Saturday, 9 November 2013

Memories of a past long gone

The image of Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall in front of an ancient building in India evoked memories of another royal visit to the country.  The prince and his wife were at the Akshardham Temple, in Delhi as part of their tour of India and while there have already been many images of them on the visit, the sight of the two of them together with one of the world's most beautiful and iconic buildings behind them can only bring back thoughts of that other famous photo taken on one of Charles' tours of the country.

Charles and Camilla at the Akshardham Temple, in Delhi which was completed in 2005 and holds a controversial Guinness World Record as the largest comprehensive Hindu temple with three other sites in India disputing its claim
Maybe it's the soft light of the Indian sun, maybe it's the contrast of the intricate building front which makes the people in front of it seem so small but the photo is deeply reminiscent of that image of Diana, Princess of Wales in front of the Taj Mahal on the Wales' trip to India in 1992, just months before the official announcement of their separation.  That photo of Diana has become one of the most famous ever taken, the lonely princess at the temple of love.  Perhaps because it has been so well used, and seen so often, in the twenty one years since it was taken that this new picture of Charles and Camilla instantly brings it to mind.  The duchess looks thoughtful in the snaps and there isn't a single one of her smiling on this photocall on the official Clarence House website.  A different building, a different century but still evocative.  Sometimes, even with the distance of decades, following in someone's footsteps can be a difficult day.
Diana, Princess of Wales at the Taj Mahal in India on her visit to the country with
Prince Charles in 1992

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