The Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William went for a walk today… 11,000 feet up in the Himalayas. The royal couple hiked up the forested Bhutan mountains to the magical Tiger’s Nest monastery, reports the Daily Mail.
The monastery is “built into the side of a steep cliff above a beautiful forest of rhododendrons, some 10,000 feet above sea level, it is one of the most stunning temples in the world.” It is an arduous six-hour hike to the ancient site. The Duke of Cambridge was casually dressed for the trek in chinos and shirt with rolled-up sleeves, while the Duchess wore “heavy knee high boots, a leather waistcoat and full make-up — yet looked as if she had barely broken a sweat.”
On the way up the mountain, the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William stopped to chat with American tourists who were hiking back down. The “three trekkers from San Francisco” probably couldn’t believe their luck when they met the future King and Queen of England on a mountain path. The trio, Lauren McKennan, 29, Chris Steele, 27, and Alex Willmore, 28, have a story they can dine out on for ever.
Lauren said “‘They were pretty altogether, there wasn’t a single trail of sweat. They stopped to talk to us for three to five minutes and were absolutely charming.'” Alex spoke some more about their conversation with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
“‘They asked us how long we had been here and talked about how lovely the weather was. They said how rainy it had been when they were doing the archery and how glad they were doing the trek today. We asked for a photograph they just laughed and wouldn’t do it. But they were absolutely charming, very cool, very nice. They kept on saying how beautiful it was.'”
The Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William paused at the halfway mark to admire a series of Buddhist prayer wheels. The royals “posed for pictures with the stunning cliff top monastery in the background” and chatted with the guides, with the Duchess asking “‘Do you have many rescues here?'”
The hikers didn’t want to lose their momentum, with the Duke of Cambridge urging to his wife “‘Half-way, let’s keep going, let’s keep moving.'” According to The Telegraph,“the King of Bhutan had sent some of his own horses to accompany the couple in case either struggled and needed to go on horseback, but neither of them had needed to.”
Although accompanied by the press, the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William seemed perfectly at ease. They “were holding hands and looked relaxed as they walked along the winding path through the idyllic landscape.”
The climb to the Tiger’s Nest marks the last day the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William will spend in the mountainous kingdom of Bhutan. There will be a farewell reception Friday night, and then the royal couple will return to India to visit the Taj Mahal on Saturday.
[Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images]