Prince William and wife Kate begin royal tour of India

AP News
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Posted: Apr 10, 2016 6:41 AM
Prince William and wife Kate begin royal tour of India

MUMBAI, India (AP) — The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge paid their respects at one of the sites of the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks Sunday as they began a weeklong visit to India, their first royal tour in two years.

Prince William and his wife, the former Kate Middleton, began their first engagement in India by laying a wreath at a memorial at Mumbai's iconic Taj Mahal Palace hotel, where 31 people were killed in the 2008 attacks. A total of 166 people were killed when 10 gunmen targeted multiple locations in Mumbai.

Crowds of onlookers gathered to catch a glimpse of the couple as they got out of their car and entered the hotel, where employees welcomed them with garlands of roses.

William and Kate, who will also visit India's neighbor Bhutan, are traveling without their two children — 2 1/2-year-old Prince George and 11-month-old Princess Charlotte. They had taken George to Australia with them in 2014 on their last royal tour.

Later Sunday, the royal couple was to meet children from a Mumbai slum and take in a round of cricket at a local cricket academy.

Their first evening in India ends at a charity ball, where they'll meet with Bollywood celebrities and prominent business leaders.

During their trip, William and Kate will sit down for lunch with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi. In a nod to William's conservation efforts, they'll also visit Assam state's Kaziranga National Park, home to two-thirds of the world's Indian one-horned rhinos.

They'll take a one-day trip to Bhutan at the invitation of the Himalayan kingdom's King Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema.

William and Kate will then head back to India, where they'll wind up their tour with a visit to the Taj Mahal, retracing the steps of a visit to the monument of love by William's mother, the late Princess Diana.