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Prince William and Kate pay respects to Indian soldiers and country's founding father Mahatma Gandhi

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Prince William and his wife the Duchess of Cambridge, née Kate Middleton, touched down in New Delhi on Monday afternoon to continue with their royal tour of India. The couple, who had flown from Mumbai, headed to the heart of the capital city to carry out their first engagement.

The royals were seen arriving at India Gate – a 42m high sandstone structure that is considered the country's main war memorial – shortly after 3:30pm.

The couple laid a wreath of marigolds at the memorial to show their respects to the 70,000 Indian soldiers who lost their lives while fighting for the British Army during World War I.

kate middleton3 © Photo: Getty Images

William and Kate flew in from Mumbai on Monday afternoon

"Never forgetting those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for India," a note on the wreath, which was signed William and Catherine, read.

Following their solemn engagement the Duke and Duchess, who looked elegant in a white wool crepe dress, then travelled to Gandhi Smriti.

Literally meaning 'Gandhi memory', the museum is located in Old Birla House, where Mahatma Gandhi, India's founding father, spent the last few years of his life.


kate middleton1 © Photo: Getty Images

The couple laid a wreath at India Gate in New Delhi

The couple were given a private tour of the museum and shown a giant bronze statue of Gandhi with two children. Kate asked the significance of the statue and museum director Dipanker Shrigyan explained that the girl, who was holding flowers, represented hope while the boy, who was cradling a dove, symbolised peace.

The royals were also shown Gandhi's bedroom and his "worldly possessions" now housed in a glass cabinet, which included some cutlery, his pocket watch and spectacles.

William and Kate then retraced Gandhi's final footsteps from his humble bedroom to the spot in the garden where he was assassinated in 1948. Going barefoot, the Duke and Duchess also saw the prayer hall where Gandhi used to address his followers.


kate middleton gandhi1 © Photo: Getty Images

The couple went barefoot to retrace Gandhi's final footsteps before he was shot

After paying their respects at the memorial that marks the location, William and Kate watched a choral performance from a group of young people.

Rajdeep Pathak, programme director of the museum, said: "They seemed very humane and very down to earth. More than that they requested to hear the children sing and gave them enough time to give a full performance. They said afterwards that it was beautiful."

As with the rest of their jam-packed tour, William and Kate then had a very short break before their final engagement of the day. This evening the couple will attend a birthday party held in honour of the Queen, who turns 90 on 21 April.


William and Kate will meet hundreds of guests from local political Indian society at the garden party, held at the residence of the British High Commission in New Delhi. The Duke will also make a speech.