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When Princess Diana visited the Taj Mahal: The story behind THAT foto
When Princess Diana visited the Taj Mahal: The story behind THAT foto
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When Princess Diana visited the Taj Mahal: The story behind THAT photo
Prince William is set to follow in his mum\'s footsteps by visiting India\'s famous monument to love - but unlike Diana, he will not be alone
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Prince William and Kate Middleton arrive for their royal tour of India and Bhutan on Sunday.
But it is the final engagement on their seven-day trip which is likely to bring the most talked about photo of their visit.
Princess Diana was famously pictured alone on a bench in front of the Taj Mahal, India\'s stunning monument to love, when she was visiting the country with Prince Charles in February 1992.
Unknown to the outside world, the Prince and Princess of Wales were already spending much of their time in the UK at separate residences, with Diana based at Kensington Palace and Charles preferring to be at Highgrove in Gloucestershire.
Ten months after that photo was taken, they would announce their formal separation.
This is how the Daily Mirror\'s royal editor James Whitaker reported that Taj Mahal visit at the time
A WOMAN ALONE: Diana yesterday on the Taj Mahal bench where Charles posed before their engagement. She said: "It would have been better if both of us had been here." - the Daily Mirror\'s caption in 1992
Wistful Princess Diana lingered alone yesterday at the Taj Mahal, the world\'s most beautiful monument to love.
And afterwards Diana, parted from Prince Charles for the day, said intriguingly: "It was a very healing experience."
Asked what she meant, Diana replied: "Work that out for yourself."
But it seemed clear that the princess was saddened by the absence of her husband, who was visiting an architecture school and making a speech to industrialists.
She told Professor Mukund Rawat, who showed her around India\'s white marble wonder: "It would have been better if both of us had been here. But my husband has to be in Delhi."
Before the couple\'s engagement - eleven years ago this month - Charles visited the Taj and said he hoped to return one day with his wife.
But the prince couldn\'t find time to be at Diana\'s side yesterday when she spent more than an hour at the classic building dedicated by a grief-stricken emperor to his beloved dead wife.
So the princess created her own poignant reminder of the royal wish that didn\'t come true.
Waving her staff aside, she sat in silent solitude for five long minutes on the same Taj bench where Charles posed for a photo in 1980.
And before leaving the Taj, she wrote in the visitors\' book: "A beautiful monument."
Professor Rawat said: "It would have been better if both the prince and princess had come to the Taj Mahal. "This is a monument that should have been felt and experienced by both. When I mentioned this to the princess she agreed.
"I did not ask why the prince had not come. I was not supposed to ask. But I felt she was a little sad he was not there.
There were many people there for the visit - but not the one who would have mattered most
"I hope the two will come back one day - together."
Diana did have some fun yesterday. In Agra the visitor went to a family planning clinic and met condom producer Vinday Tandon.
She smiled when he cheekily introduced himself, saying: "Call me Condom Tandon."
The Mirror ran the story on page 3, with the words starting on the front page
Charles wanted to go to the loo before speaking to businessmen yesterday - but opened the wrong door.
And instead of being in the smallest room, he faced 700 bosses from the Indo-British Industrialist Forum.
He said: "A wiser prince than I would have opted for a visit to the Taj Mahal."
Dickie Arbiter, Prince Charles\'s press secretary at the time, would later recall the explosive effect of Diana\'s carefully chosen words in his memoirs On Duty With The Queen: My Time As A Buckingham Palace Press Officer.
Extracted in the Mail, he wrote: "A resolute silence would have been the less inflammatory choice, but I appreciated her frustration had been pushed to the limit and I couldn’t help but sympathise with her.
"The Prince could have used the visit to the Taj Mahal to make a positive statement about his marriage and, in turn, quell the ever-present rumours.
"Instead, his unwavering refusal to accompany her made it clear to his wife and the world at large that he no longer cared what people thought."
A polo match which Diana had to be persuaded to attend as planned created another awkward photo.
This was James Whitaker\'s report from Jaipur.
Prince Charles gave his wife a long-awaited kiss yesterday . . . and looked as though he\'d almost forgotten how to do it.
On the eve of St Valentine\'s Day the best that flustered Charles could manage was a peck on Diana\'s right earlobe.
An expectant crowd had gathered to watch the couple after the touring prince led a polo team to victory in a match at Jaipur, India, where he scored a hat-trick.
Diana presented her husband with a medal - and the chance to give her the kind of smacker that he planted on her lips after a match in Gloucestershire nearly five years ago. That was the last proper kiss the pair shared in public.
Prince Charles\'s team won the polo - with Diana handing out the prizes
We\'re still waiting for the next amid talk of emotional coolness between Charles and Diana.
Charles was red-faced and sweating from the game when he approached the princess. But she didn\'t make it easy for him. As he put his arm around her, she seemed embarrassed, turned her head - and lent an ear.
A ROYAL LOBE AFFAIR: This was the kiss the crowd had waited for. But it was more of a peck than a smacker. And as embarrassed Diana turned her head, flustered Charles, already in a sweat after the match, found himself nibbling her earlobe - the Daily Mirror caption in 1992
One of Diana\'s party said: "The princess is very streetwise.
"She knew everybody was expecting a kiss today and she was always going to oblige."
But the 20,000 spectators were more excited by the polo. Thousands of them ran on to the pitch after the match and had to be restrained by police and soldiers with batons.
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