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William and Kate 'to create new memories' when they follow Diana to Taj Mahal

Published 29/03/2016

The picture of Diana, Princess of Wales prompted speculation about her marriage
The picture of Diana, Princess of Wales prompted speculation about her marriage

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge hope to create "new memories" when they visit India's Taj Mahal - the backdrop to a famous picture of Diana, Princess of Wales.

The visit to the 17th century monument will be one of the highlights of William and Kate's seven-day tour of India and neighbouring Bhutan which begins next month.

The Duke's mother was pictured sitting alone in front of the monument to love in February 1992, prompting rumours about the state of her marriage to the Prince of Wales.

The photograph became the defining image of the tour and by the end of the year it was announced the couple had agreed to separate.

At a press briefing the Cambridges' communications secretary Jason Knauf said: "The Taj Mahal is one of the symbols of India and Their Royal Highnesses cannot wait to see it with their own eyes.

"The Duke of Cambridge is of course aware of the huge esteem his mother, the late Princess of Wales is held in India and he appreciates the iconic status of the images that exist of the Princess at the Taj.

"He feels incredibly lucky to visit a place where his mother's memory is kept alive by so many who travel there.

"Twenty-four years on from her visit to the Taj, the Duke and the Duchess are looking forward to seeing this beautiful place for themselves and creating some new memories as they say thank you to the people of India at the conclusion of this tour."

The trip will be the first time William and Kate have visited India and Bhutan but they will not be taking t heir young children Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

Highlights of the visit, which begins on April 10, will see the royal couple visit a Bollywood charity event, staged in Mumbai, and pay their respects to India's founding father Mahatma Gandhi at the place where he was assassinated in New Delhi in 1948.

The couple will travel to the Kaziranga National Park, a wildlife sanctuary and world heritage site which is home to two thirds of the world's great one-horned rhinoceroses as well as tigers, elephants and wild water buffalo.

On April 14, they will visit nearby Bhutan, a small landlocked country in the shadow of the Himalayan peaks which has a rich Buddhist tradition.

One of the country's major attractions is Paro Taktsang, the Tiger's Nest monastery, and the royal couple will hike up to the religious centre perched on the side of a cliff.

The final day of their trip will see the William and Kate visit the Taj Mahal.

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