Prince William has opened up about the special bond his children Prince George and Princess Charlotte share with their great-grandmother the Queen. William and his wife the Duchess of Cambridge, née Kate Middleton, were guests of honour at a garden party in New Delhi, held in honour of Her Majesty's upcoming 90th birthday.
William and Kate toasted the Queen, who became the longest-serving monarch last September, and met some of the 2,000 VIP guests from local political Indian society.
The Prince took to the stage to give a touching speech in which he paid tribute to his grandmother – calling her "the boss" – adding that George and Charlotte were so "lucky" to have her as a role model.
Kate and William attended a birthday party for the Queen in New Delhi
"I hope you don't mind if I take the opportunity to pay tribute to the Queen on a more personal note," said William, who kicked off his tour of India on Sunday. "I am incredibly lucky to have my grandmother in my life. As she turns 90, she is a remarkably energetic and dedicated guiding force for her family.
"And I am so glad that my children are having the chance to get to know the Queen. George and Charlotte, too, will discover how lucky they are to have such a wonderful great-grandmother – a role model for the rest of their lives."
Explaining that he is in India as the Queen's representative, William added: "She may be my grandmother, but she is also very much the boss! And with that in mind, she has given me a message that I am privileged to read out to you all tonight."
Kate stunned in a monochrome Alice Temperley outfit
William then relayed Her Majesty and Prince Philip's message, in which the 89-year-old revealed that she has "fond memories" of her visits to India. The Queen's note ended: "It is with great pleasure that I entrust another generation of my family to strengthen and renew our bonds."
The party at the residence of the British High Commission in New Delhi was held in honour of the Queen. Guests were entertained by traditional Indian music and dined on a mix of Indian and British canapés including apple Stilton Welsh Rarebits and mini beer battered fish and chips.
The couple had the honour of cutting the Queen's birthday cake
As William and Kate made their grand entrance, the Duchess turned heads, looking particularly exquisite in an Indian-inspired look. The mum-of-two wore a black and white beaded skirt and top combo designed by British favourite Alice Temperley.
The couple also had the special task of cutting the Queen's birthday cake with a sword.
One of the first guests Kate spoke to was Deepa Thomas Sutcliffe, vice president and head of communications at Nissan. Deepa revealed: "I told the Duchess I have been a huge royal fan my whole life and I adored Princess Diana. I was five years old when she married. She said 'unfortunately I never had the pleasure of meeting her.'"
The Duchess has admitted she was worried she would miss George and Charlotte
Earlier in the day, William, 33, and Kate, 34, carried out more solemn engagements in New Delhi, the second city on their India itinerary following Mumbai.
The couple began their visit by laying a wreath of marigolds at India Gate – the country's main war memorial that stands at 42m high in the heart of the capital city. A note on the wreath read: "Never forgetting those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for India, William, Catherine."
The couple then travelled to Gandhi Smriti, the museum where Mahatma Gandhi, India's founding father, spent the last few years of his life. Going barefoot, William and Kate retraced Gandhi's final footsteps from his humble bedroom to the spot in the garden where he was assassinated in 1948.