William, Kate at Taj Mahal, evoke memories of Diana’s visit

Sunday, Apr 17, 2016,12:55 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

Agra | Britain’s Prince William accompanied by his wife Kate yesterday visited the Taj Mahal, the 17th century marble monument symbolising eternal love, bringing back memories of his mother Princess Diana’s trip 24 years ago.

And the royal couple did sit on the marble bench in front of the dazzling monument here for a picture like Lady Diana. William had donned a blue linen jacket, white shirt and chinos while Princess Kate wore a white dress with blue motif by Indian-American designer Naeem Khan.

The royal couple, who will celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary on April 29, arrived at around 3.30 PM and were briefed by an official as they took a stroll around the mausoleum built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal. It is beautiful. It is overwhelming, William, the Duke of Cambridge, said later.

The two spent around 45 minutes in the complex on a sizzling day as mercury soared to 40 degrees Celsius. It was too hot but they went around, guide Lalit Chawla said. William’s mother Diana had visited the Taj Mahal in 1992 and her picture seated alone on the marble bench remains one of the iconic images of the princess, who died in a car crash in Paris on August 31, 1997.

The royal couple’s visit generated much excitement here. Tight security arrangements were in place with deployment of CISF personnel. The stretch from Amar Vilas hotel to the eastern gate of the Taj Mahal was spruced up and tourists on the western gate were held back for an hour.

It is the last stop for the British royal couple during their week-long trip to India and Bhutan. The couple visited Mumbai and Kaziranga National Park in Assam and also met leaders in Delhi.

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