State visits by members of the British royal family to India have always been of particular importance. One of the former countries of the Commonwealth brought Britain more wealth than all the others put together: what is the value of the crown jewels, and today they make up a solid part of the state treasury.
Elizabeth II became the first British monarch to visit India after its independence. The 1961 visit began to be prepared a year before the scheduled date: no joke, the tour of the royal couple was calculated for 6 weeks. According to the schedule of receptions and meetings, a wardrobe was drawn up, while always with a margin in case of unforeseen events. For several months, two court tailors thought over the smallest details of the royal attire, but the last word always remained with Elizabeth. Traditionally, Norman Hartnell, the author of the coronation dress, was engaged in evening dresses, while his younger colleague Hardy Amis thought over the entire daytime wardrobe of the Queen. Through his efforts, Elizabeth began to pay attention to bright colors and agreed to shorter skirts. Counting the number of toilet changes on tour is not easybut the world press even then began to closely follow Elizabeth's exits.
In 1992, the visit to India of Prince Charles and Princess Diana lasted only 6 days, but for both turned into the agony of their relationship: in a few months they would officially disband. Nevertheless, as for the official exits, Diana did not disappoint here. All toilets, including evening ones, to which the press paid almost more attention than the events on the occasion of which they were worn, were invented by the British designer Catherine Walker. Their cooperation was stable until the end of Diana's life, who in total ordered about a thousand ensembles from her.
Prince William and Kate Middleton arrive to lay a wreath at the Martyrs Memorial at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai
Only a lazy one did not write about the just-concluded trip of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. It's worse here than with Diana: the chronicle of a 7-day trip is in many cases viewed exclusively through the prism of Kate Middleton's outfits. The newspapers have already calculated everything: she changed 18 toilets in a week; wore clothing and accessories from 40 brands, including Zara; the total cost of her wardrobe, fully purchased in stores, was approximately $ 50,000.
During her Indian tour, Elizabeth II could not ignore her favorite sport - horse racing. At the hippodrome in Calcutta, she appeared in a dress and summer coat made of the same fabric with a floral pattern in pastel colors. Amis created at least a dozen similar kits that came into vogue in the 1950s.
The Prince and Princess of Wales were invited to a horse polo match in Jaipur. Her lemon-colored linen Catherine Walker suit with a maxi skirt was an escape from the scorching rays of the Indian sun.
William and Keith preferred a much more democratic sport - cricket, which they played with children from ordinary Mumbai families. Just as democratic was the Middleton dress by Indian designer Anita Dongr. The original version of the dress, shown at the local fashion week, resembled the closed clothes of Indian women, but especially for the Duchess, it was transformed in a European manner. The shawl disappeared, the hem and sleeves were noticeably shortened, and a belt was added.
1 of 3 During her Indian tour, Elizabeth II could not ignore her favorite sport - horse racing © Getty / Popperfoto The Prince and Princess of Wales were invited to a polo match on horses in Jaipur Kate Middleton playing cricket © Getty / Popperfoto
To visit the famous Taj Mahal mausoleum in Agra, where Queen Elizabeth went with her husband Prince Philip, another set was chosen: this time in lavender color.
For Diana, the trip to the Taj Mahal became symbolic in every sense. Arriving without Charles, who preferred a meeting with the maharajah for her company, Diana posed for photographers alone. She was dressed in a red cropped jacket with shoulder pads and a violet wrap skirt that seemed even too fashionable against the rest of her wardrobe.
Middleton carefully chose a dress for such a visit. Although it was not without a curiosity. The blue floral pattern embroidered on a white sheath dress by American-Indian designer Naim Khan, as it turned out, was not inspired by India at all, but Mexico.
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One of the most memorable outings for Elizabeth II was provided by the golden silk dress, designed by Hardy Amis. The folds on it vaguely resemble the draperies of an Indian sari.
At one of the receptions, Diana appeared in a dress of pink silk, the bodice and bolero of which were completely embroidered with flowers in the spirit of the painting of the Mughal era. In 2013, it was sold at auction for £ 66,000.
The Duchess of Cambridge, in addition to the available pool of Indian designers, does not disdain folk crafts, which, however, cost a pretty penny. During her visit to Bhutan, she wore an Indian silk sarong skirt that five local craftsmen worked on for three months. This pleasure cost her $ 1,500.
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For a gala dinner in New Delhi, Elizabeth chose a white lace dress by Norman Hartnell, featuring Indian lotus flowers and hundreds of pearls. Her head was crowned with a diamond tiara "Kokoshnik", created in the workshops of Garrard in 1888.
In the 1990s, Diana increasingly prefers dark tones for the evening. A black crepe dress with an embroidered bodice, made for an Indian tour by designer Katherine Walker, like many other things Diana, went under the hammer in 2013 for $ 42,550.
1 of 3 Elizabeth II chose a white lace dress by Norman Hartnell featuring lotus flowers and hundreds of pearls © Getty Diana appeared in a black crepe dress with an embroidered bodice © Getty Kate Middleton remains faithful to British label Jenny Packham © Getty
When it comes to Kate Middleton's evening outings, she is still loyal to British label Jenny Packham. The dress chosen for the trip was special: Indian craftswomen worked on the embroidery.>