Royals make fashion faux pas

The royal couple accidentally wore clothes from the Cook Islands to a dinner in the Solomon Islands.
Photo / AP
The royal couple accidentally wore clothes from the Cook Islands to a dinner in the Solomon Islands. Photo / AP

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge accidentally wore clothes from the Cook Islands to an official Solomon Islands dinner their recent royal tour through the Pacific.

Before the couple's arrival, Clarence House and the islands committee agreed Prince William would be given a traditional shirt made by Solomon Island tailors for the evening, while Catherine would wear her own dress that she brought with her.

But according to Marie Claire UK, a member of the couple's official Solomon Islands welcoming committee went into the royals' room to add a few more gifts - including a blue shirt and the pink dress from the Cook Islands. The royal couple thought they were to don those pieces for dinner, Huffington Post reported.

The tiered pink dress spotted on Catherine was designed by Tav Pacific, more commonly known as "Tavs". The label is well known throughout the Pacific - there are stores in Rarotonga, Honolulu and Auckland.

At the Auckland store on Mt Eden Rd, manager Vira Tavioni took inquiries from all over the world after Kate's appearance in the $295 dress earlier this month.

"We're making a whole new bunch of those dresses now because everyone wants a dress like hers," Tavioni told reporters.

The label is primarily based in Rarotonga, where Tavioni's sister Ellena is the head designer and where all the label's pieces are made and hand-printed.

Last month a Solomon Islands official called into the Rarotongan store to purchase specially made dresses for children who would greet the Duke and Duchess on their arrival in the Solomon Islands.

When the official mentioned they also wanted to buy traditional dress for the royal couple, Ellena Tavioni declined payment and insisted they were to be a gift.

The Independent printed a harsh press release reportedly issued by the Solomon Islands' Government House slamming Kethie Sunders, the official who reportedly made the mistake of placing the clothes in the Royal room.

"We are incredibly frustrated that this situation has come about and see Kethie as entirely to blame. It was completely inappropriate for her to go to Their Royal Highnesses' room, which she filled with various things, causing confusion."

However, the Daily Mail claims Clarence House released a more relaxed response: "We saw they weren't the same design of the traditional clothes we were told would be gifted. So we checked with the Solomon Islands government to ensure the right ones were worn. We were reassured the clothes were correct, and so the Duke and Duchess wore them to the event. It was not learned until later in the evening that the clothes weren't from the islands. But it was understood that the Duke and Duchess intended to wear traditional Solomon Island clothes and this was appreciated. No offence was caused."

- nzherald.co.nz

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