Kate Middleton has reportedly picked a dress by high-end fashion label Ralph & Russo to wear during her upcoming tour of Australia and New Zealand.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will kick off their Antipodean tour on April 7 and insiders claim Middleton, 32, will have more than 30 outfit changes during the three-week trip. Ralph & Russo, an Australian couture label, is said to be popular amongst Hollywood stars like Beyonce and Angelina Jolie.
"Kate visited Ralph & Russo's boutique last month and said she was looking for inspiration for the tour," a source told Grazia U.K.
"She liked that they had Australian connections and has apparently given them specific instructions for a gown," the insider explained.
- (Photo: Reuters/John Stillwell/pool)
The design house was founded by engaged couple Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo and gowns reportedly start at $80,000. Other designers commissioned by Middleton for her upcoming tour include Alice Temperle and Alexander McQueen, whose Creative Director Sarah Burton designed her royal wedding down.
"A number of outfits she's wearing on the tour are off-the-rack pieces, however they're being tailored to her body shape," a source was quoted as saying by US magazine.
The trip will mirror the late Princess Diana and Prince Charles' 1983 trip to Australia which marked a then nine-months-old William's first trip abroad. Prior to the trip, Queen Elizabeth II first had to give permission for William, now 31, to travel on the same plane as his father as royal protocol dictates an heir and the next in line must not fly together.
In February, reports claimed the Queen had instructed Middleton to make adjustments to her wardrobe ahead of the tour. Some of these changes include adding couture dresses with lower hemlines as well as heirloom jewels and the Queen's personal dresser Angela Kelly is expected to assist Middleton in her image overhaul.
"The Queen's dress maker, Angela Kelly, and her team have been involved in a lot of the wardrobe prep," the insider said.