Kensington Palace released further details of Prince William and Kate Middleton‘s tour of India and Bhutan this morning.
The tour will take place April 10-16.
Saturday, April 9:
- William and Kate will depart London, arriving in Mumbai on April 10.
Sunday, April 10:
- First public moment will be on arrival at the Taj Palace Hotel – one of the scenes of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai in November 2008 – where they will lay a wreath at a memorial inside the hotel and meet members of staff who helped protect guests during the attack. William and Kate will stay at the hotel.
- After the arrival, William and Kate will visit the public park, Oval Maidan, where they will watch a young person’s cricket match and also meet representatives and beneficiaries of three charities here – Magic Bus, Doorstep, and India’s Childline. They will meet and play with children who live in slums around the city. According to KP “There may be a couple of surprises at this event as well.”
- Next, William and Kate will visit Banganga Water Tank – an ancient water tank in the Malabar Hill area of Mumbai. Here, they will see people who are living in tough circumstances in a small slum and are working hard to gain skills and make their way in the world. They will meet representatives of a charity called SMILE that focuses on skills and opportunities for young people and their parents.
- In the evening, William and Kate will attend a glittering reception and dinner being held in their honour to celebrate Mumbai’s film and creative industries. This will be hosted by The British High Commission in partnership with The British Asian Trust, of which The Prince of Wales is founder and President. The event will raise funds for the three charities that William and Kate will have met earlier in the day – Magic Bus, Doorstep, and Childline.
Monday, April 11:
- William and Kate will meet with aspiring young entrepreneurs at a GREAT campaign event at a bar, restaurant and collaborative workspace called The Social.
- Next, William and Kate will fly to New Delhi where they will lay a wreath at India Gate – the 42m high red standstone main war memorial which covers the two world wars, the Third Anglo-Afghan War, and the Indo Pakistan War of 1971.
- William and Kate will then travel to Ghandi Smriti where they will be given a tour of the museum before moving outside where they, like other visitors there, will follow Ghandi’s final footsteps from his humble bedroom to the spot in the garden where he was assassinated in 1948. They will pay their respects at the memorial that marks the location and will watch a choral performance from a group of young people before departing.
- That evening, William and Kate will attend a birthday party for Her Majesty The Queen at the residence of the British High Commissioner. William will give a speech.
Tuesday, April 12:
- The morning will include two engagements in New Delhi, which will be announced closer to the time of the visit. One will allow William and Kate to see up close work to support vulnerable young people in the city. The second engagement will be a meeting with a senior government leader. Details will be advised.
- William and Kate will also have a private meeting with NGOs working in New Delhi before departing the city. Further information will be provided in country.
- Next, William and Kate will move to Kaziranga National Park in the state of Assam where they will focus on the role of conservation in the lives of the rural people of this area.
- That evening, William and Kate will sit around a campfire and will meet local people and see dance and musical performances.
Wednesday, April 13:
- William and Kate will take an early morning open-air drive around the National Park and will be welcomed by local people and park staff at the entrance to Kaziranga before the drive begins. They will also meet rangers, and William will speak out against rhino poaching.
- After the tour of the park William and Kate will have an opportunity to interact with local people in a village. Details will be announced later.
- That afternoon, William and Kate will visit the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation. Before leaving CWRC, The Duke and Duchess will meet young filmmakers who are members of Green Hub, a project that teaches film-making as a vocational skill to young people across North-East India. They will see two short films that both focus on human animal conflict.
- After visiting CWRC, William and Kate will travel across the road to the Kaziranga Discovery Centre built by Elephant Family, the charity founded by Mark Shand, Camilla’s late brother. William and Kate will health clinic for working elephants, meet with villagers, and will put the finishing touches on an elephant sculpture to officially mark the “call for artists” for India’s elephant parade.
Thursday, April 14:
- William and Kate will fly to Bhutan where they will be ceremoniously welcomed by senior state representatives before departing for a scenic drive to the capital city of Thimphu.
- In the afternoon, they will travel to the Thimphu Dzong where they will take part in a Chipdrel, a traditional welcome procession. Inside the Dzong, they will have a private audience with The King and Queen. Their Majesties will then lead William and Kate across the Dzong’s vast courtyard to a temple where they will receive a brief blessing and will light butter lamps.
- Then, William and Kate will say goodbye to the King and Queen and head to Thimphu’s open-air archery venue, located in the heart of the small city.
- That evening The Duke and Duchess will have a private dinner with The King and Queen at Lingkana Palace.
Friday, April 15:
- William and Kate will hike to Paro Taktsang, the Tiger’s Nest monastery which dates to 1692. Their hike will take between 5-6 hours in total and will allow them to get a real sense of the natural and spiritual beauty of the country.
- Back in Thimphu that evening, William and Kate will attend a reception for British nationals in Bhutan and Bhutanese people with strong links to the UK.
Saturday, April 16:
- William and Kate depart Bhutan for Agra, India where they will visit the Taj Mahal.
- From KP: “The Duke of Cambridge is of course aware of the huge esteem his mother, the late Princess of Wales is held in India and he appreciates the iconic status of the images that exist of The Princess at the Taj. He feels incredibly lucky to visit a place where his mother’s memory is kept alive by so many who travel there. 24 years on from her visit to the Taj, The Duke and The Duchess are looking forward to seeing this beautiful place for themselves and creating some new memories as they say thank you to the people of India at the conclusion of this tour.”
Depending on how things are counted, William and Kate will do about 23 engagements during the tour. That’s about half of what they did during the Oz/NZ tour in 2014 which was three times as long. So it does seem like they have a more filled schedule than their last joint tour. Yay?
Emily Andrews had a piece in The Sun today about William and Kate crashing The Queen’s 90th birthday official photoshoot.
Frame of Thrones
Proud Kate muscles in on Queen’s 90th photoshoot
Adoring mum Kate hijacked an official photoshoot of the Queen with George and Charlotte yesterday.
The pictures will help mark Her Maj’s 90th birthday next month. But Kate could not resist taking her own snaps of her kids with the monarch. She took George, two, and ten-month-old Charlotte to Windsor Castle to pose for celebrated American photographer Annie Leibovitz.
A royal source said: “Wills and Kate were with the children but as adoring parents rather than wanting to be in the pics themselves. Annie was taking the official pictures but Kate took her own snaps for the family album. It was really cute. The Queen loves her great-grandchildren and is very proud of them. The pictures will be a lovely way to mark a remarkable 90th birthday.”
Kate, 34, revealed George calls Her Maj “Gan-Gan”. She also said the Queen leaves “little gifts” for him and his sister when they stay.
The Queen will spend her 90th at Windsor Castle, having a family dinner the night before, then meeting locals on a walkabout on the big day.
Leibovitz’s shoot in 2007 with the Queen – after which the American called her subject “cranky” – was filmed for a BBC documentary. The footage led to Queengate, when a trailer was edited to give the impression the Queen had stormed out of the session in a huff. It also brought about the resignation of BBC1 controller Peter Fincham.
Several things about this write up intrigue me:
1) The language Emily Andrews used – “muscles in”, “hijacked” – words that are negative and are meant to evoke a negative opinion on the subject. There is a way to write this same story and make it sound positive toward Kate, but the author chose not to do that. I think it’s very interesting that the royal reporters are actively trying to make Kate look bad now whereas even six months ago they weren’t doing that.
2) The Queen’s official 90th birthday portraits are being taken by an American photographer? Regardless of thoughts on Leibovitz as a photographer, I think it’s odd that HM/BP chose an American photographer to photograph the longest reigning monarch of the United Kingdom for her 90th birthday.
3) William and Kate visited Windsor Castle the Monday after Easter but couldn’t make it to Easter service with the Queen? I know William was out of the country still, but why couldn’t Kate have gone since she was going to be there the next day anyway?
4) Was HM taking photos with her family and Kate decided to take a few of her own during the shoot, or did William and Kate shoehorn themselves and their kids into HM’s solo photoshoot? It is not specified, but I could see it going either way.
5) I’m interested to see the photos from this photoshoot, and I’m wondering if Kate’s personal snaps will be released at some point.