Royals Tour India: Duke & Duchess Of Cambridge Hit New Delhi In Advance Of Bhutan

Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are soon scheduled to arrive in New Delhi, the second stop on their royal tour of India and Bhutan that commenced in Mumbai on April 10.

The New Delhi leg of their tour includes a milestone birthday party for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the duke’s grandmother, who will turn 90 on April 21, at the official residence of the British High Commissioner. The Duke of Cambridge, also known as Prince William, will speak about his grandmother at the party.

The queen is the head of the British Commonwealth of Nations, of which India is a member state. However, India is not one of the 16 current Commonwealth Realms within the Commonwealth of Nations, so she is not India’s official monarch nor head of state. In Commonwealth Realms such as the United Kingdom and Canada, the queen is the official head of state, and the Prime Minister — who ministers the will of the monarch — is the head of government, in a system called a constitutional monarchy. Conversely, India is a parliamentary republic.

The Duke of Cambridge and the Duchess of Cambridge, formerly Kate Middleton, will be laying a wreath in New Delhi for the second time on the royal tour of India and Bhutan. In Mumbai on the first day of their tour, the Cambridges laid a wreath of white lilies at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in memory of the victims and in honor of those injured in the 2008 Mumbai attacks that were carried out by the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba. The attacks lasted for four days, and the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel was one of the locations hit. Of the 166 dead, 31 died at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, in addition to hotel’s Labrador guard dog, Lucy. 32 white candles were lit to remember these victims. The Cambridges also spoke to survivors.

Their Royal Highnesses will lay a second wreath in New Delhi at the India Gate war memorial to remember those whom India has lost in war. The India Gate war memorial pays tribute to the 70,000 Indian soldiers who died in war between 1914 and 1921, a time period that includes the First World War and during which Indian soldiers were fighting to defend the British empire. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are representing the British monarchy on their royal tour of India, and in honoring those sacrifices.

The Cambridges will attend a United Kingdom-backed event for young entrepreneurs in Mumbai before their second wreath-laying ceremony of the royal tour. After the wreath-laying, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will make their way to the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Museum, retracing the final footsteps of the leader of the Indian independence movement in British-ruled India, Mahatma Mohandas Gandhi, and pay their respects to him at the memorial that marks the spot where he was assassinated in 1948.


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will also head to Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan during their royal tour. Notably, Bhutan is not a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations. The Cambridges are scheduled to meet with the young and popular King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema of Bhutan, who were married in the same year as the British royal couple and have been affectionately referred to as “the William and Kate of the Himalayas” by the press.

The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge are traveling without their two young children, 2-year-old Prince George and 11-month-old Princess Charlotte, who are at home in the United Kingdom with their nanny. The Cambridges’ royal tour of India and Bhutan will total seven days.

[Image courtesy of Michael Dunlea/Getty Images]