Monday 16 December 2019

Shoes stacked up for Kate on tour

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge undertook a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific last year
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge undertook a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific last year

The Duchess of Cambridge returned from her Diamond Jubilee tour of south east Asia and the south Pacific laden with enough gifts for a complete outfit - including six pairs of shoes.

William and Kate toured the region last autumn celebrating the Queen's 60-year reign and were given everything from woven palm mats and a carved club to books, local produce and musical instruments.

But the Duchess, whose wardrobe choices have seen her become a fashion icon, received many clothes and accessories during her travels.

Raja Permaisuri Agong, the consort of Malaysia's sovereign The Agong, gave Kate a traditional dress, two clutch bags and six pairs of shoes. If Kate was still unsure about what to wear, The Agong gave her a batik dyed dress.

The Duchess's Malaysian look was completed by a twin-set necklace of South Sea pearls - a gift from Rosmah Mansor, the wife of Malaysia's prime minister Najib Razak. For relaxing, the royal couple received a practical gift from Singapore's famous Raffles hotel where they stayed - two dressing gowns.

The Duke was not left behind in the sartorial stakes after receiving a jacket and batik printed shirt from an un-named individual in Malaysia and a linen shirt and a pair of cufflinks from Raffles, where celebrities like Charlie Chaplin, Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Jackson have stayed.

To really fit in with local customs, William and Kate were given sarongs by two unknown individuals when they toured the Solomon Islands.

Prince Harry was given a practical present during an official trip to Brazil last March that he may find hard not to use, a personalised number plate spelling out 'Harry'. The royal took on the world's fastest man Usain Bolt - and beat him - in Jamaica, during a Diamond Jubilee tour around the same time. The sprinter showed no hard feelings and gave him a pair of signed trainers and a Jamaican running top with the name 'Harry Bolt' on the back.

During their official travels in Scandinavia last March, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall were given woollen cardigans by the King and Queen of Norway, but it is not known if they are matching. Camilla received armfuls of handbags and Charles' green credentials insured the royal received eco gifts - a bio fireplace in Denmark and a portable water filtration unit in Sweden. The list of official gifts given to William, Kate, Charles, Camilla and Harry were released by St James's Palace and Clarence House.

In the remote Pacific nation of Tuvalu, the Cambridges were given many traditional craft items including eight woven palm mats, a model of a village and canoe and a commemorative stamp album. Charles and Camilla received a decorated emu egg in Australia as well as jewellery for the Duchess and a bottle of whisky for the Prince. Unusual gifts for the royal couple included a lollipop each from an unnamed individual from Down Under to underwear for the heir to the throne presented in New Zealand, again by an unknown person.

PA Media

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