Prince William and Kate recreate same pose as Princess Diana on bench in front of Taj Mahal

hellomagazine.com

Some 24 years after Diana, Princess of Wales visited the Taj Mahal – one of the most famous symbols of India – Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, née Kate Middleton, followed in the Princess's footsteps.

The couple flew in to Agra, home of the Taj Mahal, from Bhutan, where they have spent the past couple of days on tour meeting the king and queen.

There were doubts whether William and Kate would recreate the same pose as Diana, who was famously pictured sitting on a bench outside the sacred monument in 1992.

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William and Kate sat on the same bench as Princess Diana

However, keen to honour his mother and make his own special memories, William happily sat in the same spot as Diana, alongside his wife Kate.

"I hope you've got the symmetry right, Arthur," the Duke even joked to veteran royal photographer Arthur Edwards, who was among those who had photographed Diana in the nineties.

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A royal source explained the visit was about "looking forward and creating new memories"

The photocall on "Lady Di's chair" lasted less than a minute, but William and Kate's love and affection for each other shone through in the images. It couldn't have been a starker contrast to when Diana visited the Taj alone, without Princess Charles, and told reporters that she found the experience "very healing".

When pressed for more explanation, Diana replied, "Work it out for yourself". She and Charles announced their separation later that year.

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The Prince even joked: "I hope you've got the symmetry right"

William and Kate made their much anticipated arrival on Saturday afternoon, bringing their characteristic warmth and friendliness to the poignant engagement.

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After the short photoshoot, the royals, who are celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary this month, headed into the "monument of love" where they were given a private tour.

William and Kate saw the tombs of Murghal emperor Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal, the beloved wife he commissioned the Taj for in 1631 as a symbol of his eternal love.

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Diana visited the Taj alone during a tour in 1992

A visit to the Taj, one of the wonders of the world, was perhaps the most fitting way for the Duke and Duchess to say thank you to the people of India, who have made the couple feel so welcome over the past week.

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Kate paid tribute to her host country by wearing a white dress with navy embroidery, made by India-American fashion designer Naeem Khan. The Duchess was her usual radiant self, smiling and waving to onlookers as she arrived.

William is very much aware of the huge esteem his mother Diana is held in India, and appreciates the iconic status of the photographs that exist of the Princess at the Taj.

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Kate was her usual radiant self in a navy and white dress

A spokesperson for Kensington Palace previously said that William feels "incredibly lucky" to visit a place where his mother's memory is kept alive by so many who travel there.

On Saturday an aide explained that William and Kate had wanted to pose on the bench because it was what "all tourists do when visiting the Taj Mahal".

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The Duke and Duchess will return to the UK on Saturday

"They got a brief glimpse of the Taj from their hotel earlier and were visibly excited," the spokesperson said. "They couldn't wait to get down here and experience it for themselves. Like everyone visiting this magical and beautiful place, they want to have a unique experience to remember forever."

They added: "The Duke is completely aware of the history of this place with his family and he appreciates that a lot of people who come here have his mother in mind. But this is about the future for them, it's about looking forward and creating new memories."