Prince William and Kate Middleton were back at the the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel after a day of cricket and cleaned up slums for a Bollywood gala dinner hosted by The British High Commission and the British Asian Trust.
More than 200 of India’s top figures from the world of film, sport, and business attended the lavish gala. The money donated during the charity gala is going toward the three charities the Cambridges met with earlier: Childline, Magic Bus, and Doorstep.
William gave a speech:
- “When Catherine and I were married, India was the first place on Catherine’s list that she told me that she wanted to visit. Two children and five years later, we have finally made it – and we are both honoured to be here. My family has a long and proud connection with India, and although our relationship has evolved, my family’s high regard for India – the largest country in the Commonwealth – remains unchanged.
- “It seems fitting that Catherine and I start our journey from here, a short distance from the place marked by the famous Gateway of India, where so many people, including my great-great-grandfather, have arrived. Catherine and I embark on a journey to get to know the vibrant India of the 21st century. An India whose traditions, culture and civilisation go back thousands of years, and yet co-exist with an India that is young, creative, entrepreneurial – an economic, cultural and political powerhouse, and an established democracy under the rule of law.
- “On a personal level, Catherine and I are full of admiration for this diverse and democratic society. No-one can come here without being awed and amazed; no-one can come without a sense of excitement about all that India has achieved in the past and the extraordinary promise it holds for the future.”
[pieced together from the Daily Mail]
“India was the first place on Catherine’s list that she told me that she wanted to visit”. Hm…. Kate does realize royal tours aren’t a holiday, right? If she wanted to visit India, she had plenty of time and her parent’s money to do so before marriage.
Shah Rukh Khan, an actor who has appeared in more than 80 films, said of the couple:
- “Is it ok to say she’s extremely beautiful and elegant? Well she is! If they spend more time here I think they’ll love it. I could definitely show them a good time! I’ll take them out. This was the first time I’d met them. He was taking about the collaboration of the British and Indian film industries. I was talking about my kids who are studying in London. It’s a very short visit and I said they should come back and spend longer here. They said they’d love to but they’d had to leave their children at home as their schedule was so jam-packed.”
Madhuri Dixit, an actress, said:
- “We talked about Indian movies and how they’re getting popular everywhere. The Duke said he hadn’t watched any Bollywood movies but he represents the British film industry was and interested in collaboration. [Kate] said she loves being here and the people are very welcoming this time, but she was worried she may miss her children.”
[Also from DM link above]
The gala featured a Bollywood dance performance.
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) April 10, 2016
The menu featured both a vegetarian and non-vegetarian selections.
The vegetarian menu featured dishes of: Himalayan morsels, peas and mushrooms, cooked in rich cashew gravy; blend of vegetables and hung yoghurt; spinach and corn tempered with garlic, finished with dried fenugreek leaves; a unique combination of homemade cottage cheese and pickled beet onions.
The non-vegetarian menu featured dishes of: Fish chunks flavoured with mustard, charbroiled in tandoor; boneless lamb braised with Indian spices, in smooth saffron enhanced gravy; chicken morsels cooked in charcoal oven, finished in rich cashew gravy; a unique combination of homemade cottage cheese and pickled beet onions.
Kate wore a custom-made blue Jenny Packham gown with beading on the bodice and sleeves – the bead work was done in India in honor of the trip. She wore a matching beaded shawl and carried a matching beaded clutch.
Here’s a look at the dress without the shawl (I think I like the dress better without the shawl).
Kate wore giant blue earrings from Amrapali Jewels (an Indian designer). Kate also wore new Prada sandals (€620).
I mean, Kate looks nice. She wore an updo which is good and this blue does look good on her. But, I don’t know, I was expecting something… more in the jewelry department so these blue earrings left me a little down. They’re fine, but.. I guess there’s just too much blue happening and I would have liked some big diamonds to break things up. And considering this was the most “glittering” of all the events for this tour and Kate didn’t really “glitter”, it’s all down hill from here, which is a bummer.
Maybe I’m being too hard on her because of my disappointment. I think I just need to come to terms with the fact that Kate just isn’t a huge jewelry person – which is my favorite part of royal watching, so bummer for me – and I’m never going to be satisfied with her jewelry selections. Eh, she looks fine. Whatever.
Here are a few other women at the gala whose dresses I really liked.
Aishwarya Rai – a former Miss World who is now one of the highest paid actresses in India and became the first Indian actress on the jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 2003. This woman is beautiful and I love her sari.
Alia Bhatt – a young Indian actress of British nationality who appears in Bollywood films. I love this dress, the leaf design, and the fact that it’s shorter.
Jacqueline Fernandez – a former Sri Lankan television news reporter turned Bollywood actress who has also starred in Hollywood films. I don’t like the neckline but the rest of the dress is pretty.
Here’s a short video of William and Kate’s arrival.