Prince William eager to visit Taj Mahal, where Diana defined her loneliness

The Princess of Wales outside the Taj Mahal in Agra in 1992. Photo / Getty Images
The Princess of Wales outside the Taj Mahal in Agra in 1992. Photo / Getty Images

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge want to "create new memories" of the Taj Mahal when they visit the place where William's mother, Diana, defined her own loneliness.

The Duke "cannot wait" to visit India's most famous building this month because it is a place where "his mother's memory is kept alive", his spokesman said.

The Princess of Wales visited the Taj Mahal alone in 1992 when she and Prince Charles were on a tour of India.

She was famously pictured sitting on a bench in total isolation as she dropped the first hints that the couple's marriage was in trouble.

She had been expected to go there with her husband, but the Prince decided to attend another engagement, and she pressed on alone.

When a reporter asked her how she had enjoyed her visit, she said it had been "very healing". Asked what she meant, she said: "Work it out for yourself." Later that year the couple announced their separation.

"Lady Di's Chair", as it is now known, is a magnet for tourists who have their picture taken there, and the Duke and Duchess are likely to see it when they visit the mausoleum on the last day of what will be their first tour of India and Bhutan.

The couple will begin the tour on April 10 by laying a wreath at a memorial inside the Taj Mahal Palace hotel in Mumbai to those who died there during the terrorist attack in 2008.

"The Taj Mahal is one of the symbols of India and Their Royal Highnesses cannot wait to see it with their own eyes," said William's spokesman.

"The Duke of Cambridge is of course aware of the huge esteem his mother ... is held in 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."

- Daily Telegraph UK

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