How can Kate look totally tropical for Jubilee tour?04 SEPTEMBER 2012
With treks through the jungle and temperatures in the 30s, the Duchess of Cambridge's tour of the South Pacific is set to be one of the biggest tests of her acclaimed fashion sense yet.
The raven-haired beauty could require upwards of 30 outfits for her visit to tropical locations Singapore, Malaysia, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu with Prince William.
Which is no mean feat, considering the down-to-earth Kate prefers to source all her own clothes.
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What's more, she is representing the Queen for the first time as part of the monarch’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
So how can the 30-year-old look princess-perfect in the tropics?
If her track record holds firm, fashion watchers can expect a mix of affordable, off-the-rack pieces paired with higher-end designer wear.
To cope with the humid climate, floaty, capped-sleeves dresses to the knee in bright colours and summery patterns will work best.
We know the Duchess is keen on recycling, and the silver and grey hand-painted Jenny Packham frock that she wore to cheer on her husband during a polo match in Santa Barbara (first picture, centre) will be a good bet in the heat.
But as the most photographed woman in the world, she'll, no doubt, have picked out a number of new items.
Issa had a gorgeous frock featuring a white and pink floral print that would be a lovely option for the couple’s first stop – a visit to Singapore’s Botanic Gardens where an orchid will be named in their honour.
Or then again Erdem, another of Kate’s favourite labels, had some lovely floaty, pleated numbers in lightweight chiffon on the catwalk recently.
The English rose will also be keen to block out the sun. Wide-brimmed hats and fascinators will shade her face without hiding it.
These will work well on formal occasions such as the wonderfully traditional afternoon tea that she and William will attend in Kuala Lumpur hosted by the British High Commissioner and his wife in their garden.
Two stylish yet sensible options already in her wardrobe are the elaborate circular creation showcased at Zara Phillip’s wedding or the blush straw hat that she sported at the Buckingham Palace garden.
Kate may also take a tip from another Windsor wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, who often carries a dainty white parasol that looks chic in a very 'Englishwoman abroad' way.
There are also local sensibilities to consider. Never one to flash the flesh apart from the odd daring mini, the Duchess will be even more careful to cover up appropriately in Malaysia, where Islam is the dominant religion.
And she can draw from experience of her debut tour – she won’t want a repeat of that moment in Canada when her short yellow dress blew up, showing her legs.
Of course, the can-do Duchess is a great believer in getting stuck in on engagements. For more relaxed outdoor activties cropped, slim-leg linen trousers paired with lightweight shirts and feminine sandals would ensure she looked stylish while allowing her to move freely.
Kate is likely to do quite a bit of trekking through the jungle in Malaysia's Danum Valley where she may see wild orang-utans.
And she and the Prince will enjoy a hogroast on the beach hosted by the Consul of Tuvalu.
The globetrotting royal will also need to pack a bikini – after their arrival in Tavanipupu, the couple will retire privately to spend a night at one of the island’s exceptionally beautiful beach resorts.
The more formal part of the tour also requires some careful sartorial planning.
Of course, Kate’s go-to label for formal events is Alexander McQueen.
A blush pink maxi-gown from the label, featuring a floral collar cuff would look stunning on the 5ft 8in brunette for a state dinner at the president of Singapore’s official residence.
But with the arms entirely on show, Kate may deem it too risqué, given she will be meeting top officials.
However, the brand may well be creating a custom-made dress for the Duchess, who has called upon Mcqueen's creative director Sarah Burton on many occasions – most notably for her wedding dress.
In Malaysia, William and Kate will be guests of His Majesty The Agong, who is the head of state of Malaysia, at his official residence, the Istana Negara, in Kuala Lumpur.
Although it is yet to be confirmed, the evening is likely to be held in the 13-acre compound’s beautiful throne room in the East Wing of the palace, used only for official functions.
With legendary shoe designer Jimmy Choo at the gala, something really special is called for in the way of footwear.
Tthe Palace haven't ruled out the possibility of Kate wearing a tiara.
And if she does, it is likely to be the beautiful 1936 Cartier halo tiara, loaned to her by the Queen on her wedding day.
A tiara flags up another important issue, how to style her trademark tresses. Beating the heat-induced frizz and remaining picture-perfect at all times could prove quite a challenge.
But luckily, a hairstylist will be on hand throughout the Duchess’ trip to tend to her locks.
Although she is relatively unknown, hairdresser Amanda Cook Tucker is not exactly a stranger to royal circles – she has cut William and Harry’s hair since they were children.
With only a few days left before the royal sweethearts embark on their nine-day tour, luckily we don't have too long to wait before finding out what sartorial surprises Kate has up her sleeve.