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Following Diana's footsteps, British royals visit Taj Mahal
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge invoked nostalgia Saturday as they sat and smiled for photos on the same marble bench in front of the Taj Mahal where Prince William's late mother, Princess Diana, had posed alone for a memorable 1992 photo.
Winding down their weeklong royal tour of India and Bhutan, William and his wife, the former Kate Middleton, were briefed by a guide as they entered the compound that houses the iconic monument to love.
Ahead of the British royals' visit, about a dozen armed policemen entered the complex and the left section was cordoned off. Ordinary tourists were allowed to enter the building from the right. The royal couple caused a great deal of excitement, with dozens of people taking pictures on their cellphones.
William and Kate's visit to the Taj Mahal was filled with symbolism. Comparisons will inevitably be drawn to Diana and the lonely figure she cut in front of the white marble mausoleum built by a Mughal emperor to entomb his beloved wife.
Newspaper headlines had suggested at the time that Diana was delivering a hidden message about the end of her marriage to Prince Charles. Four years later, the two announced their divorce.
When asked Saturday how to describe the monument, William, on his first visit to India, replied, "Stunning."
Despite the scorching April temperatures — it was well over 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) — the couple smiled happily for photographs.
Much has been made of Kate's wardrobe choices during her visit to India, and on Saturday she wore a summery white and blue dress that ended just above the knees.