New Delhi: Prince William and Kate Middleton will arrive in Mumbai today on a seven-day tour of India and Bhutan. The visit builds on the strong bonds between the two countries, British High Commission (BHC) said today.
"While in India they will experience the four passions which unite the country - cricket, Bollywood, politics and family," BHC said in a release.
The royal couple will visit the Taj Mahal. "The Duke feels incredibly lucky to visit a place where his mother's memory is kept alive by so many who travel there.
"Twenty four 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 their tour," the release added.
Giving the itinerary of the royal couple's visit, it said the two will head to the Oval Maidan on Sunday to watch and take part in a cricket match between beneficiaries and representatives of three charities based in Mumbai - Magic Bus, Doorstep, and India's Childline.
In the evening, they will attend a glittering reception and dinner alongside some of the biggest names in business and Bollywood, to celebrate Mumbai's film and creative industries.
On Monday, they will arrive in Delhi and begin by paying their respects to India's military contributions and honour the memory of Mahatma Gandhi.
The release quoted British High Commissioner to India, Sir Dominic Asquith as saying that "the Duke and Duchess are most excited about their first visit to India, and we hope this visit will mark the start of a long friendship between them and this magnificent and diverse country.
"This will be the one of the most ambitious tours their Royal Highnesses have ever undertaken and promises to be the most colourful tour to date," he was quoted saying.
The couple will also visit Kaziranga National Park in Assam where they will find out more about the role of conservation in the lives of rural people there.
The royal couple are interested to see how communities manage the conflicts that arise when humans and wild animals live in close proximity and will also meet park rangers inside Kaziranga, to discuss how the park protects its animal populations from poachers as demand, in other parts of Asia, for rhino horns continues to rise, the release said.
They will then fly to Bhutan to learn about the beautiful, mountainous country that has famously prioritised the happiness of its people above all other national goals.
"Finally the Duke and Duchess will finish their tour at one of the world's most romantic and iconic sites - The Taj Mahal," it said.