As the sun set on day three of their royal tour, Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, née Kate Middleton, escaped the hustle and bustle of city life and headed to the Kaziranga National Park in the state of Assam. Touching down from New Delhi on Tuesday afternoon, the couple were given a warm ceremonial welcome and greeted with bouquets of flowers.
William and Kate had the chance to relax and settle down around a campfire, where they chatted and mingled with locals. They were treated to dance and musical performances – a colourful and very fun introduction to rural life.
As their visit coincides with the Bohag Bihu harvest festival, which marks the beginning of Assamese New Year, the royals were also given an insight into how the locals celebrate.
The couple were treated to dance and musical performances in Kaziranga National Park
Kate, who stunned in an Alice Temperley jade dress earlier in the day, opted for an equally stylish look. The Duchess changed into a silk chiffon printed Anna Sui dress and black wedges for the evening celebration.
The couple were particularly impressed by the dancing of a three-year-old boy and sought him out to meet him after the performance. "You were very energetic," William told the youngster, before adding: "He knows his dancing very well."
"You were very energetic," William told the youngster
Ranjinee Bhukan, of the British deputy high commission, speculated that perhaps William and Kate were reminded of their own son Prince George, who turns three in July. "They were so happy to see him," said Ranjinee. "They were really watching him. I'm sure they were remembering their little one."
William and Kate, who have come from Mumbai and New Delhi, will spend the night and following day in the national park, famed for its tigers, elephants, rhinoceroses and water buffalo.
Kate wore a patterned Anna Sui dress
The theme of their stay is conservation – an issue that William, as president of the United for Wildlife charity, cares deeply about.
The national park gives visitors a sense of how closely linked local people are to the animals that live there. William and Kate will be able to see the work being done to manage the conflicts that arise when humans and wild animals live in close proximity.
On Wednesday the Duke and Duchess will have an early start and take a jeep safari through Kaziranga. The couple will meet park rangers, visit a centre for wildlife rehabilitation and conservation, and lastly unveil a plaque at the Mark Shand Foundation. Mark is the late brother of the Duchess of Cornwall.