Preparing for the Royal Tour & A Travelling Wardrobe for Kate

As the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s Jubilee tour is just around the corner, it’s gotten us thinking about the planning that has gone into the trip in general and the travelling wardrobe that Kate will need. Let’s jump in!

The Travelling Team

As far as the staff that will be accompanying Kate and William, here’s what we know so far. The Duke and Duchess will reportedly have nine members of staff accompany them and this number may include Kate and William’s private secretaries.  We spoke about them in our post on Kate and William’s staff which you can read here. They include:

  • Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, Principal Private Secretary and Equerry to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

Jamie has been speaking to the press about the travels plans, and was one of the few staff members included on the North American tour last year.

  • Rebecca Deacon, Private Secretary to the Duchess of Cambridge
  • Miguel Head, Private Secretary to the Duke of Cambridge

Of these two, I’d guess (and am hoping) that at least Rebecca will be there. Kate will reportedly not have a dresser, but perhaps Rebecca will be able to pitch in with some of those duties on top of the rest of her work. I had the opportunity to speak to a former dresser to the Queen a few months ago, and she recounted her astonishment that Kate did so well without one on the North American tour. She thought that there must have been someone there who was helping out behind the scenes. I though that was interesting…she would know, after all!

  • Amanda Cook Tucker, hairdresser for Kate

The Daily Mail is reporting that Amanda Cook Tucker will join the tour as Kate’s hairdresser.  Amanda apparently cut Harry and William’s hair when they were children, and they very much appreciate both her talent and discretion. James Pryce, who did Kate’s wedding hair and was along for the North American tour, has not been so discrete.

  • Private Protection Officers, which most likely includes Kate’s officers Emma Probert and Karen Llewellyn, who we spoke about here.

The Tour Schedule 

Here’s what we know about their schedule so far:

  • September 11th: Singapore

On their first day in Singapore, the Duke and Duchess will visit Singapore Botanic Gardens where orchids have been named after them and Diana, Princess of Wales. That night, they will attend a dinner with the President of Singapore where Prince William will give a speech on behalf of the Queen.

Note on the Weather: The weather report for Singapore on the days that Kate and William will be there is currently calling for scattered thunderstorms, rain, some sun, and highs of 87 degrees fahrenheit.

  • September 12th: Singapore

Their second day will be spent at the Gardens by the Bay where they will plant a tree.

Dorky Memory Moment: Their first joint tree planting took place in Ottawa, Canada

That afternoon, they will visit the special needs school the Rainbow Center where they will take part in art therapy and gym classes. The day will end with a reception at the High Commissioner’s residence.

  • September 13th:  Malaysia

The Singapore leg of the tour will end at the Krani War Cemetery, where the royals will lay a wreath. They will then travel to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Their first engagement will be lunch with the Prime Minister, followed by a visit to a hospice. Kate will give her second speech as a working royal during the visit. As Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton explained, “The Duchess is keen to learn more about the hospice movement in Malaysia...The Duchess wanted to establish contacts between her charities here and charities overseas, and she hopes that a legacy of this visit will be to get a dialogue going between EACH and Hospis Malaysia.

That night, the couple will attend a dinner hosted by the King  of Malaysia, Abdul Halim of Kedah.

Fingers crossed this will be the second appearance of the Cartier Halo Tiara on Kate’s head. Please.

Weather Note: The weather report for Kuala Lumpur for these two days calls for more sun, rain, and scattered thunderstorms. A high of 87 degrees fahrenheit is expected.

  • September 14th: Malaysia

The day will begin at a cultural event in Kuala Lumpur Park, followed by lunch with the British Malaysian Chamber of Commerce. Next up is a Diamond Jubilee tea hosted by the High Commissioner. In the evening, they will attend a reception in Kota Kinabulu.

  • September 15th: Malaysia 

The couple will visit the rainforest- what Lowther-Pinkerton referred to as “a quick shimmy in the jungle“- and help to raise awareness about endangered orangutangs.

  • September 16th: Solomon Islands

After arriving in the Solomon Islands, the couple will attend a service of thanksgiving at the Church of Melanesia for Her Majesty the Queen. That evening they will attend an island feast hosted by the Governor General. I’m thinking that this is where we can expect Kate and William to wear some traditional costumes. Jamie Lowther Pinkerton revealed that the Duke and Duchess “will wear traditional garb at some of the dinners” and that throughout the tour “their dress will reflect local customs.” Kate will not be showing up in anything risque, but then we already knew that!

September 17th: Solomon Islands

The following day, Kate and William will divide and conquer:  Kate will attend a reception for women’s groups and Prince William will award Duke of Edinburgh Gold Awards to Solomon Islanders and one from Vanuatu.

They will then attend a memorial and a lunch reception before flying out to the final leg of the tour, Tuvalu.

  • September 18th: Tuvalu

The couple will take part in two welcome ceremonies, which will be all the more special because a member of the Royal Family hasn’t visited since the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh were there in 1982. As far as how that will go, Lowther-Pinkerton admitted “We have really have no idea what to expect.” That must be rare!!

While there, the couple will enjoy another traditional dinner, where we’ll likely see the royals in more costume.

Kate’s Wardrobe

So what else will Kate wear? Seeing as it is a very hot climate and we know Kate doesn’t like to wear pants unless they are jeans or for working out, I think we can expect a lot of easy, breazy cotton dresses and many more sightings of those wedges.

Our very dog eared copy of Dressing Diana by Tim Graham and Tamsin  Blanchard gives some insight into the effort that went into the Princess of Wales’ wardrobe for trips abroad.

An excerpt from the chapter entitled ‘A Travelling Wardrobe’ reads:

“Planning for a major tour abroad was like a military operation for the Palace, not least when it came to putting together a wardrobe for the Princess that would cover all possibilities of weather change and social function…After months of work with designers such as Catherine Walker on some new outfits for the trip, and after deciding what in her existing wardrobe would be appropriate, the outfits were packed into wardrobe trunks and chests, each one labelled and numbered.”

To give an idea of the scale of packing that is involved, here is what Diana took on her tour of Australia and America in 1985. Of course, that tour was munch longer that William and Kate’s, but still:

  • 29 daytime outfits
  • 12 hats
  • over a dozen evening dresses
  • 15 pairs of shoes and matching bags
  • 19 pairs of earrings
  • 2 tiaras(!)
  • 8 necklaces

Here’s a shot of the Prince and Princess of Wales during the Australia leg of that tour:

On the American leg, the Princess wore this gorgeous velvet Victor Edelstein gown to the White House:

For this tour, the Princess of Wales brought her dresser Evelyn Dagley, who kept track of when each outfit was for when and had them in tip top shape for the princess to get dressed for each outfit change.

As far as we can tell, Kate will need:

  • At least 9 summery dresses for daytime to be safe – no silk, wrinkly linen, or anything too heavy for the heat!!

This one doesn’t quite fit the bill, but maybe it will make the trip:

And this is silk but, apart from that, my goodness it’s perfect for a botanical garden visit so what the heck I’m throwing my hat in the ring for this one:

As far as new purchases go, this cotton number of LK Bennet would do the trick. It has a cinched waist and a high neck, which we know Kate likes:

Here’s a bigger picture of it:

  • 1 evening gown for dinner with the King of Malaysia. If she does a repeat, we vote for this lightweight, bright beauty:

  • 4 evening outfits appropriate for receptions, and possibly to be worn under or with traditional dress. Kate wore this bird print dress to a reception in Ottawa, and it seems to be a favourite. She also wore it to the last rehearsal the night before her wedding, so it might just show up again!
  • A sporty, casual ensemble for shimmying about in the jungle. Let’s say a cute pair of capris and a sleeveless polo. Yes, Diana inspired that one, but she got it soooo right!

  • Shoes for the jungle – maybe those boat shoes will make another appearance?

  • Every day shoes – we’re going to guess those wedges will be back

And these, which she wore in Santa Barbara for a polo match, for an evening reception or two:

Maybe she’ll be brave enough to bring out these super high wedges as well:

  • Traditional dress, which will likely be presented as a gift.
  • A tiara and formal earrings. Please. Heck, let’s hope that Kate’s wedding earrings will show up with the Cartier Halo tiara. And I bet we’ll see Kate wear some sort of floral head wreath, too!
  • A swimsuit and cover up for ‘off time’ in Tuvalu…the couple are said to want to do some snorkelling. It doesn’t seem like there’d be much time for that, but they might be able to sneak some in on that last morning before they depart.
  • Something black to wear in the event of a death. Princess Elizabeth was caught off guard in Kenya when her father died and she suddenly became queen. She had not packed anything appropriate, so when her plane arrived in London, a black dress was brought on board for the new Queen to put on before she disembarked. Diplomat Sir Evelyn Shuckburgh said, “I have heard that Queen Mary has laid it down as a principle of life never to go anywhere without a black dress – ‘in case something should happen.’” We hope you have taken note, Kate and Rebecca Deacon.

Any more thoughts or guesses on the trip?

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Categories: British Royal Family, Diana, Princess of Wales, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge

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9 replies

  1. Lots of details. You would make a great dresser for Kate. Or at least be a consultant.

  2. Interesting post. I’m looking forward to see the new outfits. I have a question: at the moment Kate is only a duchess and not a crown princess, do you think that she should wear a tiara?

    • I think it would be very appropriate for Kate to wear a tiara to a state dinner. After all, the Countess of Wessex wears them for state occasions and she’s married to the 7th in line to the throne whereas Kate is married to the second in line.

      • You are right! I did’nt remember that the Countess of Wessex already wore a tiara for state occasions! Thank you for your reply.

  3. I don’t think we’ll see the teal gown in Malaysia – back is too revealing.e..e

  4. This is an incredible post! Thank you. I’m so excited to see what Kate wears and I heard she’s giving a speech so that would be interesting too!

  5. The book you mention above, ‘Dressing Diana’, came out shortly before my May 1998 wedding and I took it on my honeymoon as ‘reading material’. What a terrific book! What I liked about it was all the ‘new’ information and pics!!
    I guess we’re all excited to see what Kate will wear during the trip…
    Another GREAT post – thank you!!

    • That’s such a great story. The book really is perfect reading material! I love how it is always fun to pick up and have a look through because there are sooo many great pictures and captions. Thanks so much!

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