The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, Catherine Elizabeth Mountbatten-Windsor, the ‘Duchess of Drab’ - the 34 year old Royal has been issued many names throughout her tenure, some unjustly so, but we think that on this first Royal Tour of India she’s well and truly earned herself title of Indian Princess! Yes she’s shone bright like a diamond in intricate beads and gems in her bespoke Jenny Packham gown, but she’s also been the ‘People’s Princess’ by donning affordable local Indian Designers, like when she wore ‘that Anita Dongre dress’ on Day 1 of the Royal Visit India and street-wise maxi dresses as well as the staple TOPSHOP.
Kate in the Anita Dongre at the local cricket match Day 1.
We love how Kate’s trodden that fine line between showing appreciation of Indian culture and style without being uncomfortably chameleon or try-hard. Whilst she’s often opted for western dresses, she’s still experimented with her usual style and shown us all that you don’t need to wait until the next ‘Big Indian Wedding’ to inject a little Indian inspiration into our daily style, with fantastic effect. Here are all of Kate’s 'Indian Princess' looks.
The Red Paisley McQueen Skirt Suit
Kate said 'Hello' (or Namaste) to India in style! She kick started her 'tour-drobe' with Middleton favourite which both she and sister Pippa wear, Alexander McQueen. The bold, deep red and paisley peplum top and skirt had decorative Indian influences whilst retaining that smart, sharp British cut and was the perfect choice as red has such cultural significance in Indian culture, reflecting the colour of vermilion used in so many ceremonies.
Kate arrives at the Taj Hotel in Alexander McQueen Day 1.
‘The Kate Dress’ by Anita Dongre
This will always be a historic dress because once freshened up, it was the first dress that the Duchess of Cambridge wore on her first Royal Visit to India, so for a short time we’re even selling it for £149 with belt and free global delivery! We love it because it’s printed in gorgeous peacock colours in pastel hues, the most royal of birds and the print is made up of Jaipur-inspired motifs in a soft georgette mid-calf dress.
Kate runs in her wedges and Anita Dongre tunic dress.
The Duchess usually delights her hosts by showcasing local favourites, and if her past Designer choices are anything to go by, this new Anita Dongre discovery may end up becoming wardrobe favourites for Kate, as Erdem did after Kate's tour trip to Canada in 2011.
The Jenny Packham Gown
This dress had real WOW factor. How could it not? Royal blue, hand beaded, bejeweled and bedazzling and paired with larger than normal (for the Duchess) Amrapali earrings. It was a choice fit for British Royalty getting ready to meet Bollywood Royalty.
Kate meets former Miss World Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan and global super-star Shah Rukh Khan.
In the Jenny Packham Gown with detachable cape.
The Emilia Wickstead Dress.
Any Indian princess worth her weight knows that in those harsh, hot Delhi sun rays the perfect colour to wear is a reflective white.
Like Alexander McQueen, Kate’s worn The New Zealand-born London based designer many times for these semi-formal occasions. This £1,700 fit and flare wool crepe dress had cute detailing with its Peter Pan collar and double pockets.
William and Kate took their shoes off to visit Gandhi's house as a mark of respect, and sparked speculation on Kate's lack of toe polish...
The Temperley Two-Piece
We think that what Kate’s done brilliantly is opt for simply styled dresses, gowns and cemented them in all over patterning, embroidery and statement jewels making each look feel Indian without over-kill. This Day 2 outfit's silk cropped top and matching maxi skirt combination is a classic case in point. The outfit is teamed with another pair of glamorous statement earrings that you wouldn’t mind using to off set a classic saree also.
Kate wore statement earrings with her Temperley outfit.
The Glamorous Maxi Dress
How can anyone make a £50 dress look Princess like? Well it helps when you’re statuesque Kate, but also the long, slimming line of this patterned, floor-length maxi and waist accentuating belt adds to the grandeur and we see the Duchess again expanding her usual style repertoire through the introduction of British company Glamorous into her wardrobe.
Kate visits a children's centre run by the charity Salaam Baalak
Kate enhanced the look by adding Accessorize Filigree Bead Short Drop earrings which are a lighter version of Indian Chaandballis.
A style tip that every Asian girl knows - full length dresses are a great option if you have to sit on the floor!
The Turquoise Temperley dress
Temperley London became the first label to get a second outing on this tour as Kate and William had lunch with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
William and Kate joined Narendra Modi for lunch at Hyderabad House in New Delhi.
Again the Duchess chose cotton and a western, bias cut, but again the turquoise dress was intricately laced and motifed like much of our detailed Indian handwork. We could easily imagine adding leggings or a dupatta to this mid-length Desdemona dress. In what has become a regular occurrence with Kate, the dress was modified to show less skin by adding extra fabric reducing the amount of cleavage and thigh on show. She’d make any mother-in-law proud!
The Anna Sui Printed Dress
If it's not broken then why fix it? The Duchess went back to her well received long, flowing printed tunics for her evening look that day watching dance performances around the fire, in this Anna Sui dress.
Kate sits comfortably in American Designer Anna Sui.
The TOPSHOP Tunic.
It was said to be Kate who was dying to visit India and the National Park Visit was a highlight for them, During this part, Kate managed 2 outfit changes - first casual jeans and then into this TOPSHOP powder pink floral print tunic with black trim.
Kate chose TOPSHOP to feed the baby elephants and rhinos!
The First Tory Burch Dress
Leaving the National Park, Kate wore a favourite printed dress from American Designer Tory Burch, which she's been spotted in before, and boarded their flight to Bhutan.
Kate gets comfortable in Tory Burch to travel on the next leg of her tour
The Second Emilia Wickstead Coat Dress
We're now on Day 5 and the Duchess and Prince William descended the plane reminiscent of an old Hollywood movie star couple. We're thinking Jackie Onassis.
The Paul and Joe Cape
In perhaps her most traditional and Princess-like outfit so far, the Duchess of Cambridge wowed everyone by switching to an ensemble inspired by the traditional attire of Bhutan whose women tend to wear separates.
"the Women wear the Kira, a long, ankle-length dress accompanied by a light outer jacket known as a Tego."
Sporting her favourite deep blue tones, the Royal opted for an embroidered woolen cape by Paul an Joe and teamed this with a long line skirt custom made by a seamstress in London using locally sourced fabric from Bhutan.
The Second Tory Burch Gown
After what could have only been another exhausting day, the Duchess miraculously that evening when attending a dinner with the King and Queen of Bhutan. We think the amber tones of this colourful Tory Burch dress with high side slits and intricately woven flowers helped. Kate matched this gown with an orange shawl, gold accessories and black, strappy sandals.
... and just look at those earrings! Indian glamour or what?!
The Red Poppy Dress
Sticking to full length, figure skimming lengths, the Duchess of Cambridge looked dazzling adorned in this Beulah number designed in Bhutan's national flower - the poppy - in a special tribute to the country.
Beulah is one of Kate's favourite labels, run by Lady Natasha Rufus Isaacs, an old friend of Kate's. We're just loving how Kate wears what's comfortable to her but still looks regal and right at home wherever she is.
The Taj Mahal Dress
As a round up to their Royal India and Bhutan Tour, Kate waved a fond farewell to India by wearing Indian-American Designer Naeem Khan. Throughout her tour of India and Bhutan, she's consistently impressed with thoughtful outfits that pay tribute to her host country.
The young couple return to their children now after this final stop at the Taj Mahal in Agra, (shame we didn't see you in a saree), but we've loved seeing your Indian Princess inspired looks!
Image Credits: Samir Hussein/Pool/WireImage, Daily Mirror, Splash, Getty.