The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge joined the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh for the UK-India Year of Culture 2017 event at Buckingham Palace this evening. High-profile guests from both countries dotted the reception space, which was full of Indian delicacies (a collaboration between royal chefs and chefs from the UK’s oldest Indian restaurant, Veeraswamy), entertainment, decoration and historical artifacts. The exterior of BP was even done up for the occasion:
For some context, India has been independent since 1947, before which time it existed as a British colony, Queen Victoria famously assuming the title “Empress of India” in 1876. Thus, George VI was the last British monarch to be styled as “Emperor.”
To the best of my knowledge, the Queen has visited India three times, in 1961, 1983 and 1997, while Prince Charles and this then-wife, Diana, Princess of Wales, visited shortly before the announcement of their separation in February 1992. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge memorably made their own first trip there just last year, making their presence at tonight’s event fitting.
A taste of the ambiance as guests arrived:
And a look at the canapes:
British India actor Kunal Nayyar spoke about getting to meet the Queen:
Now, before we move to Kate, let’s take a moment to admire the Queen who showed up in a shimmery number of her own to greet her guests. Here she is shaking hands with Boris Johnson:
And finally, Kate, who showed up wearing a new dress by Erdem in a sparkling light gold, new Oscar de la Renta “Cabrina” heels and new earrings designed by Anita Dongre, who was in attendance.
I was halfway expecting her to recycle one of her dresses from the 2016 tour, particularly one of these two:
Particularly given that the Saloni is an Indian brand, it would have been a fitting repeat, though perhaps the sheer panel on the front was considered a bit much for BP. I would say that Kate was trying to uphold the British end of “UK-India,” except for the fact that Erdem is Canadian.
In any event, this dress certainly popped in the room and appeared “on-theme.” I’m not a huge fan of midi-dresses on Kate, but she has certainly been favoring them for the last year and, as far as the ones she has worn, this one is my favorite. Basically I think they look a tad frumpy on her and overwhelm her frame. Because she is so slender, their cut can trend towards boxy.
The bodice on this one, which can best be seen in the above image, is also leaning towards appearing a bit high-waisted on Kate, however for whatever reason she tends to do this to a lot of her coats and dresses on purpose. (Likely to make her torso appear shorter). Anyway, my conclusion on the entire look is that the best part is the shoes, which I’m not sure anyone has ever said about one of the Duchess’s outfits ever.
And I’m also pleased to see that Kate is maintaining her current practice of limiting her eyeliner on her lower lids. Her makeup looks great tonight:
All in all, she looked beautiful and appropriate and if one must wear a midi dress, then I suppose this one will do.
Princess Eugenie, the Duke of York’s daughter, was also in attendance. The photo below was snapped by Daily Mail reporter Rebecca English:
We’ll see Kate again tomorrow when she carries out an engagement at Ronald McDonald House Evelina in London.
You can see all of Kate’s looks from her engagements this year here.