The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate are expected to visit Taj Mahal in April this year. It will be the first time after Lady Diana who visited 24 years ago that someone from the British royal family will be visiting the monument of love. An advance from the British High Commission held a meeting with Agra officials.
A senior official said the team was here to review the security system in place at the monument. “The advance team did not disclose much information about the itinerary of the royal couple. Even the date of visit was not shared with us owing to the sensitivity of the matter,” added the official.
Sources added that British High Commission officials were taking extra caution. “Last time, the minute to minute itinerary of a senior official’s at Taj was published in local newspapers in very much advance, sending officials in a tizzy. They do not want to take any risk this time around,” added the source.
William and Kate’s India visit had been announced on November 13, the day Prime Minister Narendra Modi had met Queen Elizabeth II over tea at Buckingham Palace. According to media reports, the royal couple will be in India between April 10 and 17.
The royal couple, both aged 33, are likely to travel without their two children Prince George and Princess Charlotte on the trip. The visit is set to be their first official overseas tour together since their three-day tour of New York in December 2014, media reports added.
It is also being anticipated that William and his wife would hopefully re-create his late mother, Princess Diana’s famous photo taken at the monument’s central tank’s bench.
In February 1992, Diana was photographed sitting alone on the white marble bench with the Taj Mahal as her background. It garnered so much publicity that the seat has since been known Diana bench.
Post-independence, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, had visited the 17th century marble monument during their six week royal visit to India in 1961.