Tuesday 6 December 2016

Kate Middleton echoes Princess Diana as she poses on same bench outside Taj Mahal

Published 16/04/2016 | 12:16

Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, pose as they sit in front of the Taj Mahal in Agra, India, April 16, 2016. REUTERS/Money Sharma/Pool
Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, pose as they sit in front of the Taj Mahal in Agra, India, April 16, 2016. REUTERS/Money Sharma/Pool
Britain's Prince William, along with his wife, Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, pose in front of the Taj Mahal in Agra, India, Saturday, April 16, 2016. Agra is the last stop on the royal couple's weeklong visit to India and neighboring Bhutan. (Money Sharma/ Pool photo via AP)
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to the Taj Mahal in India during day seven of the Royal tour to India and Bhutan
Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, visits the Taj Mahal in Agra, India, April 16, 2016. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
Britain's Prince William, along with his wife, Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, pose in front of the Taj Mahal in Agra, India, Saturday, April 16, 2016. Agra is the last stop on the royal couple's weeklong visit to India and neighboring Bhutan. (Money Sharma/ Pool photo via AP)

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge evoked the memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, when they sat on the Taj Mahal bench that became a symbol of her broken marriage.

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Diana was famously photographed alone on the marble bench but the image of William and Kate, sat together, will forge new memories of the iconic building for the couple.

In searing temperatures of 41C (106F) the duke and duchess toured the grounds of the Taj and were given a guided tour of the mausoleum itself.

When the couple first arrived they stopped to admire the imposing building from its main gate. Before them were immaculate formal gardens and fountains and the building itself had three of its towers covered in scaffolding.

Princess Diana the Princess of Wales poses alone at the Taj Mahal during her visit in India in February 1992. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)
Princess Diana the Princess of Wales poses alone at the Taj Mahal during her visit in India in February 1992. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)

They made their way slowly through the gardens with their guide and walked on to a large marble plinth containing a large fountain and walked over to the bench that the duke's mother had sat on during her tour with the Prince of Wales in February 1992.

When Diana was photographed alone on the seat, it prompted rumours about the state of her marriage.

It became the defining image of that tour and by the end of the year it was announced she and Charles had agreed to separate.

William and Kate confidently walked up to the seat and carefully sat down and posed for the waiting photographers with the Taj Mahal in the background.

Prince William and Kate Middleton's Royal India Tour Day Seven: for her iconic shot at the Taj Mahal, Kate wore a dress by Naeem Khan and a pair of earrings she purchased at a market in Bhutan for less than €10.
Prince William and Kate Middleton's Royal India Tour Day Seven: for her iconic shot at the Taj Mahal, Kate wore a dress by Naeem Khan and a pair of earrings she purchased at a market in Bhutan for less than €10.

The impressive structure was build by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the mid 19th century, a monument of love to his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal.

It took 22 years and 20,000 men to erect the building from white marble, transported from 200 miles away by elephant.

Despite the extreme temperatures William wore a blazer, shirt and chinos, but Kate looked cool and comfortable in a monochrome dress by designer Naeem Khan.

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