Kate Middleton’s visit to the Taj Mahal and the photographs in front of the 17th century marble monument revived memories of late Princess Diana posing alone in front of the iconic moment of love in 1992. The image, then, created a lot of media speculation about Diana’s failing relationship with Prince Charles, the Hindu reported. According to Forbes, the “Kate and William made happier moments at Princes Diana’s bench.”
Reportedly, Kate and Willliam’s visit to Agra generated much enthusiasm as tourists and visitors poured in to get a glimpse of the British royal family. The administration tightened the security around the monument as the royal couple guided by officials from the Archaeological Survey of India took a stroll around the historic mausoleum. In 1631, Mughal emperor Shah Jahan built the Taj in memory of his late wife Mumtaz.
Kate Middleton and Prince William raised nostalgia as they sat and smiled for photos on the same marble bench in front of the Taj Mahal where William’s late mother had posed alone in 1992. The couple added a fresh story to the episodes of celebrity visits at the Taj Mahal with Kate donning a white-and-blue dress and her husband in a matching blue blazer.
The weather was hot and the Taj Mahal employees had to sprinkle iced water on the bench before the couple could pose for pictures. According to reports, the couple’s moment on the bench was around 25 and 30 seconds.
Media outlets, however used the occasion to revive memories of William’s mother, Lady Diana’s visit to India and the eventual split in marriage that happened following her visit to the Taj.
The Indian Express invoked Lady Diana with Kate Middleton’s Taj visit, saying “For more than two decades, the most potent memory of any Royal at the Taj Mahal has been that of Diana, sitting alone in front of that magnificent, impossibly romantic building, while her husband, Prince Charles, made a speech to business leaders 1,000 miles away in Bangalore.”
Diana’s “lonely” photograph in front of the Taj Mahal hinted a tinge of sadness that communicated the widening gulf between her and the Prince of Wales. Reportedly, at that time, media speculated that Diana was delivering a hidden message about her impending divorce with Prince Charles. Four years later, the two announced their divorce.
Undoubtedly, the stop at the Taj Mahal was an emotional moment for Kate and William. Prince William was 15 years old when Diana died in a car crash in 1997. While Diana was alone at the Taj, Kate was with her husband, William, giving a poignant contrast to the two high-profile visits by the British Royals in a span of two decades.
Kate Middleton and William elegantly posed for the global media at the historic site, airing a message of an enduring, royal marital bonding, just two weeks before their fifth wedding anniversary on April 29.
According to the BBC, the Sunday Times captured the poignant contrast.
“Wills and Kate happy in the place where Diana was so sad.”
Meanwhile, the Daily Mail reported on Kate and William’s decision to sit on the bench “as an acknowledgement of his mother’s association with the stunning building but an attempt to forge new memories and move on.”
The royal couple’s visit to India’s historic landmark follows a hectic week that had William and Kate feed baby rhinos and elephants in Assam. They also met a high-profile list of celebrities from Bollywood in Mumbai and lunched with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a former palace in New Delhi.
With Kate Middleton and William ending their tour of India with the Taj Mahal visit, it will still be a topic of speculation whether their decision to recreate the iconic moment in front of the monument was meant to dissipate the sad 1992 Diana photograph, which was so symbolic of her loneliness.
[Photo by KGC-22/STAR MAX/IPx/ AP Images]