Get ready for the royals, Bollywood! On Tuesday, March 29, Kensington Palace gave a briefing announcing that Prince William and Kate Middleton have planned a tour of India and Bhutan starting April 10.
This will be the couple’s first tour since visiting New York City in 2014 and since welcoming kids Prince George, 2, and Princess Charlotte, 10 months. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge — who have never traveled to either country before — will kick the trip off with a stop in Mumbai, where they will attend a Bollywood Charity Gala along with some of India’s biggest stars.
“In India, the Duke and Duchess will be starting a personal relationship with a country that will play a major global role throughout Their Royal Highnesses’ lives,” a Palace rep said. “The Duke and Duchess will pay respect to the historical relationship between Britain and India, but will focus on understanding India as it is today and will be throughout the 21st century – a vibrant, entrepreneurial, aspirational nation that faces both its challenges and huge opportunities with confidence.”
The pair will also make their way to New Delhi to honor the memory of Mahatma Gandhi, India’s late pacifist leader who was assassinated on January 30, 1948. William and Kate are expected to walk through Gandhi’s home and see the exact place he was killed.
Afterward, the duo will host a garden party in honor of Queen Elizabeth II’s upcoming 90th birthday. “The Duke will use the occasion to personally pay tribute to his grandmother with a speech to the invited guests,” William’s spokesperson explained.
William and Kate’s India itinerary also includes a tour of Kaziranga National Park and a visit with Elephant Family, an environmental foundation helmed by William’s stepmother, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
Next, the U.K. natives will head to Bhutan for two days where they plan to begin “[building] a personal relationship with Their Majesties the King (Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck) and Queen (Jetsun Pema), who being of the same generation they look forward to knowing many years to come.” During their time in Bhutan, the royals will also take a five to six-hour hike to Paro Taktsang, the Tiger’s Nest monastery which dates to 1692.
Finally, on April 16, William and Kate will head back to India where they will follow in the footsteps of Princess Diana by touring the nation’s famed Taj Mahal. The late Lady Di visited the historic landmark during a solo trip in 1992.
A Palace spokesman tells Us Weekly: “[William] feels incredibly lucky to visit a place where his mother’s memory is kept alive by so many who travel there."
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