The Royals Adventure in India
Kate keeps a stiff upper lip as she continues India tour amid terrorism threat
© Getty Images
The hysteria in India has been palpable with the whole country getting excited about the royal visit. Prince William and Duchess Kate have mesmerised and charmed their way through the country on their first official tour of India, with both celebrities and locals falling over themselves to get close to them. However, an explosion in Kerala, which has left many dead and hundreds injured, combined with the risk of potential terror attacks, has hindered the celebrations somewhat.
Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge’s visit to India has been hit by a warning of a potential terrorist attack. The royal couple travelled to the country last weekend on a tour that also took in Bhutan. Editors at India Today reported police in Punjab, India, were looking for three suspects with weapons and explosives who may have been planning to target Mumbai and Delhi, the cities the royals visited. “Their target could be in Delhi, Goa and Mumbai,” a Punjab police alert said. “You are directed to take all the necessary steps in this regard. Especially focus on strict checking of vehicles, security of all vital installations, including police buildings and defence establishments, religious places, crowded places such as market areas, malls, railway stations, railway tracks, and educational institutions.”
Kate is Fearless
The royal couple, who have been dubbed ‘WillKat’, were also on high alert because they were staying at the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai, which was at the centre of the 2008 terror attacks in the city that killed 164 people. Despite the danger, the pair were still looking forward to their trip, with an official saying Kate was fearless and wouldn’t let the past stop her from enjoying the local culture and people. “She told me she loves Indian food and I said she would be fine, and William said he struggles with the spices,” a source said. Things got off to a bad start for the pair, who arrived the same night as a fire at a temple in Kerala killed more than 100 people. The blaze was blamed on firecrackers used to celebrate Hindu New Year. Kate and William paid tribute to those who lost their lives and “extended their sympathy,” a royal official said. They added: “Their Royal Highnesses are saddened by the news and send their thoughts to all who are assisting the victims.”
The Queen of Cricket
As part of their trip, the couple visited India’s iconic Taj Mahal, which served as the backdrop for one of the most famous photographs of William’s mother, the late Diana, Princess of Wales. K-Midd made sure to impress with her outfits by showing off an array of choices including designs by Alexander McQueen, Saloni and Mumbai fashionista Anita Dongre. Local kids welcomed the royals in their own cute way by wearing Kate and Wills masks while playing cricket in the streets.
Later the same day, the pair put their own cricket skills to the test with a friendly match at the Oval Maiden ground with sporting legend Sachin Tendulkar. Kate’s batting impressed the greatest batsman of all time enough for him to suggest she should play the sport professionally. Sachin said: “She batted, she fielded, she did everything! What a fantastic experience it was to meet the Duke and Duchess. They were a remarkable couple and made us feel so comfortable. They were really humble.”
Doing it for the Kids
It wasn’t all fun and games though, as the future King and Queen of England also met up with reps from dozens of charities and the children who benefit from their patronage. At the Banganga Water Tank they met kids from the charity SMILE, and they visited some slums where they were greeted by children who are taken care of by the charity Childline and the Door Step School.
Perhaps the most glitzy part of the seven-day tour was when Bollywood royalty met the Brit duo at a show-stopping evening of entertainment and fundraising. Some of India’s biggest stars attended the dinner to celebrate Mumbai’s movie and creative industries, and were joined by WillKat. Film star Shah Rukh Khan (‘King Khan’ to his legion of fans) and Sachin Tendulkar walked the red carpet with Bollywood actor Aamir Khan, actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and other movie celebrities including Rishi Kapoor, Hrithik Roshan and Farhan Akhtar.