Kate's wardrobe switch causes stir in Solomon Islands
Prince William and wife Kate pose for a photo with His Excellency the Governor General of the Solomon Islands, Sir Frank Kabui, in Honiara on Sept. 16. (AP Photo)
Forget about Topless Kate. It's the Solomon Switch that is making some people blush these days.
While not quite on the same scale at the scandal at the French chateau, some hasty apologies have been uttered in the wake of news that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were victims of a clumsy wardrobe malfunction while on their tour of the Solomon Islands.
It all started Sept. 16 when the couple went to their rooms to change for a banquet hosted by the Islands' governor-general, Sir Frank Kabui, celebrating the island culture. The plan was for William to wear a traditional Solomon Island shirt, a diplomatic gesture to honour the hosts, and Kate would wear a summer dress.What they found laid out for them was a bright pink and red dress for Kate and a blue shirt for William. These were not what was described in the very precise itinerary that was put together between Island officials and Clarence House. Still, when in Rome ....
So off Will and Kate went to the banquet,decked out in the colourful garb. What they did not know was that the clothes they wore were not from the Solomon Islands, but rather from the Cook Islands, which are located about 4,500 kilometres east of where they were eating dinner.
It turns out that one of the members of the island welcoming committee, Kethie Sunders, had gotten into the royals' room before they arrived and dropped off some additional gifts, including the shirt and dress from the Cook Islands designer Ellena Tavioni.
After the event -- and probably some puzzled looks from organizers -- the local newspaper discovered the dress was from Tavioni and did an interview with her, prompting Government House to set the record straight lest anyone think the Solomon Islands had somehow been snubbed.
"Mrs. Kethie Saunders, when visiting the hotel room to leave flowers, chocolates and a basket of soap, decided on her own accord to leave a gift of clothes from the Cook Islands in the hotel room," said a statement. "We did not authorize her to leave the gifts of any sort in the hotel room."
The government also included this explanation from royal officials: "The reason the Duchess wore the dress was because she believed it to be from the Solomon Islands Government and thought it would be an appropriate gesture. Had she known they were from the Cook Islands and not the Solomon Islands it would not have been worn and she feels bad about the confusion."
Clarence House admitted there seemed to be plenty of confusion about the wardrobe snaufu.
"We saw they weren't the same design of the traditional clothes we were told would be gifted," a spokesperson told the Daily Mail. "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."
Yet another chapter for the 'It's Not Easy Being A Royal' book.