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William and Kate reveal they miss children 'massively' after trek to monastery

Published 15/04/2016

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema of Bhutan
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema of Bhutan

After almost a week away from their children while on tour the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have revealed they are missing them "massively" but have been in constant touch.

William and Kate spoke candidly about son Prince George and daughter Princess Charlotte after they had trekked hundreds of feet to one of the most venerated Buddhist sites in the Himalayas, the Tiger's Nest monastery in Bhutan.

The couple left the UK on Sunday for a seven-day tour of India and Bhutan and when asked if they were missing their family William said: "Massively, yes of course. And we're looking forward to seeing them. They're in good hands."

Asked if he had been able to talk to his two-year-old son and daughter, who is one in a few weeks, he replied: "Yes we have. Many times."

The Duke has followed in the footsteps of his father the Prince of Wales who visited Bhutan in 1998 and he looked ahead to the day his children would travel to Bhutan with him: "It will be lovely if the children could come as well, definitely."

The Duchess said: "Maybe when they're a bit more mobile, I think. We did actually see one family up there with a small child on their front. It was very brave of them."

The trek gave the couple time together to enjoy Bhutan's stunning landscape and in the relaxed setting there were rare public displays of affection - holding hands when they first set out and later putting their arms around each other as they walked.

William and Kate's path up to the Tiger's Nest led through a pine forest on the slopes of the mountain, with piles of symbolic stones dotted along the route.

The Duchess was dressed in a white blouse, nubuck waistcoat from Really Wild, leggings and Penelope Chilvers calf-length boots, while William looked casual in chinos, a blue shirt and walking boots.

They were joined by a large entourage which went beyond the usual diplomatic staff, security figures and local officials to include individuals like Kate's hairdresser.

William and Kate were left overawed by the mountain ranges around them and the Duke described the scenery as "amazing" and "beautiful".

He added: "With the mountains like this and the temples at the top it was just stunning to walk up there and see all the scenery and to listen to some of the history and religion of the country.

"It's really important when you come on a trip like this to see some of that."

His words were echoed by Kate who said: "It was an amazing experience. I feel very lucky and fortunate to see such beautiful scenery. As William said, learn about the country."

The Duke was reminded he had said the trek was "easy" at the halfway point and he added: "I may have slightly spoken too soon. It was a little bit cheeky on the second part definitely."

Charles only made it to the halfway level when he visited Bhutan but took the opportunity to do some watercolour painting.

With the 17th century building standing 3,000ft (900m) above the valley floor, Charles decided not to venture to the monastery built into a cliff face.

He said at the time: "I don't think I'm going to risk that cliff. The older I get, the more vertigo I get - even at the top of minarets in Istanbul.''

William suggested he may be teasing his father about not trekking to the iconic monastery when they next meet up.

He said: "My father didn't make it to the top. So that's something I'll be reminding him of when I see him."

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From Belfast Telegraph