The Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William visited the Taj Mahal, reports the Daily Mail. The royal couple retraced the steps of Diana, Princess of Wales, mother of the Duke of Cambridge. In 1992, Diana famously sat alone on a stone bench in front of the glorious white marble building built by an emperor as an emblem of love for his wife.
The bench is now affectionately known as “Diana’s Chair.” It became a symbol of the breakdown of Diana’s marriage to Prince Charles. However, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were keen to “create some memories of our own.”
The Duchess “looked effortlessly cool in a pretty white and blue dress by Indian designer Naeem Khan, while William was smart casual in chinos, a jacket and an open-necked shirt.” The 109F sweltering heat did not seem to bother Kate at all. The royal couple walked to the bench in front of tourists and sat down carefully to the sound of cameras going wild.
Kate’s sweetly pretty blue and white dress matched the delicate designs on the gateway to the Taj Mahal. After they walked through the gate and saw the mausoleum ahead of them, “William looked pensive, or possibly slightly overawed, as they stood looking at the view for a minute or so as the guide talked through the history of the Taj Mahal. Then they walked through the famous garden, William guided Kate to the bench and they sat down.”
The Duchess Of Cambridge And Prince William were “taken on a private tour inside, where they were shown the tombs of Murghal emperor Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal, the beloved wife he commissioned the Taj for in 1631 as a symbol of his eternal love.” The Duke of Cambridge was obviously awed by the building; as he left he was asked: “What has today’s visit meant to you?’ to which he replied ‘It’s a beautiful place, stunning designs in there.”
The Duchess agreed, “It’s been really incredible to learn about the romance of the building and really beautiful architecture.” The Duke of Cambridge chatted with the press as he and Kate walked out, commenting on the incredible heat.
“I’m glad you have got your hats on. It is beautiful, isn’t it. It was overwhelming.”
The Duchess Of Cambridge and Prince William will celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary on April 29. Kate told their guide that the visit to the Taj Mahal was “the perfect thing to do before their wedding anniversary. She was quite happy about it.”
The guide, Rizwan Mohammed, 35, added that the royal couple was “fascinated ‘by the story of the king and the queen” and the love that made him build the monument to her. And Kate got “quite emotional” when she came to know that the Queen died at the very young age of 39. “She said ‘she really deserves this kind of building as they were madly in love with each other.'”
An aide to the Duchess Of Cambridge And Prince William spoke warmly about the Taj Mahal and its importance to the royal couple.
“The Taj…will be a fitting location for The Duke and Duchess to say thank you for the generosity and warmth that has been extended to them on the tour. The Duke of Cambridge is of course aware of the huge esteem his mother, the late Princess of Wales, is held in India and he appreciates the iconic status of the images that exist of The Princess at the Taj. He feels incredibly lucky to visit a place where his mother’s memory is kept alive by so many who travel there.”
The Taj Mahal is the last stop for the Duchess Of Cambridge and Prince William on their week-long visit to India and Bhutan. The Cambridge couple have trekked the Himalayas, fed baby rhinos, and played a few games of cricket. However, their visit to the Taj Mahal will be thought of by many people as the highlight of their tour.
“The couple’s farewell to India could not have been more meaningful as they sat together, knees touching, beaming for the assembled photographers.” The Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William return to the UK this evening.
[Photo by Money Sharma/AP Images]