William and Kate to follow in Diana’s footsteps with Taj Mahal visit

Diana, Princess of Wales in front of the Taj Mahal.
Photo: Martin Keene/PA Wire

Diana, Princess of Wales in front of the Taj Mahal. Photo: Martin Keene/PA Wire

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IT was one of the most iconic images of its time - a lone princess sitting in front of the ultimate monument to love, her husband over 1,000 miles away.

Just months after the trip in 1992, Princess Diana and her husband, the Prince of Wales, who was on the India visit but committed to an engagement elsewhere, were separated, and the image of the Princess in the bright red jacket sitting on a bench in front of the Taj Mahal became a lasting image of her loneliness.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Now her son and his wife, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, will follow in Diana’s footsteps and visit the monument during their state visit to India later this year, Kensington Palace has confirmed. William and Kate are “very much looking forward” to the week-long trip around India and the nearby Kingdom of Bhutan, the spokesman added.

He said: “Their visit to India will be an introduction to a country that they plan to build an enduring relationship with.

“They will pay tribute to India’s proud history, but also are keen to understand the hopes and aspirations of young Indian people and the major role they will play in shaping the 21st century.

“Their visit to Bhutan will allow them to continue a relationship between two royal families by meeting the King and Queen. The Duke and Duchess have heard many wonderful things about the country and are grateful to have this opportunity to get to know the Bhutanese people.

“This tour, coming shortly before the Queen’s 90th birthday, will also allow the Duke and Duchess to pay tribute to Her Majesty’s huge contribution to diplomacy in Britain and the Commonwealth.”

William, 33, and Kate, 34, who are both visiting the countries for the first time, will arrive in India on April 10.

They will see a variety of aspects of contemporary Indian life, focusing on young people, sport, entrepreneurship, efforts to relieve urban poverty, the creative arts, and rural life, the Palace said.

They will begin their tour in the creative and business hub of Mumbai before travelling on to New Delhi and then to Kaziranga National Park, a wildlife sanctuary and world heritage site which is home to two thirds of the world’s great one-horned rhinoceroses as well as tigers, elephants and wild water buffalo.

The trip to the Unesco World Heritage Site the Taj Mahal will complete the trip on April 16, when Duke and Duchess will thank the people of India for their hospitality.

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