Kate's fashion choices for India tour expected to pay tribute to host country


As the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge prepare to embark on a royal tour to India and Bhutan this weekend, Kate will be acutely aware that her fashion choices will come under intense scrutiny throughout the trip.

The Duchess has long been a champion of British designers - as well as having a penchant for shopping for on the high street - but it is likely that some outfits will pay homage to her host countries and embrace the vibrant colours and rich designs synonymous with Asian culture.

She has found inspiration from the East before, wearing a stunning cobalt blue dress, which cost £555, from Indian-born designer Saloni as she attended the Fostering Excellence Awards in London in November.

As well as packing elegant gowns and daytime dresses, Catherine will also have to find space for hiking boots and walking trousers for when she and the Duke go on a five-hour trek to the Tiger's Nest Monastery, 3,000m up in the Bhutanese mountains.

The pair will also need hardy gear for a trip to India's Kaziranga National Park, where they will go on a 4x4 safari and meet park rangers to learn about the conservation challenges they face.

The royal couple will have seven days of official engagements during the trip and the Duchess will take 12 to 15 outfits with her, the Telegraph said.

One key factor that will influence her choices is the heat - temperatures in New Delhi on Monday and Tuesday are expected to reach 37C (98.6F).

They arrive in India on Saturday, visiting Mumbai in the west and New Delhi in the north, before venturing to Kaziranga in the far north east and then travelling on to Bhutan before returning to visit the Taj Mahal in Rajasthan - where the Prince of Wales and Princess Diana went in 1992.

The first major event will take place on Sunday, when the Duke and Duchess attend a Bollywood charity gala at the Taj Palace Hotel in Mumbai.

Hosted by the British High Commission and supporting three charities, it will also feature a red carpet reception and Bollywood performances.

The event will give Catherine the perfect opportunity to make a bold sartorial statement, either with something that stands out or by choosing to fit in by wearing a traditional outfit such as a sari or a salwar kameez, an ensemble of loose trousers and a tunic top.

She will also shine on Monday when she and William attend a garden party to celebrate the Queen's 90th birthday, and again when they meet the King and Queen of Bhutan on April 14 in the country's capital Thimphu.

The Duchess will additionally need a number of formal, sober outfits for the trip's more sombre events, such as when she and the Duke lay a wreath in New Delhi to honour Indian soldiers from the First World War.

What seems certain is that the Duchess will pay her respects to the host countries through her outfits, as she has on previous royal tours.

On a tour of Canada in 2011, she wore a red hat with maple leaves by Sylvia Fletcher for Lock and Co to mark Canada Day, while two years ago she wore a white lace dress by Australian designer Zimmermann in Sydney, and a black Jenny Packham dress with a silver fern - the national plant of New Zealand - on the shoulder at a reception in Wellington.