Saturday, 16 April 2016

Royal Visit India, William and Kate at the Taj Mahal

It was much anticipated and, in the end, much appreciated. For all the talk beforehand of benches and footsteps, the last act of Royal Visit India was poignant and handled with a huge amount of class. The Duke of Cambridge visited one of the places most associated with his late mother with millions of eyes watching him and did it very well. So did his duchess. Royal Visit India ended with a smile.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the Taj Mahal, April 16th 2016
(photo Kensington Royal Instagram)

As William and Kate made their way to this iconic landmark on the final day of their tour, they knew that people around the world were waiting for the moment they saw Diana's son in front of the monument to love that she so famously posed by, alone, on her own tour of India in 1992. There was huge debate about whether they would sit on the bench or pass it by. In the end, the photo everyone wanted to see was all but inevitable and really quite magical when it happened.

The royal couple, who had flown in from Bhutan earlier that morning, walked to the famous marble seat and paused briefly to take in the view of the building constructed in the 17th century as the tomb for an emperor's favourite wife. And then they sat where Diana had sat, William in almost exactly the same spot as his mum, his wife at his side, knees touching, both smiling.

Kate's hand rested on her lap, showing the sapphire and diamond ring that had been on Diana's hand in 1992 when she made her famous stop there. It had returned in happier circumstances. The couple said beforehand that this trip was all about making new memories and they added another chapter to their story and to that of royalty at the Taj Mahal.

After that, there was time for a tour and a chance to sign the guest book which contains so many well known royal names. They saw both inside and outside the landmark and kept their cool, in temperatures of 44 degrees celsius, throughout.

No one could doubt how well they handled it. This was hard for William, walking where his mother had so famously walked and into and out of memories of a time long gone. At times he looked thoughtful and at others he smiled. Kate was at his side throughout. This was all about togetherness.

Remembrances of times past - the end of Royal Visit India at the Taj Mahal
(photo Kensington Royal Instagram)

And then they left and Royal Visit India was at an end. It has been successful, perhaps more than anyone predicted, and it has left many special memories. And among the most special of them all is the day that William went back to the place so associated with his mother, braved a world watching and walked away a success.

There is a special page about William and Kate in India here.

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