity to visit NYC next week for a mix of business and pleasure. Do you happen to have two or three Duchess Kate and/or Duchess Jane recommendations in terms of a fabulous restaurant, beautiful neighborhood to sight see, or a cultural experience?

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    1. http://www.grubstreet.com/2016/02/best-coffee-latte-cortado-espresso-nyc.html?mid=facebook_nymag

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  28. Forgot to add to my earlier comment - I think my favorite picture so far is of the young girl in the tea village giving Kate a big hug and a kiss on the hand. Those images absolutely melted my heart. I think you are not supposed to touch the royals unless they initiate the contact, but I 100% connect with the young girl. There is something so lovely and loving about Kate that I probably could not help but giving her a hug as well!

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    1. Wasn't that heart warming? I read a quote from her later where she said she just couldn't help it because she loves Kate so much and was so happy to see her. How sweet is that?!

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    2. It's moment like that when I think, "who cares what she's wearing? THIS is what it's all about. She has a kind soul and that shines through in sooo many ways. William is one lucky man!

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  29. Not a fan of the dress. It’s OK but sort of meh..Like Candace, I don’t care for the contrast of black embroidery on the pink. I did like the crop top skirt combo she wore for the birthday party although I think if I had seen it in person and been able to tell the background was light pink, I might not have liked that either. And I didn’t like the Sui dress for many reasons and it had lots of black detailing. I hope we’ve seen all of the black embroidery for this tour! I would like this dress better if the embroidery was a deep coral color although that would mean she would have needed other shoes (although her other beige-y wedge shoes would probably work.). I also don’t like the waist hovering between empire and natural waist. I know Kate is long-waisted…so am I. And that can complicate clothes buying but there are things out there that will work, especially with Kate’s resources.

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  30. Oh my goodness! I just took a peak at the photos from Bhutan and they are stunning! Colorful and so much fun! Can't wait for your report, Jane!

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  31. But we WIll happily wait. It's always worth it.
    Colorful, yes, including descriptions of the landing. I bet Kate whispered another "We're safe!"
    ok. I fudged a little.

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  32. Wow, I love the whole ensemble, hair and jewelry and everything. She looks beautiful. The rhino pictures are beyond perfect, what a joy! I was also struck by the java green dress she wore meeting the PM, so far this tour was an enormous pleasure for me! Thank you for your covering, Jane
    Have a lovely week end
    Alice

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  33. I'm wondering when and to what and if she will ever rewear these gorgeous prints that looks so awesome on her!!??

    Baby watch 3 should start immediately after Charlotte turns 1..

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  34. Alexandra, from CanadaApril 14, 2016 at 9:42 PM

    Jane, I suspect we will have an announcement in the next 12 months :) Just a hunch!

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  35. Baby number 3 - 2017 - or I will eat my hat!!

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