British Royal Couple to Make Maiden Visit to the Taj Mahal

Lady Diana had visited the monument 24 years ago.

Published
India
2 min read
Prince William and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, attend a reception at Kensington Palace on Wednesday 6 April, 2016, ahead of their tour to India and Bhutan. (Photo: AP)

More than two decades after Britain’s Princess Diana was pictured forlornly alone at the Taj Mahal, her son Prince William and his wife Kate will visit the Indian landmark on 16 April, evoking memories of Diana’s infamous 1992 trip.

The image of Diana sitting on a bench during a solitary sight-seeing trip to the Taj Mahal, a monument to love, made front page news worldwide and was widely interpreted as symbolising the irreparable state of her marriage to heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles.

Diana, Princess of Wales, sits in front of the Taj Mahal in Agra city, India during a photo opportunity in this file picture taken 11 February, 1992. (Photo: Reuters)
Diana, Princess of Wales, sits in front of the Taj Mahal in Agra city, India during a photo opportunity in this file picture taken 11 February, 1992. (Photo: Reuters)

The couple divorced in 1996 after 15 years of marriage, a year before Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris.

Charles has avoided the Taj Mahal on subsequent visits to India, but William, the Duke of Cambridge, and Kate “cannot wait to see it” during their official six-day tour to India and Bhutan starting on April 10, said a spokesperson for William on Tuesday.

The Duke of Cambridge is, of course, aware of the huge esteem his mother the late Princess of Wales is held in 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.
Spokesperson

ASI officials had received a request from the British High Commission’s advance team to remove the scaffolding before the visit of William and Kate, which would help them take a perfect picture. At present, three minarets out of the four surrounding the main mausoleum are completely covered with iron rods for conservation work.

According to ASI officials, the request could not be accepted as “months of hard work” has gone into it and they would have to start from scratch again if the scaffolding was removed.

The advanced team had visited the monument several times during the last two months, and in one of the meetings with senior district officials the issue of removal of scaffolding was raised. However, given the complex procedure, it was turned down.
Senior ASI official told Times of India

(With Reuters input)

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